(This feature originally appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of The ECHO Magazine.)
In the fall of 2022, Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School began its first-ever cohort for the online Doctor of Education: Educational Leadership (EdD) program.
LBC | Capital’s EdD online program is designed for educators who desire to make a difference through servant leadership and are inspired to lead positive, systemic change to influence teaching and learning for all students.
The first cohort consists of three impressive educators with varied backgrounds who each have a passion to lead well as they impact students’ lives.
“Seeing these three women walk across the stage to receive their diplomas and doctoral hoods will be such a joy!” said Dr. Robin S. Bronkema, Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Programs for the Education Department. “We are proud to have them represent the first cohort of the EdD in Educational Leadership at LBC | Capital, as they are women who have demonstrated a love for the Lord and a deep commitment to education through their leadership roles as teachers, advocates and researchers, as well as their ministry roles in the local church. Their unique experiences have been instructive to me.”
Meet Beth Manyara, Pearl Pope and Aeseun Yoon:
My educational background before LBC | Capital: I attended Rosedale Bible College (it was still an Institute in those days!) right out of high school and earned a one-year Biblical Studies Certificate. Later, I completed my undergraduate and master’s degrees in Special Education at The Ohio State University.
How I have served in the field of education: I have been involved in teaching in some form since high school—teaching Sunday school, leading Wednesday morning Bible study at school or volunteering in the Life Skills classroom. While on a mission team in Russia, I found my passion for teaching students with special needs. After college graduation, I worked at West Nairobi School, Kenya, as a resource teacher. Ours was the only American curriculum school that offered a class for higher-need students and a direct instruction Corrective Reading program that I brought with me. I learned a lot about how to be resourceful, collaborate with other teachers and approach special education from an “out of the box” perspective. When I returned to the U.S., I substitute taught for a few years, then started my current job with PA Migrant Education. Working alongside immigrant families and students has been a tremendous privilege.
My professional goals in education include: I want to continue to expand my advocacy for English Language Learner students and their families. My goal is to provide consultation services for schools in best practice immigrant family engagement strategies and how the world of education can adjust policy to ensure ELL student success. I have also dreamed of opening a school that is unique in how it approaches newcomer learning, focusing on explicit reading instruction for any student who needs it and other skills necessary for success after graduation.
Why I chose LBC | Capital for my EdD: First, it was in a format that I was able to access without moving my family! Being fully online allowed me to rearrange my life with minimal disruption to my children. I also live nearby, so I can go to campus if I ever have the need. Secondly, the Educational Leadership program class list was exactly what I had been looking for in a degree. I was super excited to learn the material in each course description. And lastly, LBC has a wonderful reputation in this area, and I was confident that not only would the course content be rigorous, but a Christian worldview would be upheld at the highest level of integrity.
Thus far, the best aspect of LBC | Capital’s EdD program has been: The professors! Each has been well-suited to the topics they teach. Their passion for education, willingness to work with the extra challenges of adult education and expertise have been a blessing to me. They integrate faith seamlessly into the content and challenge us to think deeply about how it impacts our leadership. I also am enjoying getting to know the two other amazing ladies in this cohort. They bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our discussions that I have learned so much from. I am excited to continue this journey with them.
I am grateful for my life’s calling in education because: Education is one field that is never boring, always presenting new challenges! It keeps me learning and growing. It is also an honor to be a part of an immigrant student’s journey. As I have worked to advocate for my students, I have gained so much from their stories and the obstacles they have overcome adjusting to life in the U.S. Quality education makes all the difference, and it is humbling to be in a position to influence lives.
My educational background before LBC | Capital: I earned an Master of Science in Children’s Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Administration before attending LBC | Capital for Educational Leadership. In addition to continuing my education, I have taken additional courses for teaching middle school, students with disabilities and early childhood literacy teaching.
How I have served in the field of education: As an educator, I have had the privilege of serving in several capacities, such as a mentor to new teachers, a teacher leader to help support my colleagues, a grade leader to coordinate curriculum and instruction and a parent liaison to help build relationships between families and the school community. These experiences have shaped my perspectives and approach in the field of education and inspired me to continue my professional development by pursuing an EdD.
My professional goals in education include: My goals are ambitious, but I believe in aiming high. I hope to improve the quality of education and opportunities for all students, especially those with disabilities. I aspire to open a Christian early childhood education center. I strive to become a respected scholar and researcher who can inform and influence educational policies and practices.
Why I chose LBC | Capital for my EdD: While looking for a doctorate program in Educational Leadership, I stumbled upon LBC | Capital. After researching the school, I found that it had a Christian foundation, and Christian values were one of the main reasons I chose it. As a Christian, I value the integration of faith and knowledge and its ability to guide moral decision-making and service. Moreover, the program’s emphasis on servant leadership aligns with my personal and professional values.
Thus far, the best aspect of LBC | Capital’s EdD program has been: The peer discussion has been one of the finest features. I value the opportunity to learn from and interact with peers from different backgrounds and life experiences. It has been intellectually stimulating and rewarding to challenge each other’s perspectives and exchange ideas. I also appreciate the integration of the Christian faith in the courses, as it has allowed for a deeper exploration of theological concepts and their practical application in real-world scenarios.
I am grateful for my life’s calling in education because: I have a direct impact on the lives of my students, and it gives me joy and fulfillment to see them grow and develop academically and personally. Education is a powerful tool for empowering individuals and communities, and contributing to it is a true privilege.
Aeseun Yoon (’19)
My educational background before LBC | Capital: Bachelor of Science in Materials Science & Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from University of Maryland at College Park; Reading Recovery certificate from St. Mary’s University; graduate certificate in Teaching Standards from George Washington University; National Board Certified Teacher; Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from LBC | Capital.
How I have served in the field of education: 24 years of teaching experience from Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland as a classroom teacher, team leader, Reading Recovery teacher and currently as a reading interventionist; 30 years of Sunday school teaching; Director of Young Children’s Ministry and Director of Children’s Ministry; wrote Sunday school curriculum for birth to grade 2 as well as for Vacation Bible School and Halloween-alternative programs that were used at my church for over 10 years.
My professional goals in education include: Professor at home church’s Bible institute to educate and train Sunday school teacher volunteers and Sunday school directors; principal at a Christian school.
Why I chose LBC | Capital for my EdD: I had just retired from 30 years of Sunday school service, was curious about the program and contacted LBC. It was an online program that seemed feasible while still working full time during the day and matched my future interest as a principal of a Christian school, which had been in my mind even though currently I am employed at a secular public school system. Subsequently, I began the process of application, and I found that the process was quick and efficient. Before I knew it, I was enrolled in the program!
Thus far, the best aspect of LBC | Capital’s EdD program has been: Unlike secular education programs that I have experienced before, in this program I can feel that the professors and the classmates are true Christian siblings. I love how we care for each other and pray for each other as we go through the program together.
I am grateful for my life’s calling in education because: I am no longer at a budding stage of my professional career, but God is still preparing me to be used for His purposes through the EdD program.