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Strategic Plan for Start-up of a Christian School Simon Mould Regent University ECEL752 Advanced Theory & Practice in Operation of a Christian School Carle Hunt, Ph.D

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Table of Contents

Abstract Strategic Plan: 1. Purpose, mission, vision


2. Core values


3. External Environment, Assumptions and Issues


4. Internal Situation


5. Goals, Objectives and Key Result Areas


6. Strategy and Action Plans


7. Evaluation and Control Procedures




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Abstract The paper provides significant content for the strategic plan for Christ Church University (CCU). It places an emphasis on how the mission and vision of the organization translates the organization’s future into tangible plans and action strategies that also deal with internal and external threats and opportunities that will affect the decision control and the implementation of future direction.

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Strategic Plan for Start-up of a Christian School 1. Mission and Vision Statement Mission statement The mission of Christ Church University is to build future generations of cultural reformers with clear Kingdom purpose, to preserve, restore and advance the legacy of truth, liberty and justice, through the mission of the Church going into every jurisdiction of society, establishing a Kingdom culture in their wake. Our fundamental purpose is the essence of our mission; it is the kind of student we are going to build and the mission they are being prepared for. “Mission describes the broad, fundamental purpose for the organization’s existence, the ultimate result it hopes to produce” (Saffold, 1994. P.116). Given the private nature of CCU, we have the freedom to craft a mission statement that does not need to pay such close association to particular mandates that most public sector organizations need to (Saffold, 119). Vision statement 1. To firmly establish each student in a biblical worldview that can be applied to the study of any subject, discipline or jurisdiction.

2. To train students with a distinctively Christian classical liberal arts methodology, placing an emphasis on the student’s ability to: 

Create a sense of excellence in the student’s ability to apply biblical principles to the solving of problems.

Develop their understanding by analyzing original sources from antiquity through to the present.

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Form and articulate their views with the goal to inform accurately persuade respectfully and defend logically.

3. (See below for new added statement) 4. To develop centers and fellowships for creative and strategic biblical thinking in the areas of public policy development; scientific, technological and medical research; media, the arts and communication; education reform; business strategy and economic development. 5. To publish scholarly research that addresses theological, social, ethical, political, and business issues that use quantitative and qualitative research, and analysis of different theories, but conclude with biblical models and proposals for cultural solutions.

Saffold’s four principles (Saffold, 142) in developing vision can be used to reaffirm the mission and vision that has been developed: 1. “Vision is rooted in and shaped by values.” The value we place on the Word of God is demonstrated in that we seek to apply it not only to the student and faculty’s lives personally, but also to each academic discipline and ultimately to the world around us. 2. “Vision should serve the mission.” The first two sections of the vision statement are particularly focused on preparing the “cultural reformers” we refer to in our mission statement. 3. “Vision gives birth to action.” The vision statement is practical; it is about developing academic programs, centers of study, research material to be published, etc. 4. “Vision must come from God.” The development of this vision statement is a response to an ongoing message the Lord keeps bringing to us at Christ Church Kirkland concerning our mandate to raise up cultural reformers.

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A further review of the vision statement reveals that it lacks a focus on Christian character building that Cox (n.d.) elevates as the benchmark for what makes Christian education distinct. This sentence will be proposed to the Board of Governors to be added to the vision statement as a new number 3: To bring students into a mature and intimate relationship with Christ by developing Christ-like character, a spirit of sonship, and obedient and extravagant worship. 2. Core Values At CCU, values are our central guiding ethos. “Values represent the core priorities in the organization’s culture, including what drives members’ priorities and how they truly act in the organization” (McNamara, 1997). However, they are more than a set of guiding principles; they carry the ability to set the atmosphere of the organizational culture. “”Strong organizational cultures are characterized by deeply held values and beliefs that powerfully influence the way they function” (Saffold, 75). The following core values should always be presented in their wider context of helping to establish the culture of the organization. 

We honor God by seeking to bring glory and pleasure to Him through all our life, our work, our thoughts, and our relationships. (Linked to vision statement point 1, 3. Our vision is to glorify God in all academic disciplines because all truth is God’s truth. In addition we seek to glorify God through the development of intimate worship and Christ-like maturity).

We honor God’s Word as the complete, sufficient, and inherent Word that speaks to all things pertaining to life and godliness in our personal lives and the life of the wider community and society. (Linked to vision statement point 3. God’s Word is relevant to providing training and discipline into Christ-like character).

We honor the fear of the Lord as the beginning of His intention to bestow wisdom, understanding and knowledge on those who diligently enquire of Him by the Holy

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Spirit. (Linked to vision statement point 2. The ability to be distinct from the world in our intelligence is to acknowledge a different source of intelligence from the world. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom rather than human reason, thus we value His wisdom above our own). 

We honor the life of the community of God as we seek to provide instruction through the relational model of discipleship between the student and the teacher. (Linked to vision statement point 4. CCU seeks to build networks of relationships that will provide research and learning environments).

We honor the pursuit of Christ-centered excellence in our work of preparing students spiritually, academically, relationally and vocationally. (Linked to vision statement point 1, 2, 3. The pursuit of excellence in every area is the means to bringing God glory and the motive is centered in Christ and not in selfish ambition).

The organization’s mission, vision, and values, should be the criteria for gathering stakeholders. Saffold mentions a number of things that the organization/school seeks to provide for stakeholders, "value of services purchased, ministry to needs, sense of fulfillment in involvement, tax receipts for donations" (Saffold, 1994, p.121). Some of these things can certainly be used as leverage points to help bring the existing stakeholders along with the new plans. But with a new organization the focus should be on building conviction as to why we believe our mission, vision and values. Once potential stakeholders are identified, then they can be invited to join in a pioneering effort to turn the mission and vision into reality. In addition, the core values are essential to helping develop a strong sense of community among students, faculty and staff. Loy-Ferri, consults businesses who wish to establish corporate values states, “Understanding core values that promote functional group dynamics is, therefore, paramount for anchoring the group’s culture and for understanding why some people work well together and why some don’t” (1997).

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3. External Environment, Assumptions and Issues The external environment is defined as “the forces, individuals and institutions (particularly the competition), which have a current or possible future impact (positive or negative) on the ability of an institution to effectively and efficiently achieve goals, mission and visionâ€? (Hunt, 1995). A technique to evaluate the external environment can be done with strength, weakness, opportunities, threat (SWOT) analysis (Saffold, 168) that identifies the most significant opportunities and threats that face the organization. In addition, providing this analysis helps identify how your organization can provide a sustainable niche in the market (MindTools). At CCU part of our research phase will be devoted to having the Board of Governors conduct a SWOT analysis to see how we can best prepare for likely environmental trends that affect us. Provided here is an initial list of external factors or issues that will affect the organization in the next 1-3 years and whether the issues create the assumption of them being either an opportunity or a threat, and how leadership functions might be linked to dealing with these external issues. 

Decline of biblical worldview among Christians. (Opportunity). Our assumption is that while this issue initially presents itself as a threat to the wider Christian community it is perceived as an opportunity for CCU. If we can communicate to the wider Christian community that such a decline is a threat, but that we have a vision and academic programs to reverse the threat then we will be considered unique in our ability to address an issue that few other Christian colleges are attempting to tackle. One function of our leadership will be to communicate this issue to stakeholders in such a way that reveals how CCU is addressing this growing concern and providing an adequate solution as far as the students we will graduate.

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Declining understanding of basic theological concepts. (Opportunity). Our assumption is that declining theological appreciation and understanding is problematic for the wider Church community it is perceived as an opportunity for CCU. The core studies program at CCU provides a basic grounding in essential reformed and evangelical theological subjects. CCU leadership will be commissioned with the task of finding an adequately qualified theological doctrines professor whose curriculum is relevant to the postmodern climate. Relevant means that it does not conform to that climate, rather provides and engaging and compelling attitude that seeks to defend absolute truth.


Rise in student inability to specify vocational calling. (Problem). In Christian colleges it seems that Christian students are less able and willing to commit to a particular vocational/ministry calling in comparison to students in the public system. Our belief in the value of our core program which provides the same two year classical liberal arts core to all students can be problematic in that it does not address this growing issue. One plan we will be developing is for the students to take an introductory course in Government, Market Place and Church Ministry in the spring semester of their sophomore year. During that semester, faculty will be meeting with students to help them identify particular interests that perhaps might be directed towards a vocational calling that can become the focus of their Junior and Senior year of studies.

4. Internal Situation In order to maximize organizational strengths and work on improving organizational weaknesses, it becomes important to conduct an internal organization analysis (Hunt, n.d.).

