James Seidel

Academic Dean, Rhetoric School Mathematics & Science, Rhetoric School Scholars Bowl Sponsor


Years at CPLS: 2002-present

B.S., Meteorology – Iowa State University
Master of Education, Emphasis in Curriculum & Instruction – Dordt College, Iowa

Why I teach at CPLS: During my senior year of college, when I knew that God might be leading me to become a teacher, I observed classes in the public schools, and I quickly realized that I could not teach authentically in a secular context. To do so would require me to keep silent about the Lord, something that I could not comfortably do. As a result, I knew that I needed to find a school that would allow me to speak openly about my faith in Christ and also teach with academic rigor. In Cair Paravel, God has provided me with such a school. Because of the Christian nature of the school, I am able assist parents in raising their children up to love and fear the Lord. At the same time, the school’s classical emphasis on appropriate rigor in instruction allows me to challenge my students and function effectively as a teacher. I consider it a tremendous blessing to teach at Cair Paravel, and I cannot imagine teaching anywhere else.

Personal Testimony: I grew up in and around church, but it was mostly just a family tradition to me until age fourteen. At that point, God got my attention, and I decided that I wanted follow Christ wholeheartedly. As a result of seeing the play “Godspell” during a Christian youth weekend at a nearby amusement park, I committed myself to getting to know Jesus better and to walking in His ways. My relationship with God grew slowly throughout high school, but He drew me closer to Himself during my years in college. In particular, during my sophomore year, the woman in charge of the church’s campus ministry took the time and effort to invest in a core group of students, training us to be the leaders for the group and to be men and women who would know God intimately, follow Him passionately, and serve others wholeheartedly. By the time my senior year rolled around, I knew that God wanted me to serve Him in a way other than in Meteorology, but I could not discern exactly what He wanted me to do. I investigated teaching, but I had a sense that the time was not right. Instead, I spent a year going through missions training, which included two short-term mission trips to Turkey (for a combined total of nine weeks). I then spent a year attempting to go on staff with one particular organization. When God helped me see several organizational and theological problems with that particular organization, I chose to follow Him in a different direction. After briefly considering seminary, I prayerfully investigated education again. God, through a series of “divine appointments,” opened the doors for me to be able to teach here at Cair Paravel. In the past seven years, God has helped me to grow even more in my love for Him. I have had the privilege of taking more short-term mission trips, filling-in as a Sunday School teacher, serving on my church’s mission committee, and challenging my students to love the Lord with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength.