June 28th and 29th, 2018 at Shandon Baptist Church, Columbia, SC Register Now!

SMIN2018ChurchSchool Ministries invites Christian leaders from across the country to join Released Time Bible Education coordinators, educators, and experts at Shandon Baptist Church, as we educate and teach public school students and prepare for the future of Released Time Bible Education in America. This event will bring together leaders and educators of Christian organizations from across the country. The keynote speaker will be Josh McDowell, a Christian apologist, evangelist, and writer.



Teaching Students to know the Bible and follow Jesus

June 28th and 29th, 2018
Shandon Baptist Church
5250 Forest Drive
Columbia SC 29206


That they should teach them (God's testimony and law) to their children, That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children. That they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments. Psalm 78:5-7

A trailblazer for truth and relationships, Josh McDowell has been at the forefront of cultural trends and ground-breaking ministry for over five decades. Josh shares the essentials of the Christian faith in everyday language so that youth, families, churches, leaders, and individuals of all ages are prepared for the life of faith and the work of the ministry. This includes leveraging resources based on years of experiences, new technologies, and strategic partnerships. Since 1960, Josh has delivered more than 27,000 talks to over 25,000,000 people in 125 countries. He has written or co-author of 148 books, including More Than a Carpenter and New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, recognized by World Magazine as one of the top 40 books of the twentieth century. Josh’s books have been translated into 128 different languages. Josh and his wife, Dottie, are quick to acknowledge that after their love for the Lord, and family is their greatest joy and top priority. They have been married 46 years and have four wonderful children and ten beloved grandchildren. Josh McDowell's Ministry is Cru Ministry.



Teaching the Bible to children of the next generation is a task that has its roots in the command given to Israel in Psalm 78. This teaching should lead students to know His works, prepare their hearts, have hope and keep His commandments. What must teachers know and be if they are to reach these outcomes in the lives of the students? This is the question that will be addressed at the 2018 School Ministries Conference. Teachers will be challenged to better know the cultural mindset of their students in order to understand and challenge the thinking of the world. Equipped with this understanding, the sessions throughout the conference will provide insights into how to teach so students will know and follow Jesus. Topics will focus on understanding culture, knowing students, articulating God's redemptive story, bridging to student's lives, selecting and using technology, and designing assessments.

School Ministries, Inc. (SMI), is a non-profit organization that was created in 1991 to assist local communities in the creation of Released Time Bible Education (RTBE) or to strengthen existing programs. SMI promotes RTBE by equipping Christian community leaders with a variety of research and materials to effectively start and maintain RTBE programs, providing information and encouragement through consultation, regular communication, fellowship at events, and prayer. SMI provides educational opportunities and promotes networking of Released Time leaders and teachers through webinars, conferences, and provision of experienced speakers. SMI has amassed knowledge through experts in the areas of in the fi of education, law, and non-profi administration. It also monitors and advises local boards of noteworthy developments in Released Time practices and law. School Ministries opens doors of access for state and local leadership through existing connections and relationships with other national missions and ministries.


Dr. Anita Cooper: Dr. Cooper directs the Bible Teaching program, a program specifically designed to prepare students to teach the Bible in a school setting. Before coming to CIU, she taught Bible in the public schools in Tennessee and West Virginia in grades K-12. Since joining the CIU team in 1985, she has challenged her students to cultivate a passion for teaching the Bible for "heart and mind." She teaches courses in Bible, Bible teaching, education and psychology in Romania, Ukraine, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and New Zealand as well as at CIU. You may find her gardening, reading, doing photography, woodworking or meditating at a coffee shop when she is not engaged in her love of teaching or hanging out with students.

SMIN2018Speakers 0002 Anita Cooper

Dr. Mary Martin: Dr. Martin is the Program Director for Elementary Education and Secondary Bible Education at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago. Mary and her husband Michael reside in Wake Forest, NC, where she divides her time between Chicago and NC. She greatly enjoys training teachers in research-based practices that have the strongest impact on student learning, as well as mentoring young teachers and principals in the field. Mary's research has focused on Christian school principals as instructional leaders. Inaddition to her responsibilities at Moody, Mary frequently shares her experience and research work through conferences and workshops. Mary spent 16 years as a Christian school classroom teacher, 9 years as a Christian school administrator, and is now in her 5th year as program director at Moody. Mary joyfully says, "Any day I am privileged to be working with teachers in the field is a great day."

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Finn Laursen: Mr. Laursen served as Executive Director of Christian Educators Association International for 14 years and since stepping down this school year has been serving as an educational consultant. CEAI ( is a professional association for Christian educators in both the public and private schools. Most of its members are in public schools and they are, in fact, the only national association specifically serving Christian educators in our public schools and have done so since 1953. Their focus is to encourage, equip, and empower Christian educators to make a positive impact in the schools where they serve. Since CEAI provides professional liability and legal representation when needed, many Christian educators are leaving the traditional teachers unions to receive their support from CEAI. Prior to taking the helm of Christian Educators, Finn was a public-school educator in Ohio for 32 years: teacher, middle school & high school counselor, middle school & high school assistant principal, high school principal, and the last 11 years public school superintendent. Over the past 15 years, he has traveled around the country as a speaker and trainer about legal freedoms in our public schools. He has presented in such venues as the National School Board Association Conventions, State Administrators Association Conventions, as well as provided training for ministry leaders in ministries such as Youth For Christ, First Priority, Young Life and Sports World. Finn has testified as an expert witness for educators in local and federal court and led CEAI as a plaintiff in the Friedrichs vs CTA recently heard at the US Supreme Court attempting to stop forced unionism.

SMIN2018Speakers 0004 Finn Laursen

Frank Shimkus: Mr. Shimkus currently serves as the student pastor at Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia, SC. He has served at Shandon for eight years and was a student pastor in Charlotte, NC for four years before that. During his time at Shandon, he has seen the student ministry grow by nearly 75% and has helped Shandon's student ministry get on the Southern Baptist Convention's Student Ministry Top 100 list several times for student baptisms. Frank is married to Ericka, and they have four children: IV, Hank, Duke, and Ginny.

SMIN2018Speakers 0001 Frank Shimkus

Rhett Davis: Rhett Davis, Bible teacher at Charlotte Christian School, has taught high school Old and New Testament Survey courses for twelve years. He is currently finishing a doctoral degree at Columbia International University with a dissertation entitled "Christian High School Factors That Influence Students' Three-Dimensional Worldview." Within his Bible courses, he emphasizes eternal life (knowing God - John 17:3), the unity of the Scripture, the biblical idea of love as a sacrifical choice, and Christian worldview. It is his desire that students know the God of the Bible and his great love for them so that they will enjoy the full life He has uniquely designed for each of them. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Kara, and their six children. He also enjoys reading, playing basketball, and playing with his flying camera (DJI Phantom 3 Standard).

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School Ministries, Inc.
101 Rice Bent Way #6
Columbia, SC 29229
Phone: 803-772-5224
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