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In regards to an internal organization analysis and its application to CCU, since the organization presently does not exist I have written what I currently see as potential strengths and weaknesses that we could encounter. A. Leadership 1. Strengths 

Members of the Board of Governors are highly competent, motivated and skilled.

Accountable leadership that models the character sought after in the student graduate profile.

Likely President is academically minded and skilled administrator.

2. Weaknesses 

Members of the Board of Governors are mainly church and business leaders with little educational/academic experience.

Leadership team lacks marketing skills and experience.

Leadership team all derived from the same church and network relationships thus providing more challenges in reaching out of existing relational networks.

B. Marketing 1. Strengths 

Excellent creativity of ideas and branding resources in CCK.

Excellent graphic art resources available on staff.

Excellent web site design and development capabilities

Strong IT design capability.

2. Weaknesses

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Weak IT support.

Graphics arts resources are shared across all departments.

Lack of marketing experience among leadership.

Lack of distribution availability for marketing resources.

C. Fundraising and business development 1. Strengths 

Well established and funded local church support.

Building facilities and land are debt free.

CCK has accounting office and procedures already established.

2. Weaknesses 

Likely President has little fundraising experience.

Tuition rates are extremely competitive.

Hiring a VP for Business Development will be very costly.

D. Academic programs 1. Strengths 

Very few classical Christian higher ed. schools exist.

Integrates reformed theology with a charismatic experience.

Integrates apprenticeship work model.

2. Weaknesses 

Hiring strong credentialed faculty will be a challenge, but not impossible.

Limited classroom space available until building is completed.

Housing for students is limited until campus is established.

“Distance based” faculty may prove difficult to keep connection to the university and in building relationally with the students.

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5. Goals, Objectives and Key Result Areas Given the definition of goals and objectives given by Hunt (n.d.): “An outcome/objective is a statement of what the school and its students/alumni will become written in specific, attainable and measurable terms.” The following, is a list of specific goals and the related objectives and key result areas of the first four years of operation for Christ Church University, which will be the first full four student graduating class. Goal 1: To start the first year of classes for CCU 

Assemble the Board of Governors monthly for development and planning meetings. Key results: Review foundational documents and execute strategic plan.

Identify and recruit eight faculty members for eight subject classes.

Train faculty in CCU mission, vision, values and philosophy. Key results: One week late summer intensive faculty retreat.

Recruit 25 students for freshman classes.

Recruit a volunteer task force to cover administrative setup.

Plan a stakeholder’s summit meeting to officially launch the birthing of the vision.

Capital campaign to raise funds for initial startup and to seed building development for the future. Key result $100,000 cash raised.

Secure one classroom in existing CCK facility.

Work with CCK members to facilitate housing requests.

Goal 2: To start second year of classes for CCU 

Identify and recruit faculty members for thirteen new classes.

Train faculty in CCU mission, vision, values and philosophy. Key results: One week late summer intensive faculty retreat.

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Recruit 25 students for incoming freshman class.

Secure one additional classroom.

Develop capital campaign for specific preparation of building programs. Key results $1million cash raised.

Goal 3: To start upper classman major programs 

Launch plans to build sufficient dorms and classroom building. Key results: architectural plans finished, permits obtained, contractor secured.

Continue capital campaign for building programs. Key results: $1 million cash raised.

Identify and recruit faculty members for major programs. Key results: Three full time Deans over the Major programs.

Train faculty in CCU mission, vision, values and philosophy. Key results: One week late summer intensive faculty retreat.

6. Strategy and Action Plans The following strategic action plan was developed using Demuth (1995) and Saffold (1994) for ideas and references. A strategic action plan typically will typically include “deciding who is going to do what and by when and in what order for the organization to reach its strategic goals” (McNamara, 1997). Our strategic plan will cover that what, when and in what order, but details concerning who will be added as human resource decision are made concerning who to hire first. Goal 1: To start the first year of classes for CCU in Fall 2009. I.

Objectives A. Assemble the Board of Governors monthly for development and planning meetings.

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1. 09/2007 Board of Governors meeting. Overview the strategic action plan to reach goal of starting classes in September 2009. Decision action items: 

Overview strategic plan.

Discussion and decision on potential start goal September 2009.

Discussion and decision the proposed organizational structure.

Discussion and decision on proposed academic programs.

Begin discussion on faculty needs for the 1st year core classes. (See Objective B for more details)

Review, edit and adopt the profile of a CCU graduate.

