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The first student in Columbia International University's newest Doctor of Education concentration says CIU's "solid match" of a biblical worldview combined with strong content makes the school's Education Program a perfect fit for Christian school educators.
Ann Gallagher, who is enrolled in the new Curriculum and Instructional Leadership concentration, is the director of curriculum at the Christian Academy School System in Louisville, Ky. It serves over 2,700 students on four campuses in Louisville and in nearby New Albany, Ind. The school system is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), which has had a long relationship with CIU.
Gallagher, who has an undergraduate degree from Penn State and a master's degree from the University of Maryland, says the concentration will give her a broader knowledge base.
"I always feel like I'm missing pieces, that there is something I don't have, and if I have a little more knowledge I'll understand things better," Gallagher said. "But in addition to that, (educators) are so bombarded with research, and most of the research comes from the public sector. How do you take that research - what the world says - and stand that up to a biblical worldview?"
Gallagher says she was first introduced to CIU when professors from the CIU School of Education came to her school system to hold professional development workshops. She appreciated how they approached education from a biblical worldview. She was also impressed with CIU graduates who came to teach in her school system.
Dr. Ron Kroll, director of CIU's Doctor of Education Program, says the Curriculum and Instructional Leadership concentration is designed for curriculum specialists, instructional designers, academic support professionals, and others focused on teaching and learning roles.
"All Doctor of Education programs at CIU integrate foundations in educational leadership and biblical leadership, and are designed for educational practitioners seeking a terminal degree on a schedule that fits with their busy professional and personal lives," Kroll said.
Curriculum and Instructional Leadership is the fourth concentration added to CIU's 66-hour Doctor of Education degree. The other concentrations are Christian School Leadership, Christian Higher Education Leadership, and Leadership in International Theological Education.