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LEADERSHIP. It’s a highly valued commodity, especially in today’s world, but what is really being done to cultivate it? We look at our military as creating leaders. In colleges, leaders are developed, but oftentimes they’re thrown into a position based on popularity or willingness instead of proven attributes. We elect leaders. We work for leaders. We want better leaders. But what are we doing about developing leaders for tomorrow?

Where is leadership taught in high school? Biblical leadership should be a foundational element in the curriculum throughout a Christian school, however it’s rare to see a dedicated course where the goal is to teach teenagers the fundamentals of what it takes to lead others.

In the fall of 2020, Veritas Christian Academy (Sparta, NJ) introduced a new outdoor leadership course, called GoLeader1, that uses the outdoors as a classroom. The course is designed to equip emerging young leaders with the personal skills, character, faith & fortitude necessary to lead a group of people regardless of the circumstances.

GoLeader1 was born out of a God-given burden placed on the heart of Tom Argersinger, a life-long educator who has worked in urban, suburban and rural areas, and is the newly appointed principal at Veritas.

“These experiences throughout my thirty plus years of education and helping with missions convinced me that our world desperately needs leaders of faith, skill and proven character — leaders who will take the initiative to inspire & influence people toward true success,” said Argersinger.

While new to Northern New Jersey, the GoLeader1 program has been part of Argersinger’s curriculum as an educator since 2006. This fall the GoLeader1: Basic Level is being taught at Veritas Christian Academy where it uses mission-driven sessions in the outdoors to develop key practical skills in leading small teams including how to use healthy, clear & concise interpersonal communication, acting with a strong inner compass of character, and applying innovative solutions to real world challenges.

The course is taught 2 days a week, and is strategically placed in the Veritas curriculum as a foundation for a growing emphasis at the school on rigorous academics taught from a worldview based on timeless truth, values & virtues, deep spiritual formation and real world leadership.

“Our long-term desire is to expand the GoLeader1 Program to include part-time students from Sussex and the surrounding counties, so that more and more students are prepared to answer the call to lead in a chaotic world,” remarked Argersinger. “The program has been designed to offer basic, intermediate and senior leader levels so that students can hone their leadership techniques as they progress.”