Planning for the Future: Vision 2020
By Jeff Freeman, CEO
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
At Heritage, we believe in that hope and promise. We believe in that future, and we believe in and pray for God’s direction. That’s why we’ve been involved in a strategic planning process to ensure the school’s (and our students’) ongoing upward trajectory.
Strategic planning is the process of preparing a road map of how you want to get from where you are (current state) to where you want to go (future state). It’s the process of making our vision a reality.
God establishes strategic planning as one of the ways He works in and through His people. When we call on His name and seek Him, God gives us strategies. Heritage Christian has a robust strategic planning process that recently developed “Vision 2020.”
Our next-step Vision 2020 strategic plan was established by reviewing and re-affirming the mission, vision and dream statements already in place, and utilizing the format previously used in our Vision 2017 strategic plan. We wanted to continue the positive momentum we had achieved in recent years. We then listened to our community via surveys and small group forums such as the CEO Advisory Council, the Diversity Advisory Council and the Faculty Advisory Council.
Through conversations, constructive criticism, benchmarking, data collection and prayerful review, we identified the top challenges facing Heritage. Our Leadership Team worked with our Board and the Strategic Planning Committee of the Board (represented by board members, parents, faculty and leadership) to create a plan to address those challenges.
Our Vision 2020 Strategic Plan is built with five pillars and has 20 strategic objectives. (See our full strategy map below.) Our five pillars are:
- Academics – Excellence in Education
- Discipleship – Teach, Mentor, Train
- People – Connect, Enrich, Develop
- Advancement – Expand Our Reach
- Financial – Secure Our Future
Let me share with you a summary of our objectives in these areas.
Academics - We will seek and achieve excellence in academics.
We are pleased by the recognition received as an outstanding college prep school, and will passionately work to maintain that distinction. We will do that by investing in our curriculum, making it the best it can be. We will also be innovative in how we deliver our educational product, while understanding that different students have different learning needs and styles. We will intensify our pathway to college services to help address those needs, recognizing that our families desire a place where their children are prepared for the future, using their God-given talents and abilities to find their place in His world.
- High academic achievement and recognition
- Invest in the continual enhancement of the curriculum
- Be innovative in educational delivery methods and learning differentiation
- Intensify pathway to college services
Discipleship - We will improve the ways we teach, mentor and train the next generation of leaders to impact the world for Christ.
Our culture of intentional discipleship, in the form of our Teach, Mentor, Train model, is what distinguishes our school. We must never lose that focus or priority. However, the challenges we face in our culture are changing. We must continually look for new and enhanced ways to meet the changing needs of our students and families as we develop the leaders of tomorrow. While we remain committed to our core discipleship values, we also recognize an increasing need to balance that with an evangelistic approach. Our desire is to develop life-long disciples of Christ.
- Elevate culture of discipleship maximizing our Teach, Mentor, Train distinctive
- Increase programs and resources to support students and families
- Be evangelistic within our discipleship model
- Enhance student leadership and development programs
People – We will connect, enrich, and develop our people.
We will create an environment to have an even more carefully recruited, developed and diverse professional workforce, dedicated to Christ and Christian education. They will be better paid and better trained, integrating our Teach, Mentor, Train discipleship model into every facet of the educational and extracurricular experience at Heritage. We must pour into our faculty and staff, both professionally and spiritually, and never take the latter for granted. We must attract and retain the best and brightest worthy servants, plan for their development, and eventually plan for orderly succession.
- Invest in recruitment, development and retention of a strong and diverse team
- Enhance professional and spiritual development opportunities
- Plan for leadership succession in key roles
- Enrich biblical diversity within our community
Advancement – We will expand our reach and impact for Christ.
We earnestly desire to expand our reach for the Kingdom of God. We want more families to experience the inspiring Christian education provided by Heritage. We need to grow to be able to maximize our impact for Christ. We will market ourselves and tell our story within our community, balancing our target constituencies. We will complete our Thrive Campaign and achieve our stated objectives of debt reduction, increased compensation for faculty and staff, and growth strategies. We will address other deferred facilities capital needs through communication and fundraising. We will position ourselves to maximize participation in the Indiana School Choice program, making a Heritage Christian education available to more families, without being over-reliant or over-dependent in any way on the program. We will continue to make our needs known within our community as we pursue excellence in education and we will give God the glory as He works to meet those needs.
- Expand our reach by growing enrollment
- Identify marketing strategies to maximize and balance our target markets
- Execute successful completion of Thrive campaign objectives (read more)
- Enlarge our scope and impact for Christ
Financial – We will be further on our way to securing our financial future.
God has blessed His school as we continue to address our financial needs. Praise God for what He has done. We are, however, not yet where we need to be. We still need to eliminate debt, increase net assets and improve cash flow. We will increase revenue by growing student enrollment and keeping tuition increases moderate. We will maintain our value and market position as a high quality provider of outstanding educational, discipleship and extracurricular services and programs at the lowest cost possible. We will be positioned to take advantage of strategic opportunities that God may bring our way; opportunities to make even more impact for Christ, to more families in our community.
- Enhance our financial position by eliminating debt, increasing net assets and improving cash flow
- Increase revenue by growing enrollment and implementing moderate tuition increases
- Communicate and address our facility capital needs
- Address technology platform needs and streamline dataflow and processes
The preferred future for Heritage is summed up in our Dream Statement.
Heritage Christian School will be a light that shines in the darkness, a premier institution increasingly recognized as a model and benchmark of relevant 21st century Christian education, transforming lives and reaching the world for Christ.
Our vision for the future is rooted in the firm foundation of our mission.
Our mission is to Glorify God through the Discipleship of Students and the Pursuit of Excellence in education with the Bible as our foundation and Jesus Christ as our focus.
These two statements speak powerfully to why we exist, who we are, and what we want to become. We believe Vision 2020 will play an important part in achieving our mission and goals. Please pray for the successful implementation of this plan and that Heritage will continue becoming everything that God wants it to be.