Twin Oaks Christian School Chaplain Matt Pannkuk selected to attend exclusive Bible Instruction Symposium in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Matt Pannkuk, TOCS Chaplain and Middle School Coordinator
Photo Credit: Mrs. Anne Marie Ter Maat
By Amanda Compton
Twin Oaks Christian School Chaplain and Middle School Coordinator Mr. Matt Pannkuk is one of 30 school teachers selected worldwide to attend the third annual Bible Instruction Symposium in Washington, D.C., on February 12-14.
Hosted by Christian Schools International, the Symposium is an exclusive professional development opportunity where selected Christian school teachers learn how to advance and improve Bible instruction for their students. Attendees will also get specialized tours of the Museum of the Bible, which opened in 2017 and presents a new way of understanding the cultural and historical importance of God's word.
"I hope to learn ways to make the Bible come alive through more creative and innovative projects and then share those with our teachers as we continue our good practice at Twin Oaks of ensuring Bible class is a priority and not merely 'tacked on' to the core classes," said Pannkuk. "We want our students to be just as learned Bible readers as they are readers of novels, writers of paragraphs and conductors of science experiments."
To qualify for admittance, Pannkuk had to submit an application as well as an essay on Bible instruction expounding upon his philosophical approach on teaching the Bible to his students and on the subjects he believes to be most important.
This conference is unique in that it is built towards teaching the Bible in a classroom setting. While there are a variety of professional development opportunities in other areas like STEM or Language Arts, Pannkuk pointed out, Bible instruction has often been neglected.
"I currently have to take good teaching ideas for other subjects and try to translate those to Bible class," said Pannkuk, adding, "It'll be nice to learn ways to teach that are tailored to the Bible itself from experts who have extensive teaching backgrounds."
The event's keynote speaker is Rebecca McLaughlin, author of Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World's Largest Religion, who holds a Ph.D. in English literature and an M.Div equivalent from Oak Hill Theological College in London. She is also a contributing author for a variety of media outlets such as The Gospel Coalition, Christianity Today and Desiring God.
When asked what he is most looking forward to during this time in Washington, D.C., Pannkuk said, "Definitely the Bible Museum! Since CSI partnered with the the Bible Museum for this conference, we get special access to the museum and specialized tours. I look forward to seeing how the various exhibits make the Bible come alive in the hearts and minds of those who experience them!"
Twin Oaks Christian School, a ministry of Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church