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CDL Digest - 1.27.23

Such Good People!

I hope you are excited by the CDL workshops we posted last week on the website - we have a great quantity - 64! - and range of topics in the five strands of Beautiful Work, Engaging Instruction, Assessment, Embodied Practices, and Leadership. All led by presenters who bring years of experience, expertise, and passion for engaging students in CDL! You are getting a taste of a few of the topics if you have been following and reading our blog the last few weeks - look for more blog posts by presenters between now and the conference. I explain why I love CDL educators, our presenters in particular!

A new wrinkle we are introducing this year is the EMT - or the Eleven Minute Talk. It is really our own creation - who knows - it may catch on in the larger world! We thought a TED length talk might be a little long and the 400 seconds of a Pecha Kucha or approximately 7 minutes a bit short, so we split the difference! This format will give us the opportunity to learn and celebrate great classroom and school stories, as well as learn about various programs, tools, and resources.

In our first 90 minute workshop session on Thursday morning one of our workshop sessions will be the EMT focusing on Tools and Resources. We will have 6 speakers and they will each speak for 11 minutes. At the end of the time, we will have time for participants to engage privately with each of the participants. To give you an idea of what you will experience if you attend this session, here are the participants and their topics for the Tools and Resources EMT workshop.

Kyle Meyaard-Schaap (VP, Evangelical Environmental Network) just spoke at Calvin’s well known January Series and has a new book coming out called Following Jesus in a Warming World. I’m also proud to say Kyle was a student at my school once upon a time and is the son of a Christian school educator, one of my former teachers! His passion and practical ideas will be inspiring as you consider how to tackle this issue.

Kent Ezell has a deep heart for Christian education - he works at Potter’s House, a pioneering urban Christian school in Grand Rapids and he is also an entrepreneur - creating a useful software tool called Faith Journey - an easy and helpful way to celebrate a student’s journey of faith. Come to learn more about how it might be helpful in your classroom and school.

Faith Stults has been a science teacher at Valley Christian in San Jose and has now brought her passion and expertise to Biologos. She will be sharing how teachers are finding their teacher developed Integrate curriculum to be very helpful. This curriculum is a bright light for Christian educators faced with either only young earth materials, making up their own curriculum, or a completely secular approach.

Michael Arnold in his role as Curriculum Trak support manager has worked closely with Darryl DeBoer from TfT (Teaching for Transformation) to develop tools and templates to bring together the most widely used mapping software in faith-based schools (Curriculum Trak) and the most widely used CDL model - TfT in a way that makes sense for schools. If you are using Curriculum Trak and TfT or are interested in either, this will be very helpful for you.

World Vision has been very supportive of Christian Deeper Learning conferences (and we are grateful!) and Christian education in general by partnering with TfT to develop their Ignite curriculum development model for educators. Come to hear how this partnership is advancing Christian education and great pedagogy around the world.

And finally - the Kuyers Institute, Cardus, and CACE (Center for the Advancement of Christian Education) have teamed up to bring to faith-based schools the Practicing Faith Survey. This assessment helps students understand and assess to what degree five faith practices are present in their lives as well as giving schools a helpful tool for further focus on student faith formation. As a CACE Senior Fellow, I will be sharing about the development and current status of this project.

Whova app - if you have registered for CDL6 most of you should have received information about downloading and using the Whova (pronounced Who vah) conference management app. We will be using that app to help you maximize your CDL experience - we will share all the workshop information, allow you to sign up for workshops, to connect with each other, post pictures, give feedback, view PPT's of presentations, learn more about partner/sponsors, etc.

If you have not registered yet, there is no better time! We now have over 425 attendees registered and only have room for 500. Time and space are running out! For more information on the pre-conference offerings, our conference schedule, lodging options, etc., please visit our website and register now.

We are really excited about and blessed by the partners who will be joining us at our conference! All will be sharing information at their tables, and some will be doing workshops and EMT's (Eleven Minute Talks). We seek and invite partners who understand and get behind the mission of CDL and who have genuinely helpful ways to support your work. The entire list of partners are on the Christian Deeper Learning site. This week we are pleased to welcome as a Gold partner Trinity Western University located nearby in Langley, BC!


REGISTRATION OPEN for the CDL Summer Institute!

Live it!

Knowing about God is quite different from walking day to day with God.

Knowing about Christian Deeper Learning (CDL) is quite different from being able to engage your students in CDL.

The purpose of this institute is:

  • To immerse you in a CDL experience that will equip you to provide a CDL experience for your students. It’s very hard to teach something with authenticity that you haven’t experienced yourself.

  • To explore what it means to teach “Christianly” in all subjects and grade levels. Biblical integration sometimes happens in what we teach and sometimes in the way we learn together.

  • To engage you with the curriculum, instructional practices, and assessment strategies that support CDL for all your students.

  • To create a culture that encourages Christ-like character and invites the learner into God’s story.

  • To refresh and renew your spirit in a pastoral setting – a mansion on a lake with outstanding hospitality and cuisine.

We are limited to 35 participants. Last year we had a waiting list. If you are interested, please register soon. Register here.


Editor's note about the Digest: We hope to share with you each week articles of interest that you may have missed. This will include current information as well as previous blog posts from CDL that perhaps you didn’t have time to read the first time around. If you have items you think may be of interest, please feel free to get in touch with me at We are also seeking blog writers for our blog posts which are published each week on Monday and Wednesday. For more info, see our guidelines.


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