Develop practical knowledge, skills, and strategies that will enable faith-based communities and public schools to establish collaborative partnerships in order to raise achievement levels of all students.
The Leadership Institute for Faith and Education: Building Partnerships for Equity, Justice, and Student Success
How can faith communities and local public schools become more engaged partners in the work of improving student achievement and outcomes, while being mindful of important constitutional parameters separating church and state?
A growing number of faith-based organizations and public schools have formed meaningful, clearly-defined partnerships across the American educational landscape. Communities are creating the change they want to see locally by reaching across previously perceived divides: building relationships, programs, and advocacy together — all in support of student and community success in chronically under-resourced parts of the country.
The Leadership Institute for Faith and Education: Building Partnerships for Equity, Justice, and Student Success provides attendees with a model for developing effective partnerships between faith-based organizations and public schools, to address and elevate student achievement. Participants will examine evidence-based information that supports the importance of faith-based organizations partnering with local public schools, particularly in historically-marginalized urban and rural communities. Participants will also explore examples of successful partnerships between faith-based organizations and public schools at a local, regional, and national level. Finally, participants will be asked to develop an initial action plan for moving their learning from theory to practice — in partnership with others in their immediate community.
In this four-week online workshop, participants will explore research and best practices around the issue of education and faith-based partnerships.
- Surveying the state of public education in America, exploring the inequities that persist for vulnerable students and communities, and the rationale for partnerships with faith-based organizations
- Understanding how faith-based organizations can serve as essential community partners for improving student achievement outcomes, and exploring opportunities to build interfaith initiatives
- Examining Critical Race Theory, which includes the historical context for faith-based and public education partnerships, rooted in both equity and social justice principles and movements
- Creating effective partnerships while upholding the United States Constitution
- Learning how to establish effective faith-based/education partnerships using case studies and testimonials to understand successes and pitfalls
This learning experience is largely asynchronous (self-paced), and includes two live webinars. This program takes place within the learning management system Canvas, and includes a suggested weekly schedule with two days per week for assignments due, to provide a guiding structure. Completing assignments on the recommended schedule is not mandatory but allows participants to engage with and learn from the entire cohort, which helps to build a community of practice. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate of completion worth 20 clock hours. Follow-up webinars will help connect and sustain the LIFE community and further its work.
- Examine the rationale for systemic, integrated faith-based and education partnerships (in contrast to random acts of partnership) based on the following four core principles of community organizing:
- Local leadership development
- Realistic, measurable, and scalable achievement outcomes
- Building programmatic and advocacy coalitions across social, political, and religious boundaries
- Accountability for public officials in faith-based organizations and schools
- Explore the historical context for faith-based and education partnerships, in particular the importance of critical race theory in understanding the rationale for partnerships between school and church. Analyze the First Amendment to the Constitution and its two clauses, the Establishment.
- Clause and the Free Exercise Clause, as they offer parameters, possibilities, and limits to faith-based organizations and education partnerships.
- Explore and analyze the components of key successful, working examples of faith-based and education partnerships.
- Devise an Action Plan with which to return to schools, faith-based organizations, and community structures.
Who Should Attend
This program is designed for a wide variety of educators, community partners, foundation officials, faith-based leaders, and public policymakers who are interested in exploring ways to establish effective collaborative partnerships that can improve student outcomes and close persistent performance, especially in historically marginalized communities. Participants may include:
- Public school educators (teachers, principals, and superintendents) working in under-resourced public and private schools (urban, rural, suburban) with significant African American, Hispanic, and low-income populations
- Leaders from a diverse range of faith-based, ethical and moral communities, e.g. Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc., and those many others who share an interest in ensuring equitable opportunities for children to succeed and achieve academically and in life.
- Foundation officials interested in understanding and funding faith-based and education partnerships;
- Public policymakers interested in the role of religion in civic life.
- Other non-profit and corporate leaders who see their work as being a part of the larger ecosystem of supports that will enable more equitable and thriving communities.
The institute is developing a community cohort model to drive the most meaningful impact. We strongly encourage team registration with representation from a cross-section of stakeholders from each of the three sectors: the faith community, a local policymaker, and school-based personnel to best support design and implementation. Individuals are also welcome to apply.
Senior Lecturer on Education
Fees & Policies
Participants receive a certificate of participation and a letter confirming clock hours of instruction. Payment or a purchase order must be received within 30 days of program acceptance, or upon receipt of the invoice if acceptance is within 30 days prior to the start of the program. Click here for more information on payment and financial aid.
Please click here for more information on our on-campus and online refund and withdrawal policies.
The Harvard Graduate School of Education reserves the right to change faculty or cancel programs at its discretion. In the unlikely event of program changes, the school is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred.