“Shalom is my word,” said Christine Metzger ’89. “I have a deep, deep passion for things to be the way they are supposed to be, the way God intended.”
It is this deep passion that has guided Metzger throughout her decades-long career in education.
Currently serving as head of school at Lexington Christian Academy in Lexington, Massachusetts, she admits the journey has been challenging, particularly over the last few years.
“It’s difficult to lead a community in which not all serious Christians agree on important topics,” she said. “In my role, I’ve been trying to hold space for conversations, knowing that not everyone holds the same convictions, but also keeping central our unity in Christ. This has been really challenging.”
Metzger stepped into her role at Lexington Christian Academy in 2017, after almost 30 years in Christian education.
“I knew from a very early age that I want- ed to be a teacher,” she said. “Calvin was
the first place where I was introduced to Christian education. I was delighted to be at Calvin where people cared about integrating faith. I was amazed at the difference when you are able to integrate faith and learning. It sparked a lifelong interest in me.”
As the child of German immigrants in New York, Metzger was guided to Calvin by her father, through the Christian Reformed church plant in her neighborhood.
“My parents bought a house from a Dutch couple in Wappingers Falls, who told them about the little church down the road, Immanuel Christian Reformed Church,” she said. “As it turned out, the church was started by several Calvin alumni.
“My parents, who owned a local meat market, hired people from church who went to Calvin,” she said. “My dad was impressed by them: They were smart, they had integrity, they worked hard. That’s what my dad wanted for his kids.”
“It’s funny how my dad became one of the best promoters and recruiters for Calvin, even though he never visited campus until my graduation,” she said. “Those alums from the church spoke volumes about a Calvin education.”
COMMITTED TO EDUCATION
Upon graduating, Metzger began her career as a fourth-grade teacher at Eastern Chris- tian School in northern New Jersey. “During my early days of teaching, the principal tapped me on the shoulder and said that I was going to be an administrator and should go to grad school,” she said. “My thought was you had to be at least 40 to be a principal; I was a 23-year-old elementary school teacher.”
Nevertheless, Metzger pursued a master’s in education, and thought, “‘I’ll become an administrator once I’m old enough,’” she said.
But God had other plans, she said. After six years in the classroom, she became a principal. Her career has included principal and head of school roles around the country, including an 11-year tenure at Mustard Seed School in Hoboken, New Jersey. She has stepped away from education for a few stints—including managing a theater company on Broadway—only to be called back to education.
As a member of the Calvin board of trustees from 2008–2017, Metzger was part of
the team that worked on adopting the wording of Calvin’s mission statement. “We were tweaking the last line, and I remember the deep satisfaction I had when it came together,” she said. “That word wholeheartedly speaks deeply to my soul. To live, love, and be agents of renewal, that’s the big picture.
“Over the last few years of the pandemic and political divisiveness, I have been lamenting shalom. It has been a struggle; it is a real crisis for kids, and that should concern everyone,” she said. “We should all be asking what we can do to take one step closer to what the kingdom of God is going to look like. That’s something I have been trying to do faithfully every day.”