In the spring of 1972, after 5 years teaching science and coaching football in secular schools, I became increasingly concerned that much of what I was teaching was in conflict with my belief in the Bible. My son was 9 months old at the time. I concluded that I did not want him taught things that conflicted with Biblical truth, and I did not want him to be coached by men who did not share my convictions. I began to pray that God would show me what I should to as a Christian who loved teaching and coaching. That summer, while finishing up my Master’s degree in school administration, I learned that the church I grew up in had purchased property to begin a Christian high school and they needed a high school principal. Several of my friends encouraged me to apply for the position.
As I read and studied Christian education I realized that Christian schooling was the answer I had been seeking. My career in Christian education began in the summer of 1972. After 4 years as the high school principal of Evangelical Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee, I was promoted to Head of School and served in that capacity for the next 16 years. ECS grew to an enrollment of 1520 students during those years, and I had wonderful opportunities to work with other Christian schools.
I developed a framework for Strategic Planning for ECS. Other schools heard about the framework and asked me to consult with them to implement the framework in their schools. Little did I know that God was preparing me to consult with many other schools across the United States, Canada, Korea, and several other countries.
In 1992 I was asked to be the Executive Director of the Institute for Christian School Development in Colorado. In 1994 I became President of SchoolMasters, a research and consulting group in Colorado Springs. I served at SchoolMasters for another 2 years. During those 4 years in Colorado I had the opportunity to work with over 200 schools around the world.
In 2002, I left SchoolMasters to become Superintendent of Westminster Christian Academy in Louisiana for the next 6 years, then 3 years as Head of School at Shoals Christian in Florence, Alabama. In 2005, I became Vice President for Christian School Education at Columbia International University where I served until 2013. Those years at Westminster, Shoals Christian, and CIU allowed many more opportunities to consult with Christian schools, not only in strategic planning, but in board training, teacher development, administrative training and team building, and financial planning for schools.
I was blessed by the friendship of Bryan Miller, who after a successful career in banking, served as Head of School at ECS (my former school) for 14 years. Bryan and I spent hours together talking and praying about the needs of Christian School leaders. Bryan and I formed Bowdon Miller Shepherding Group in 2013 because of our love for Christian schooling and our love for the men and women who strive to provide leadership for the cause of Christian schooling.
For the past 23 years, the Christian School Roundtable has been a great encouragement and learning experience for over 100 Christian school leaders from all parts of the globe. I was blessed to serve as Moderator of the Roundtable after the death of its founder, Paul Young. The relationships built over the years through the Roundtable have allowed me to understand the ever increasing needs of Christian school leaders.
My experiences in 47 years of involvement in Christian education have convinced me that God is at work to build His Kingdom as we invest in training the next generation to put their confidence in Him. I look forward to many more years of serving God in the cause of Christian schooling.