Betsy DeVos, Philanthropist
Trump's pick to head the Department of Education is a national leader in the school choice movement and has deep ties to the Christian Reformed community in western Michigan.
Betsy DeVos sees her mission to transform the American education system as an outworking of her faith.
As Politico reported Dec. 2, in a 2001 speech to a gathering of Christian philanthropists, DeVos, along with her husband Richard, spoke about the importance of engaging culture for the Kingdom of Christ and not just retreat to their own smaller faith-based enclaves. This includes the realm of education.
While in Israel on a trip the DeVoses learned about the geography of the land that affected how they view engaging society.
The Shephelah was the middle physical ground between the foothills where the Israelites lived and the coasts where the pagans lived. In this in-between space the clashing cultures met.
"Our desire is to be in that Shephelah, and to confront the culture in which we all live today in ways that will continue to help advance God's Kingdom, but not to stay in our own faith territory," DeVos said.
"We could give every single penny we have, everybody in this room could give every single penny they had, and it wouldn't begin to touch what is currently spent on education every year in this country and what is in many cases ... not well spent," she added.
CP noted on Nov. 28 that DeVos has previously served as an elder for Mars Hill Church, where Rob Bell used to be the lead pastor.