October 10, 2014

Pacifica Hires Founding Faculty Member to Lead History & Theology Departments

[Newport Beach, CA] – Pacifica Christian High School-Orange County (www.pacificaoc.org) announced today the hiring of Chris Stratton as Pacifica’s History and Theology Chair and Academic Dean.  Mr. Stratton currently teaches humanities and Bible, while also serving as the Director of Religious Life and Chapel, at The Stony Brook School in New York–one of the most prestigious Christian schools in the country.

“Mr. Stratton brings instant experience, leadership, and talent to the faculty at Pacifica” says David O’Neil, Head of School. “He is a leading educator in Christian schooling who has joined our team because of his commitment to our distinct mission, his love for the students he teaches, and his deep desire to build a premier Christian school for our community.”

“Mr. Stratton’s ability to connect with high school students and his passion for the Bible and history provides students with a rich educational experience” notes Dr. Ben Roberson, Principal.  “His unique abilities, and care for students, both motivate and inspire them to live out their Christian faith in our ever changing world.”

We invite you to learn more about Mr. Stratton by reading his biography below.

Chris StrattonRev. Chris Stratton’s Bio
Chris was born and raised in Southern California.  He and his wife Sarah have lived on the East Coast for the last eight years.  They are passionate about the gospel, the Christian tradition and liberal arts education.  Chris loves working with students and watching them grow in character, knowledge, and skill–he is enthusiastic to bring his experience in teaching and learning back to Orange County students.

Chris was a Religious Studies major and Philosophy minor at Westmont College where he earned high honors and was the top graduate in his major.  His major emphases were Church History and Historical Theology/Philosophy.  He credits his time at Westmont with giving him a deep love of learning and a strong desire to mentor students intellectually and spiritually through their formative years.

After college, Chris worked as a product manager for Ingram Micro in Santa Ana, CA.  While working at Ingram he earned an MBA from Pepperdine University.  He then went on to work for Okidata Americas Inc. as a channel account manager over their printer division.

During his business years, Chris spent time lay teaching young adults at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Los Alamitos. From that lay ministry he received a call to attend Princeton Theological Seminary in 2007, where he earned an M.Div. degree. At PTS he earned top honors, receiving both the E.L. Wailes and Edward A. Dowey Awards.

Immediately after PTS, Chris took a job teaching Humanities and Bible at The Stony Brook School on Long Island. The Stony Brook School is a 93 year-old Evangelical boarding school with a history of matriculating students to the top colleges in the nation.  In 2012, Chris became the Director of Religious Life and Chapel as well as the Bible Department Chair of the school. In those roles he has been instrumental in revising and reinvigorating the chapel program, and reimagining the capstone Faith and Culture class as a Socratic seminar centered on the big philosophical and theological questions of life. In his five-year tenure at The Stony Brook School, Chris has won several awards and grants for curriculum development, outstanding pedagogy and scholarship.  He is well loved among the students.

In 2015 Chris will take on the role of Pacifica Orange County’s founding Dean of Academics and History and Theology Chair. His vision for the academic program is to lead students “from wonder to worship” by forming their character through the cultivation of intellectual and spiritual virtues inside and outside the classroom. Chris has a passion for learning that is formed by a deep belief in God.  He agrees with Justin Martyr’s notion that “whatever things were rightly said among all men are the property of us Christians,” because truths about the world reflect the hand of their Creator who endowed us with the ability to know. He therefore challenges students to be rigorous in their pursuit of truth wherever it may be found, and to do so without fear or anxiety, because all truth is God’s truth.

Not only does Chris have a passion for God’s general revelation, but he also has a deep desire to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Christian Scriptures. He believes, as Pascal argued, that the gospel is the best answer to the riddle of humanity’s simultaneous “greatness” and “wretchedness,” and that the divine narrative of creation in the image of God and the fall from grace is the best explanation of the human condition, while the redemption offered in the incarnation of Jesus Christ is the only solution to the problem of human sinfulness.  Above all else, therefore, Chris wants students to know that Jesus is Lord and that in Christ they are loved and accepted by God.

Chris and Sarah have three children, Wendell (5), Eliot (3) and Evelyn (6 mos.). The Strattons enjoy the beach, skateboarding, literature, concerts, movies, being silly with high-school students, and spending time with their extended families engaging in amazing feats of strength.

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