Is there agreement on the proposed target markets for student recruitment? (See Objective D for more details)

2. 10/2007 Board of Governors meeting. Decision action items: 

Review and discuss progress made on previous decisions from 09/2007 board meeting.

Review and approve proposed foundational documents: Mission statement, vision statement, values statement, philosophy of education, worldview statement.

Develop list of potential faculty to be contacted in 11/2007 (Objective B).

3. 11/2007 Board of Governors meeting. Decision action items: 

Decide time, place, and agenda of Stakeholders Summit in 05/2008. Identify event coordinator for event.

Discuss business development issues. (See Objective G for details).

Finalize list of potential faculty to be contacted in 11/2007 (Objective B).

4. 12/2007 Board of Governors meeting. Decision action items: 

Feedback regarding initial contact of potential faculty. (Objective B)

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Discuss and decide admission standards for new student applicants.

B. Identify and recruit eight faculty members for eight subject classes. 1. Begin discussion on who we should approach as faculty for the 1st year core classes. (09/2007 Board Meeting) 

Review academic plan for 1st year classes being taught.

Define faculty member profile: the qualities and qualifications we are looking for.

Identify who fits the faculty member profile.

Decide how we will approach these potential faculty members?

Discuss potential stipend/compensation package for faculty members.

2. Develop list of potential faculty to be contacted in 11/2007. (10/2007 Board Meeting) 3. Finalize list of potential faculty to be contacted in 11/2007. 4. Invite potential faculty to the 05/2008 stakeholders summit meeting (See objective F). 

Send personal letter of invitation. (11/2007)

Phone call explaining why we specifically are inviting them to be a founding stakeholder and potential faculty member. (11/2007)

5. Feedback regarding initial contact of potential faculty to Board. (12/2007 Board Meeting) 6. Further contact with faculty as necessary (01-05/2008) 7. Conduct personal interviews with potential faculty members at the stakeholder summit. (05/2008) 

Discuss profile of faculty members we are looking for.

Discuss where they stand on our mission, vision, values, philosophy of education, and worldview statements.

Discuss their potential academic classes.

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Explain stipend/compensation.

Final decision will be decided by the end of the Stakeholder summit.

C. Train faculty in CCU mission, vision, values and philosophy, and curriculum design, and worldview integration. 1. Develop three day training retreat for new faculty (September 2008) 

Plan event: location, time, schedule, lodging, travel.

Develop content for training sessions in CCU mission, vision, values and philosophy. (Day 1).

Develop content for training sessions in curriculum design. (Day 2).

Develop content for training sessions in biblical worldview integration. (Day 3).

2. Curriculum foundations deadline (10/31/2008) 

Curriculum goals and objectives completed.

Curriculum overview plan completed.

Curriculum assessment goals completed.

Personalized plan on reaching 05/31/2009 curriculum content deadline.

3. Curriculum foundations review (11/2008) 

Call individual faculty members to review curriculum foundations. (11/0114/2008)

Edit and resubmit curriculum foundations. (11/31/2008)

4. Curriculum content deadline (05/31/2009) 

Completed curriculum goals and objectives.

Completed lesson plans and lecture notes.

Completed student assessment items.

Completed student reading assignments.

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5. Curriculum revision process (06/01/2009 – 09/01/2009) 

Call individual faculty members to review curriculum content. (06/01-14/2009)

Edit and resubmit curriculum. (07/31/2009)

Final corrections and preparations. (08/01-31/2009)

D. Recruit 25 students for freshman classes. 1. Agreement reached on the proposed target markets for student recruitment. (09/2007 Board Meeting) 

Discuss, edit, and decide the profile of a CCU graduate.

Existing Target Market (TM) relationships: Christ Church Academy graduates, Masters Commission network, Strategic Christian Service training institutes, Kingdom Ministries International.

Non-existent TM relationships: Advertising and marketing campaign to reach those in classical home school or private school movement.

2. Develop response literature. (10-12/2007) 

CCU branding/image design work begins. (9/2007)

Web site design consultations and construction begins. (9/2007)

Design/write brochure. (10/2007)

Design/write advertising pieces. (11/2007)

All marketing literature, brochures and web site completed and printed. (12/31/2007)

3. Marketing campaign begins (01/2008) 

Campaign details depends on TM decisions from 09/2007 Board Meeting

Focus of campaign to invite leaders of TM areas, and potential parents and students to 05/2007 Stakeholder Summit.

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4. Enrollment packets produced by 04/30/2005 

Letter from Chancellor and President to student/family.

