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Conference Profile: Christian Higher Education Canada (CHEC)

Last Updated: 4/2/2020

Christian Higher Education Canada is going through a leadership change. Dr. Justin Cooper, who has been leading CHEC for 10 years is stepping down and Dr. Aileen Van Ginkel will assume duties as CHEC’s new Executive Director on September 1, 2020. Dr. Van Ginkel is especially known because of her leadership in the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC). For more details, see the CHEC press release.

Upcoming conference date and location They have postponed their May 2020 conference until Spring 2021 in response to the COVID outbreak.  It will be held at Ambrose University in Calgary.  Details are on their conference web page.
Airport The best airport to use is the Calgary International Airport.
Theme The conference theme was announced as, “Advancing Christian Higher Education in a Changing World: Meeting Disruption with Creativity and Integrity.”  It will focus on the question: “Given current demographics and Canadian cultural realities, what are the distinctive value propositions and best business models for Christian Higher Education?”
Website www.checanada.ca
Mission, purpose, niche The mission of CHEC is to advance the efficiency and effectiveness of Christian higher education at member schools, including fostering institutional cooperation and to raise public awareness of the value of Christian Higher Education in Canada.
The members collaborate on initiatives such as

to a network for community based research and occasional conferences on relevant topics.

Number of schools associated with the organization Members include 35 accredited, degree-granting institutions representing a broad spectrum of undergraduate and graduate Christian higher education within Canada and serving over 16,000 students.
Number of Administrators Attending and Schools Represented at Last Conferences Attendance for the last three conferences has been untypically smaller than usual.  This is because they experimented with having shorter conferences so that they could meet in conjunction with another association’s meeting.  So, 20 administrators from 15 schools attended in 2019 compared to the 50 administrators from 25 schools that attended in 2015.  For their next conference, they will return to the older format of having full-length conferences that are not in conjunction with the other association’s meeting.  Thus, they hope to again have around 50 administrators from 25 colleges.
Primary type of attendees CHEC rotates the focus of their conferences so as to have special training for different types of academic administrators on different years.  Every year, they have a track for presidents.  The second track (i.e., the track that changes each year) can be for CFOs, chief academic officers, chief student development officers and possibly other administrators.  A former track that will probably be repeated was for faculty members.  They presented papers that were then published by CHEC.

The upcoming 2021 conference will be for Presidents and CFOs.

Recent Keynote Speakers (and years)
  • James Houston 2012
  • Bruce Hindmarsh 2012
  • Gary Stratton 2015
  • John Stackhouse 2018
  • Victor Shepherd 2018
  • David Guretzki 2019
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