Head of School
Dr. Timothy Dernlan
Dr. Timothy Dernlan grew up in a small farming town in central Ohio. As the son of a pastor, he was blessed with the opportunity to attend church a few times each week and to learn many deep truths of the Christian faith. His mother also helped him to understand his need for Jesus to be his Lord and Savior and led him in a simple prayer of faith and repentance at an early age. From that time on, he has been pursuing a deeper understanding of the Christian faith and seeking to glorify God.
Much of Dr. Dernlan’s early life was shaped by the sport of wrestling. He won several state and national titles, earned NCAA All-American honors at Purdue University, represented the United States as an athlete in the Pan American Championships and Junior World Championships, and competed at the final Olympic Trials in 2000 and 2004. He went on to coach dozens of NCAA All-Americans at Purdue, Ohio State, Penn State, Lehigh, and Ashland University and was named 2008 NCAA Region II Coach-of-the-Year before turning his focus to Christian education.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in both Education and Communication at Purdue University, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership at Lehigh University, and a Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies at Ashland University. He was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate in his doctoral program in the graduating class of 2013. He minored in Christian Theology during his doctoral studies and focused his dissertation on the spiritual formation of students attending K-12 Christian schools.
Dr. Dernlan has experience teaching theater, math, rhetoric, physical education, personal finance, communication, leadership, and systematic theology. He has taught in public, charter, private, Christian, and classical Christian schools, as-well-as at the college level. He served as Principal and then Headmaster at Tall Oaks Classical School before serving as Superintendent of Reach Christian Schools, a three-campus, Christian school district that educated over 1200 students at five distinct PK-12 schools. He recently moved to southern Alabama to serve at Bayshore Christian School in Fairhope, AL. Dernlan is a visionary leader and is passionate about advancing Christian community and culture through education.
Dr. Dernlan has presented workshops on spiritual formation, classroom management, the effectiveness of classical Christian education, fundraising, the works of C.S. Lewis, physical education and the trivium, leadership, and various other topics. As a guest lecturer for college classes, he has spoken on sports ethics, sports management, fundamentals of coaching, and leadership. He has also written and been awarded grants totaling over $200,000 for school technology, facility renovations, and educational programs.
Dr. Dernlan continues to serve on accreditation committees for the Association of Classical Christian Schools and has served on committees for Ashland University, the NWCA, and the NCAA. He also consults with schools and specializes in strategic planning and increasing financial stability.
Dr. Dernlan enjoys research and is most interested in studying spiritual formation, classical Christian education, educational leadership, leadership theory, organizational leadership, change management, and virtue ethics.
Dr. Dernlan and his wife Kara met at a Purdue University Fellowship of Christian Athletes gathering and were married in 2000. God has blessed them with two boys (Boaz and Zeke) and two girls (Rebecca and Anna). They also raised a young lady from China (Christal) for four years. The Dernlan family enjoys spending time hiking, reading, camping, exercising, discussing theology, and playing board games together.