Application form.

Fee schedule.

Enrollment steps.

Frequently asked questions.

Academic program information.

5. Recruitment effort at Stakeholder Summit 

Build partnerships with leaders from existing TM relationships.

Meet with potential parents and students to present the profile of the CCU graduate, application process, admission standards, etc.

E. Recruit a volunteer task force to cover administrative setup. 1. Define jobs for volunteers. 

Stakeholders summit planning and coordination.

Copying and mailing services.

2. Identify people who can fulfill volunteer jobs needed. 3. Approach potential volunteers and invite to Stakeholders summit. 4. Assign tasks to volunteer task force. (See tasks under point 1) F. Plan a Stakeholder’s Summit meeting to officially launch the birthing of the vision in May 2008. 1. Board of Governors 11/2008 meeting: Decide time, place, and agenda. Identify event coordinator. 2. Detailed plan from event coordinator. 12/31/2008 3. Invite attendees. 01/2009

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4. Organize housing and food. 01/2009 G. Capital campaign to raise funds for initial startup and to seed building development for the future. (Development plan to be written later) 1. 11/2008 Board of Governors meeting to discuss business development issues. 

Review income and spending plans.

Discuss endowment building program.

Discuss hiring Vice President for Business Development: Responsible for marketing and endowment and resource development.

H. Secure one classroom in existing CCK facility. 1. Discuss with CCK and CCA staff the building facility usage and CCU needs. 2. Decide and communicate with all relevant CCK/CCA staff the CCU classroom usage plan. 3. Develop equip needs plan and purchasing schedule. I. Work with CCK members to facilitate housing requests. 1. Identify likely housing needs. (Fall 2008) 2. Ensure new students are sorting out their own housing arrangements. (Summer 2009) 3. Communicate what housing preparations need to be made by families. (05/2009) 4. Communicate host family responsibilities and expectations. (08/2009) 7. Evaluation and Control Procedures The evaluation and control process provides an overview of where we are going and how we will get there (Hunt, 2005) which is diagramed in figure 1 below.

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Figure 1. Evaluation and Control Process The Board of Governors will oversee the decision control as the process develops and they evaluate the progress and direction and implement appropriate changes. The main evaluation stage will take place after the stakeholder’s summit where the Board will reassemble and ensure that the integrity of the faculty, student and organization profiles are ready to be maintained as we launch into the implementation phase. The purpose of the evaluation process is to ensure that the plan is effectively modified and developed to ensure maximum benefit to the organization in the achievement of its objectives (Britannica). In the main evaluation period, the Board of Governors will evaluate the three main areas of the strategic plan:

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Faculty/academics: Whether the faculty that has been interviewed fit the faculty profile and the academic program that has been set.


Organization: Whether the mission, vision, and values remain an integral part of everything the organization is producing and implementing. The Board will also review the finances raised and evaluate their sufficiency in light of the proposed implementation of decisions.


Student: Whether the efforts to date are attracting students who likely fit the student profile that CCU desires to achieve.

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References Cox, W.F. (n.d.) Distinctively Christian character formation: From unnatural to natural. Unpublished manuscript.* Demuth, D. and Demuth, C. (1995). Christian schools. How to get a school going and keep it growing. Tulsa, OK: Del Publications. Encyclopedia Britannica. (n.d.). Marketing evaluation and control. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from on July 27, 2007.* Hunt, C. (1995). External analysis. Unpublished manuscript. Hunt, C. (1995). Evaluation and control procedures. Unpublished manuscript. Loy-Ferri, D. (1997). Core Values for Functional Teams. #303 from Innovative Leader Volume 6, Number 10. October 1997. Retrieved from on July 27, 2007.* McNamara, C. (1997). Basics of developing mission, vision and values statements. Retrieved from on June 22, 2007.* McNamara, C. (1997). Basics of action planning. Retrieved from on July 27, 2007. * MindTools. SWOT Analysis. Discover new opportunities, manage and eliminate threats. Retrieved from on July 27, 2007. * Saffold, G.S. (1994). Strategic planning for Christian organizations. Turning the power of vision into effective ministry. Orlando, FL: The Association of Biblical Higher Education.

* Indicates resources gleaned by the student.

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Starting a Christian School - The Strategic Plan  

Carle Hunt, Ph.D Regent University ECEL752 Advanced Theory & Practice in Operation of a Christian School Mould - 1 Strategic Plan for St...