BJU hosts annual Christian school recruitment conference

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BJU hosts annual Christian school recruitment conference

In addition to teachers, the Christian schools at the conference, pictured here in 2020, are looking to recruit information technology staff, business managers, librarians and maintenance workers.
Photo: Harmony Wallace

Over 70 schools from across the United States and the world will come to Bob Jones University this week to recruit students and attend workshops by BJU faculty members as part of BJU’s annual Christian School Recruitment Conference.

BJU split its annual Christian School Recruitment Conference into two different events this year. The national conference will take place today and tomorrow, featuring schools from across the United States. For the first time, BJU also plans to host a separate international conference on Thursday and Friday for education organizations or schools outside the U.S.

Dr. Brian Carruthers, dean of the School of Education and Human Services, encouraged all BJU students to attend the conference, regardless of their major. Feaby Vera Cruz, assistant director of internships and employment in Career Services, said schools need people to fill a variety of roles. She said schools have hired BJU graduates in fields such as athletic coaching, graphic design, accounting and technology.

“It’s not just for education majors,” Carruthers said. “This [conference] is for the entire University family. We want students to go by to see what opportunities are there. … You never know how the Lord can use this opportunity to work in somebody’s heart.”

The incentive to break up the conference came when vendor signups outgrew the available display space in the Davis Room. Even after the split, BJU still had so many schools applying that it had to put some U.S.-based applicants on a waiting list.

“We’ve never done [two separate conferences] before, so we’re kind of stepping out in faith and seeing how it goes, Carruthers said.

BJU made another change this year: the School of Education and Human Services will hold its annual Teach the World conference for students during the international recruitment conference, featuring special student activities and breakout sessions on Friday morning at 9 and 10 a.m.

“When we made the decision to split the two conferences apart, it just made sense to take the Teach the World and the international recruitment conference[s] and do [them] at the same time,” Carruthers said.

Even if they are not yet looking for a job, Carruthers said students will still benefit from attending the conference. “I believe very strongly that these conferences are great ways to build relationships with our students,” Carruthers said. “That’s why I encourage freshmen, sophomores[and] juniors [to attend]. They may not be graduating, but they need to go and start building relationships with these folks.”

The national conference school representatives will set up their displays in the Davis Room as usual. The national conference will host representatives from 69 domestic schools. The international conference will feature 11 international schools or education organizations such as school associations and even mission boards. International conference recruitment representatives will set up around the second level of the student center lobby.

BJU will also offer several workshops to the school recruitment representatives attending the conference. On Monday, Dr. Scott Buhr, a faculty member from the Division of Teacher Education, will give a workshop titled “Technology Doesn’t Teach—Teachers Do!” The workshop will discuss the best practices for integrating technology into the classroom. Monday evening will also feature an optional Best Practice Round Table Idea Swap” for school representatives to discuss best practices.

On Tuesday, David Lovegrove, chief marketing officer for BJU, will give a workshop titled “Marketing Unprecedented—How COVID Changed the Marketing of Education and Opened New Opportunities to Thrive.”

Students attending the conference should wear professional dress, which Carruthers defined as class attire at minimum, and download the school directory from the event website because the conference will not provide a printed directory. Students should also bring a resume and prepare for in-the-spot interviews.