Rens Rottier has decided to step down as chairman of the Executive Board of Driestar Christian University for Teacher Education at the end of 2022. This brings an end to almost 25 years of administrative responsibility for our institute. Yet Rens Rottier wants to put his knowledge and experience at the service of Christian education for a few more years. Read here his leaving message.
As you probably know, some time ago I took the decision to step down from my role as board member of Driestar Christian University for Teacher Education. I still have a few years to go, if my health allows me, before I can retire. But it seemed better to step back now and allow for a new board member to join Robert Zoutendijk to steer the Driestar ship. I will continue working for our institute as a consultant on leadership and coaching. In that role, I will be supporting leaders and teams in their development mostly in the educational practice. We are happy to announce that a successor has been appointed in the person of Jan Kloosterman. He will start working with us from February 1. We are very pleased with his appointment.
For almost 25 years I was privileged to lead Driestar Christian University for Teacher Education, the last 14 years together with Robert Zoutendijk. A lot has happened in those 25 years. We have gone through many developments. At the centre of all this, is that we have always strived to train teachers based on a biblical vision of man, society, parenting and education. And also provided educational advice. It has been a joy for me to do this work. Not least because it is extremely important how children are brought up, and formed and in what way they are educated. Looking back, I am thankful to God for what He has given us, and I pray for the fruits of our work in the lives of young people and children.
One part of my work was international affairs and internationalisation. The connection and cooperation with partners abroad was an aspect that I enjoyed very much. We participated in different educational networks, received numerous colleagues as guests in Gouda, organised various international activities and programmes. Many people crossed our path that way and long-lasting relationships were formed. During all these years a strong connection was developed with Radiance school in Ukraine (Zhytomyr). In these times especially it has become clear how important that bond is and what it means for them now they are living in such difficult circumstances. They are often in my thoughts and my prayers. I have a lot of respect for the teachers who have stayed and are trying to do their work in such harsh conditions.
Internationalisation was close to my heart because it touched me time and again to see the fire of Christian hope burn in the hearts of people in Christian education worldwide. And to see that we always recognise and acknowledge each other despite the cultural differences and various languages.
Thank you, colleagues, for so much you have taught me and brought to me! I learned that the kingdom of God is much greater, wider and deeper than our own country, church and tradition in which we all stand. The church of God is a worldwide church, in which many cultures, languages, colours and traditions come together and in which we build on the only foundation: Jesus Christ, whose coming into the world we will soon celebrate. In a world that is increasingly confused. Where more and more people and children are losing their way, feeling uncertain and scared, seeing no future ahead.
Let us spread the good news of Christ’s coming, let us live from it and let us be an example to our pupils and young people. Be strong and of good courage, do your work with joy and let the fire of Christian hope burn within you. I wholeheartedly wish you all God’s blessing in your work in Gods Kingdom!