Growing Christian Educators Since 1960
Christian Educators of BC (CEBC), formerly called the Christian Teachers Association of BC (CTABC) had its inception in 1960 when a group of principals and teachers of fledgling Christian schools in the Lower Mainland met together to discuss mutual areas of interest. One of the major concerns was to set up a standardized Bible curriculum and a required memory work list.
‘Conventions’ were soon organized for teachers so they could grow professionally, encourage one another and be inspired to continue teaching God’s children.
During the summer of 1967, a summer school session for Christian teachers was developed to discuss educational theories and curriculum for Christian schools, stressing the integration of faith and learning. Soon after, these pioneer teachers started to discuss how to teach all subjects from a Christian perspective, and subject committees were set up to that end.
Not only did this professional association come together for fellowship, growth and encouragement, they also began organizing sports days and music festivals for their Christian schools. These educators saw the necessity of educating the whole person, since they saw each child as made in the image of God. These were exciting days for both teachers and students of these small, but constantly growing Christian schools.
Teachers from Vancouver Island, and Northern schools Houston and Smithers, joined the fray and kept up to date on happenings in the south, but were unable to participate in these two events until much later. Later, Christian schools were established in Terrace, Vanderhoof and Prince George.
Starting in 1963, the Christian Teachers Association of BC met with their counterparts in Washington, USA. Close cooperation existed among these Christian school teachers and eventually a Convention Planning Committee was established, ruling that conventions were to be held two years State side and two years on the Canadian side of the border.
Attendance grew from 25 to 30 teachers in the 1960’s, to two day, joint conventions of over 1,200 educators. In 2005, a joint convention was held with teachers from the CTABC, Washington, and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). With over 1,700 teachers in attendance, these attendees celebrated the unity in Christ of Christian teachers in British Columbia and Washington.
In 1978, the CTABC was incorporated as an official organization through the Society’s Act of BC; in 1992, the CTABC hired its first executive director, Liz Tolkamp. She was followed by Margaret Venema (1995), who was replaced by Johanna Campbell (1996-2007) and Peter VanHuizen (2007-2015). The current executive director is Tricia Stobbe (2015-present).
Along the way "teacher" members were expanded to "educator" members in recognition of the support staff (early childhood educators, learning assistants, special education assistants and coordinators, library services, English Language Learning instructors, and more) and administrators who also play and important role in Christian education. This was recognized in the name change to Christian Educators of BC in 2016.
From its early beginnings in 1960 this organization has grown to over 1,500 teachers who interact in all subject areas, who emphasize professional and spiritual growth, who seek to integrate their faith, learning and teaching and who mutually support one another in all aspects of their work.
Excerpts taken from the original writing of Johanna Campbell