Webinar: What does Athens have to do with Abuja? Classical Christian education in Africa

What does Athens have to do with Abuja? Classical Christian education in Africa

From March 12, 2024 at 7:30AM Pacific Time

Dr. Timothy Dernlan
Karen Elliot
John and Gwen Cicone

Classical Christian schools are an excellent discipleship environment and part of a global mission strategy.

Learn how CCE is working across different cultures and how your school could help encourage and provide CCE to children in need particularly in Africa.

We would love for more schools to partner with us by praying, sponsorship, or sending educators from their school for short or long-term missions in Africa.

Dr. Timothy Dernlan

VP, Member Services & Advancement, ACCS

Today’s Host: Dr. Timothy Dernlan earned a B.A. in Education and Communication at Purdue University, an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership at Lehigh University, and an Ed.D. (minor in Christian Theology) in Leadership Studies at Ashland University. Named the Ashland University Outstanding Graduate of 2013. He is an experienced Christian school leader and has served in administration of three K-12 schools. Tim won several state and national wrestling titles, earned NCAA All-American honors at Purdue University, and competed at the final Olympic Trials in 2000 and 2004, and was named 2008 NCAA Region II Coach-of-the-Year before turning his focus to Christian education. He has experience teaching theater, math, rhetoric, physical education, personal finance, communication, leadership, and systematic theology. Tim now serves ACCS as VP, Member Services and Advancement.

Karen Elliot

Karen has served with Rafiki since 1990, including twelve years on the mission field, primarily in Nigeria. Upon returning to the U.S., she became the Director of Africa Operations responsible for managing the ChildCare and Education Programs for all ten Rafiki Villages as well as curriculum development. In 2012 she was named Rafiki’s Executive Director. Prior to joining Rafiki, she worked ten years in the banking industry as a commercial lender, Management trainer, and Vice President. She holds a BBA in finance/accounting and music minor from Southern Methodist University, Masters degree in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) from University of Texas (Arlington) and is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Faulkner University. Karen is a member of St. Andrews Chapel in Sanford, FL, and served for many years as a teaching leader for Bible Study Fellowship while in Texas and in Africa. Karen served as a founding board member for LifeHouse, a home for unwed mothers in Houston, Texas. She also serves as President of the Rafiki Education Foundation the umbrella organization of the Rafiki Classical Academy, Eustis, Florida. She was also recently published in The Consortium: A Journal of Classical Christian Education with an article entitled,”What Does Athens have to do with Abuja?: Why a Christian Liberal Arts Education Is Appropriate for and Essential to African Church Schools”.

John and Gwen Cicone

John and Gwen learned about the Rafiki Foundation from a friend who went on a short-term mission trip to Liberia. In September of 2020, they contacted Rafiki and began exploring the possibility of becoming missionaries in Africa. In March of the following year, they committed to serving with Rafiki with a goal of going to the field in August 2022.

Gwen, with a B.F.A. in Painting and an M.A. in Teaching, began her teaching career in public schools in Virginia and Baltimore. In 1998, Gwen started work at Redeemer Classical Christian school where she developed the art curriculum for the entire K-12 program. She now shares her experience as a mother, educator, and artist in her varied roles at the Rafiki Village Tanzania. Currently, she serves as Childcare Administrator, the Dean of Art and Music for the RICE program, and the liaison for the Widows Exchange program.

John has a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.Ed. in Education Leadership. After working in the environmental and telecommunications industries for ten years, he began his education career in 2001 at Redeemer Classical Christian school teaching math and physics to grades 7-12. He currently serves at the Rafiki Village as Head Administrator for the Secondary school. He also works closely with the national staff on maintenance of the Rafiki Village and with the IT department.

“I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.” Ecclesiastes 3:14 (ESV)