Become a Founder

A Cohort of Founders and Unique Leaders

We will select three cohorts of founders from among those who have gone through our fellows program. Cohort one will be comprised of three founders planning to launch in the fall of 2019.

Become a Founder

Spreading Hope seeks to partner with founders planning to launch a God-centered school in under resourced communities in a major U.S. city.

We believe that there are not enough private schools serving low-income students, and we know that there are visionary leaders that should be supported to launch God-centered schools in high-need communities.


Qualities of a Founder:

  • Complete the Spreading Hope 4-12 month fellowship
  • Deeply committed and driven to pursue biblical justice
  • Visionary and theologically astute thinker
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Self-aware and committed to continuous improvement
  • An experienced, results-oriented and results-proven leader
  • A strategic thinker
  • A strong communicator with charisma
  • Cultural competence and experience in multi-ethnic settings, able to build strong relationships with all stakeholders

Founders will receive comprehensive consulting through our six step Proven Process, from the planning to launch of your school. We will help you:

1. Plan

14 months pre-launch

We facilitate an initial one, five and ten year strategic plan and help you outline a path to launch.

4. Hire

3-5 months pre-launch

We help you hire teachers and staff, including a search for your director of development.

2. Inspire

11 months pre-launch

We help you inspire Partners with a case statement, a vision event with Russ Gregg, and careful follow-up.

5. Train

Staff development week

We join you to train your staff on key processes (fundraising, family ministry, classical education and cultural competency).

3. Enroll

9 months pre-launch

We guide as you canvas and enroll target families and raise awareness.

6. Launch

September-July of launch year

We advise you in your launch year as you contextualize and adapt the model.

“A Harbor after the Hurricane — A new God-centered school growing in Houston"

Our pilot Founder school is Harbor Christian Academy in The 5th Ward Communities of Houston. We are working closely with founding Head of School, Roosevelt Wilson, Ed. D. We dialogued recently over email: 

1. What is your story of being called to serve at Harbor Christian Academy?

18 months ago, Harbor Christian’s board member, Jon Weichbrodt, and I met and connected over faith and our mutual passion for education. After we all heard Russ Gregg speak when he came to Houston two years 15 months ago 15 months, Jon and fellow board member Beverly Smith shared their vision for Harbor Christian Academy. The Lord began to open my heart to consider taking a similar step of faith to that which Russ Gregg took. When Jon first asked if I might consider being a founding Head of School of Harbor Christian, I didn’t think it was possible at that time. But today, Octavia and I can’t imagine a better use of our lives than to aim to launch a God-centered school for our soon-to-be neighbors.

2. Tell us about your career and family.

I was a classroom teacher for a number of years.  For the past five years, I served as a principal with Spring Independent School District. Before becoming a K-12 educator, I spent 23-years in the Marine Corps, serving in many capacities, including Drill Instructor, Instructor at Drill Instructor School, and Administrator at the Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy in Okinawa, Japan. As for family, my best friend in life is my wife Octavia, who will be a teacher at Harbor Christian Academy. We have four grown children, and no grandchildren yet.

3. Why do you believe the residents of 5th ward deserve access to a Christian school like Harbor Christian Academy?

Whether families are from the inner city or from the suburbs, they should all have access to a great God-centered education.  We exist by God’s grace to make a remarkable God-centered education accessible and affordable to families of two of the most historically underserved communities in Houston.

4. Why does Harbor Christian Academy exist?

Harbor Christian Academy exists to bring the very best of God-centered education to families who could never afford it in their wildest dreams. 

5. How will Harbor Christian Academy be different from public schools?

As most everyone knows, Houston was recently hit with a hurricane. But for decades a different humanitarian crisis has plagued our city’s most endangered resource: at risk youth. Today in schools all across our city, state, and country, we are seeing the dismissal of God from classrooms, the rejection of truth from textbooks, the marginalizing of parents, and the warehousing of students. But in God, there is always hope. We believe one of the best strategies to redeem and transform any community is a God-centered school that uses the Word of God to shape a generation of wise leaders who love what God loves and hate what God hates.

6. How will parents be involved at Harbor Christian Academy?

Right from the very beginning, we will build an authentic partnership with parents, inspired by Hope Academy. Parents will sign a parent covenant, and each fall, our teachers will do a home visit with every single student in their classrooms. 100% parent participation is required. Additionally, twice a year on Saturday we will have Parent Involvement Days. Instead of bring-your-child-to-work day, it’s a bring-your-parent-to-school day.

7. How will Harbor Christian Academy start and grow?

Lord willing, we will launch this coming fall with grades K, 1, and 2, and then add a grade each year. In just six years, our dream is to be a complete K-8 school serving hundreds of students. Lord willing, in ten years we expect to see our first graduating seniors, as our plan is to be a K-12 school.

Hope Academy is a flagship for our Christian schools. The development and growth of Christian schools like Hope Academy is so encouraging. CSI is excited by the school planting efforts of the Spreading Hope team.

Jeff Blamer

VIce President, Member Services,, Christian Schools Intl. (Grand Rapids, MI)

I am so thankful for Hope Academy and the Spreading Hope team. We started our school for low income urban youth in 2014 and are now serving nearly 80 students in grades K-5. I simply can’t imagine where we would be without their support and direction. 

Doug Fern

Head of School, Faith Academy (Iowa City, IA)

Spreading Hope Network is endorsed by the following organizations: