Celebrating Forty Years of Heart and Mind Discipleship:
A Brief History of the C.S. Lewis Institute
J. Edward Glancy, J.D., C.S. Lewis Institute Fellow
with Joel S. Woodruff, Ed.D., President, C.S. Lewis Institute
Exponential Growth: 2010–2014
When Kerry Knott became President of CSLI, he had a long history of senior-level government and corporate experience. He had been Senior Vice President, Government Affairs at Comcast; Senior Director, Government Affairs at Microsoft; and Chief of Staff for House Majority Leader Dick Armey.
Knott had been actively involved with CSLI for many years. As noted earlier, he was in the first Fellows class in 1999. He had served as Chairman of the Board of CSLI for seven years.
Knott had a passion for discipleship and a special interest in helping CSLI expand to additional cities in the United States and abroad. Under his leadership, CSLI launched a Decade of Discipleship in 2011, an intense focus, for at least ten years, on making disciples.
Video resources were developed, including The C.S. Lewis Study Program and The Basic Apologetics Course taught by Art Lindsley.
Knott brought on Joel Woodruff in 2011 to serve as Vice President of Discipleship and Outreach and Director of the Fellows Program in Washington, D.C. Woodruff helped oversee the creation of a new DVD-based small group resource titled Heart and Mind Discipleship. He also supervised a revision of the Year One and Year Two Fellows Program curriculum with the goal of strengthening its evangelism and apologetics components. He developed standard operating procedures and protocols, so that the Fellows Program and other Institute programs could be replicated more easily in other cities. A City Director’s coaching program was also established to provide accountability and encouragement to the new leaders of the Institute.
Randy Newman was brought on in 2014 as Senior Teaching Fellow for Apologetics and Evangelism. Woodruff and Newman developed a small group evangelism program titled The Conversational Apologetics Course, which is now being used successfully by churches and ministries around the country.
During Knott’s nearly five years as President, CSLI launched Fellows Programs in six additional locales: Central Pennsylvania, Chicago, Cincinnati, London, NE Ohio, and Seattle. The number of Fellows participating in the program annually nationwide jumped from one hundred to nearly four hundred in a few short years.
The Institute’s ministry to pastors also grew during Knott’s tenure, with Tom Tarrants tasked with developing this important ministry. Eventually, out of the CSLI pastor outreach, the pastors themselves launched a group called ReachDC that is now partnering with CSLI to train churches in evangelism.
Knott had a special interest in helping parents disciple their children. Under his leadership, CSLI launched the Aslan Academy. In an article titled “Announcing the Aslan Academy: Intentional Parenting to Disciple Our Children,” Knott wrote:
What do I desire most for my children? For them to grow in the knowledge and love of their Savior Jesus Christ and articulate, defend, and joyfully live out their faith in whatever calling God has for them. Helping disciple our children on this journey should be a parent’s urgent priority.
The Aslan Academy was designed to help parents teach and equip their children to become effective disciples of Jesus. Among other things, Knott developed an easy-to-follow roadmap, “The Seven Step Plan,” to help parents get started with the Aslan Academy program.
Knott’s visionary leadership also saw the Institute develop a global presence, as CSLI resources were shared with mission organizations in Asia and Europe.
Next page »