Skip to main content
Classical Christian MovementSCL Updates

SCL Movement Leadership Distinctives, Part II: Shared Leadership

By January 31, 2024No Comments

← Back to Resources

“A movement is marked by an attractive, clear, unifying vision for the future together with a strong set of values or beliefs.”  –Tim Keller


A movement is not centralized institution-building or bureaucratic bloat or pragmatic prescription or detached pronouncements. This is, in part, because the scale and reach of a movement is expansive. SCL, as an organization rooted in old, enduring ideas, is committed to learning from the past and from the present expertise and wisdom of those who share the same convictions we do. 

Shared Leadership

Thus, the second distinctive of our work is the idea of shared leadership. Shared leadership means we actively involve, engage, and solicit our constituents to acquire the collective wisdom of those we serve, for the good of the movement. It doesn’t mean we stick our thumb in the wind and do what the majority says we should do. No, it is an acknowledgment that hearing from the schools and leaders we serve is essential to understanding how best to support them. Inviting knowledgeable, discerning voices to help form our initiatives makes each idea better. Seeking wise input and meaningful participation ensures our work is not only informed by, but built by, the people who will most benefit from it.

A Strategic Approach

Shared leadership is also a strategic approach to movement leadership. It is equally important in and outside of the schools we serve. Education is composed of an ecosystem of various institutions that must work in tandem to be effective. If K-12 schools are flourishing but higher education and philanthropy is floundering, it is difficult to exert any sustained influence. SCL works with a myriad of groups and leaders, from think tanks to curriculum companies, not only to build thriving schools, but to advance a compelling vision for classical Christian education.  

A Posture of Humility

How does this actually work? It is not simply surveying and asking for passive feedback. SCL currently interacts with numerous partners and advisory groups to compose and refine our strategic plan. For example, we have a group of twenty-five heads that not only provide input on our strategic initiatives, but form working groups to complete projects (such as our accreditation standards). They commit to regular calls and meeting in person twice a year to work on projects. We also are in a continual state of soliciting feedback from donors and consultants from outside organizations. The collaborative approach sharpens our focus and gives us insight we could not acquire otherwise. 

We don’t approach classical Christian education, even as a support organization to hundreds of schools, as having it all figured out. We believe the tradition invites a continuous posture of humility, inquiry, and openness to the deep wells of the past and our co-laborers in the present that are accessible but often untapped. We call this shared leadership.

In his book, The Rise of Movements, Steve Addison says for a cause to become a movement, it needs: pioneering leaders, contagious relationships, rapid mobilization, and adaptive methods. Our prayer is that we can, in unity with our peers and colleagues, form an expansive and formidable coalition of like-minded educational leaders for the good of families, schools, the culture, and the kingdom of God. 



Summer Conference 2024 - National Harbor, Maryland

Join us for a gathering of classical Christian educators from around the world as we consider what it means to build school communities and welcome the outside through biblical hospitality.

As a member, you receive access to all of the most recent summer conference content, including 80+ workshops, plenary speakers, etc., plus access to the full library of past content.

Conference Sessions

Ensure increased visibility for your school by having it listed on the Find a School Map, connecting you with potential students and families seeking a classical Christian learning environment.

Map Feature

Unlock a wealth of exclusive resources, such as research studies and articles, providing valuable insights and knowledge for your school's continuous improvement.


Enable your school to easily post job openings and attract qualified candidates with the Career Center, simplifying the hiring process.

Career Center

Enjoy exclusive discounts on all SCL events and services, empowering you to access valuable resources and opportunities for your school's growth at a more affordable cost.

Exclusive Discounts

Get access to exclusive cohorts and workshops!

Cohorts and Workshops

SCL conducts school-wide surveys to provide relevant information to the classical Christian community as well as access to in-depth research with partner organizations like the Barna Group.


A connected community of classical Christian thought leaders, including heads of school, board members, marketing and admissions directors, development and fundraising directors, academic deans, grammar and upper school heads, and teachers from all grade levels are here to support and encourage one another.


Member-exclusive Coaching Call sessions. 15-20 online sessions each year from key-thought leaders on topics ranging from legal and operational issues to pedagogical and philosophical discussions. Think of it as a mini-conference each month!

Coaching Calls

Gain new insight, knowledge, and skills around best practices in a short, intensive format with workshops or a year-long mentorship experience with cohorts. Designed for administrators, teachers, parents, leaders, and department heads – anyone seeking to learn and grow in their role.

Conference & Workshops

Our network of seasoned professionals is available to navigate your questions and brainstorm solutions with you. Let us know how you want to direct your time and we will pair you with the senior leader that best suits your school’s unique needs.