The Van Lunen Center for Executive Management in Christian Schools at Calvin College has announced its 2013-2014 fellows and among them is John Petrey, head of Mountain Christian in Joppa. The list includes educators from 22 schools across the United States and Canada.

The Fellows program is designed for school heads who seek professional development in their work as administrators of faith-based schools. The majority of participant expenses are covered by the Van Lunen Center, including cost of instruction, airfare, lodging, meals, coaching and access to topic experts.

The Van Lunen Center was established at Calvin in January 2007 and operates with a $2.5 million endowment to the college from the Richard D. Van Lunen Foundation, and additional funding from foundations and individual donors. Its purpose is to provide executive management education for senior leaders of schools based on the historic Christian faith (of which there are some 20,000 across the North American continent).

In a rapidly changing school environment, Christian school leaders need to constantly update their leadership skills and perspectives to meet the challenges of strategic planning, marketing, financial management and school culture, according to Bruce Hekman, director of the Van Lunen Center.

"Through case studies, reading, writing, interactive exercises, small group discussions, a school based project and coaching," he said, "participants will deepen their own leadership, develop skills essential to the tasks of headship and create deep relationships with peers and leaders. They will become more deeply prepared to craft and implement a sustainable Christian educational mission with parents, teachers and other supporting communities."

The program begins with five residential days in July, continues again in January 2014 for five days and ends with three days in July 2014. Between sessions, faculty coaching and consultant support is available via phone, through online tools and in person to assist fellows with a crucial school project.

The Van Lunen Center was established to serve faith-based schools large and small across the U.S. and Canada with a big-tent philosophy, reaching out to schools from a wide-range of faith traditions, including Anabaptist, Baptist, Catholic, evangelical Protestant, Episcopal, independent Christian, Lutheran and Reformed Christian day schools.