Meet the Superintendent

A Message from Dr. Sam Barfell


At Southside Christian School, our mission is to “partner with Christian parents to provide an excellent education consistent with biblical truth.” This statement of purpose outlines at least two strategic pillars to a true Christian education.
The first pillar is that the education of children is the God-given responsibility of parents. The Scripture outlines this as God commands parents to “impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you rise…” (Deuteronomy 6: 7-9) At Southside Christian, we partner with parents to assist them in their responsibility to train and nurture their children.

The second pillar is an education that is consistent with biblical truth. This means that everything taught in the classrooms of our school is biblically directed or biblically integrated with the truth of Scripture. I like to call this process the “intentional re-joining and converging of academic excellence with spiritual formation in Christ.”  There is something very special about the relationship between a teacher and a student. I believe that this is the key to a great partnership with parents and effectiveness in Christian education. Jesus said, “When a student is fully trained, he will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40) In the context of a loving, Christian relationship, the teacher then teaches, trains, and encourages a student academically, intellectually, and spiritually. (Titus chapter 2.) It is so exciting to see God do His transformative work in the hearts, minds, and lives of our students. When a Christian family partners with Southside Christian School and their local church, the children clearly benefit from this God-ordained trifecta…home, school, and church all working toward the same end. Southside Christian School is committed to providing an education that develops the Christian mind, nurtures the soul, and shapes Christ-like character…for today and for generations to come. It is a joy to partner with parents and participate in the work God is doing in the equipping of young hearts and minds to become the fullest expression of the masterpiece God has created them to be. (Ephesians 2:10)

Dr. Barfell’s Bio

Dr. Sam Barfell most recently served as vice president of professional development for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) where he led the team that created and delivered professional development to Christian school educators around the world. He was also the executive editor of Christian School Education, a quarterly professional journal published by ACSI.

His career in Christian education began as a social studies teacher and coach, followed by a promotion to K-8 principal. He then became administrator of Bethel Christian School in Erie, PA followed by eleven years as superintendent of Liberty Christian School in his home state of Indiana where the school tripled in size under his leadership. He then joined Blackhawk Christian School in Fort Wayne, Indiana as superintendent before going to ACSI.

Dr. Barfell served on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Non-Public Education Association. He has chaired numerous accreditation teams to Christian schools and presented at many educational conferences internationally. He was also an adjunct graduate professor at Indiana Wesleyan University and Huntington University.

Dr. Barfell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education in social studies, a Master of Arts in theology and Christian school administration, and a Doctor of Education in educational leadership.