Every year Bob Jones University hosts the Christian School Recruitment Conference to help connect school recruiters with capable Christian college students. Despite tough economic times, representatives from more than 60 Christian schools attended this year’s conference and sought to fill more than 200 teaching and staff positions.
For recruiters, the conference is a great way to tap into a large pool of talented and prepared students in both education and non-education programs. “BJU is the only school we come to,” says Bryan Wilson, principal of Harford Christian School in Darlington, Maryland. “Grads reflect the institution they come from, and the thing that stands out the most in BJU students is the pursuit of excellence in all things.”
For Eric Moody, dean of students for Dublin Christian Academy in Dublin, New Hampshire, BJU graduates not only line up most closely with his school’s ministry philosophy, they also come well prepared for the challenges of teaching. “We’re looking for disciples who can teach,” he says. “We have found that with BJU grads.”
For students, the conference provides a great way to network prior to graduation. The conference is open to all students, regardless of year or major. Some students even begin attending the conference multiple years prior to graduation to start connecting with potential future employers.
English graduate students Amanda Tisdale, Bethany Phillips and Hannah Mohr came together to the conference. All three came prepared with their resumes even though they are each at different points in the job-seeking process. “I’m just looking to see what’s available for the future,” Amanda says.
For Bethany, the conference is a great place to network. “I’m not graduating till December, but I’m still looking for contacts,” she says.
Hannah, who is graduating in May, is specifically looking for a teaching position in English. She has been networking with numerous schools prior to the conference. She’s using the conference as a time to meet previous contacts face-to-face and to make new contacts.
All three graduate students feel confident and prepared for a teaching position. “In our case, we’re all English graduate assistants,” Hannah says. “Having teaching experience [at BJU] helps us really stand out.”
History major Claire Maldonado also attended the event. She’s a senior looking for a job in teaching history. Going into the conference she felt confident that her liberal arts education had prepared her for the rigors of the classroom. “Being a history major and an art minor, I feel like that gives a lot of creativity,” she says.
Supporting Christian Education
Though only a two-day event, the conference is a major venue for many Christian schools to fill critical teaching and staff positions.
It is also a way for BJU to expose students to the needs of Christian education in general. “We collaborate with schools on what the 21st century Christian school looks like and how we as an institution can help them,” Dr. Brian Carruthers, dean of the School of Education, says.
The Christian School Recruitment Conference is just one of many events hosted by BJU’s Career Services. Additional events and resources include resume-writing workshops, job placement services and networking tools.
Published February 22, 2012