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Conference offers students global teaching opportunities

Carruthers said the Teach the World conference is a major event for the School of Education and Human Services.
Photo: Hannah Guell

BJU’s School of Education and Human Services will host its third annual Teach the World conference on Thursday and Friday, featuring educators from around the world who will share how God is using them to instruct international students.

Open to all who wish to attend, Teach the World will introduce attendees to many opportunities worldwide and show how they can use their talents overseas after they graduate. “This is our third year of [Teach the World] on campus. … [We are] bringing in the idea that there’s a lot of places to serve in a more focused ministry across the world,” said Julie Hartman, chair of the Division of Educational, Child and Family Studies.

Tim Shuman, Association of Christian Schools International regional director, will serve as this year’s keynote speaker on Thursday. After the keynote session, the conference schedule includes alumni interviews, a panel discussion involving BJU staff and faculty members, new study abroad details and a follow-up interview featuring recent BJU graduate Grace Gillespie, who is teaching in Jordan.

Friday morning will conclude the conference with several break-out sessions on cross-cultural service, with an emphasis on what teaching overseas looks like up-close.

Brian Carruthers, dean of the School of Education and Human Services is coordinating all the events and speakers this year along with his leadership team. “[We are] trying to make a concerted effort to explore these opportunities with our students, just to get them thinking that [teaching internationally] could be a possibility,” Carruthers said.

These sessions, in which students will receive an up-close view of what serving internationally looks like, make the conference unique this year. On Friday, one session will highlight former BJU student Katie Zevallos, who will speak about an orphanage ministry she leads in Bogota, Colombia.

During the opening activities, a new faculty member in the Division of Teacher Education, Cait Reid, will also discuss her service in the Dominican Republic and how she used her degree to be a guidance counselor in the country. The following break-out sessions will be held Friday at 9 a.m. with repeat sessions at 10 a.m.:

  • Davis Room – Tim Shuman: Teaching overseas? How does that work?
  • Levinson Hall/Zoom – Katie Zevallos: Following Open Doors – How Taking Advantage of Small Opportunities Led to Serving in Educational Ministries in South America
  • War Memorial Chapel – Lawrence Nagengast/Josh Taylor: Serving in a Multi-faceted, Cross-Cultural Ministry
  • College Point Room – Richie Luttrell: Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Al 110 – Kevin Oberlin: Building Your Cultural Competence for Overseas Work and Ministry

“The conference has changed to broaden students’ understanding of how they can serve overseas,” Hartman said. “We have seen more and more students who are very interested in orphanage ministry.”

She believes Oberlin’s break-out session will benefit students looking to pursue a career internationally. The session will focus on cultural and intercultural fluency, the practical skills one needs to serve overseas.

Other Teach the World guests include representatives from ministries in Honduras, Japan, Guam, China, Puerto Rico, South America and more. The conference will give students a chance to hear from teachers in these ministries and think about where they can fit best in an international setting.

Teach the World aims to broaden students’ ability to teach and communicate internationally, as well as expose them to opportunities worldwide. The School of Education and Human Services is already expanding the curriculum for the Bachelor of Science and Educational Studies with a revised certificate in global education, according to Carruthers. “The whole idea is to prepare students to be able to meet the challenges of a global environment,” he said.

Carruthers said that being prepared to educate and serve worldwide also further motivates students to fulfill the Great Commission and “teach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).