February 21, 2005
Abilene Christian University's Bible Lectureship will have a new location on the calendar beginning in 2006. The annual event will move from mid-February to the third weekend in September. During the transition year of 2006, ACU will host two Lectureships – one at the usual time in February and one in September."We are confident that a move to the fall will allow Lectureship to continue in its rich legacy and to chart new and exciting directions for the next 100 years," said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president.
The new dates for Lectureship will help clear the congested campus during the February week that currently includes other popular ACU events such as Sing Song, Board of Trustees meetings, the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year luncheon, and several other dinners and gatherings. But more importantly, the move to September offers increased flexibility and opens up possibilities for Lectureship to grow and evolve, said Dr. Mark Love, director of ministry events.
"Giving Lectureship its own space on the university calendar gives us a chance to have greater integration between Lectureship and the life of the university," Love said. "For example, student involvement could increase dramatically when we separate Lectureship from Sing Song. We want to see Lectureship as an opportunity to involve the entire ACU community in addressing the integration of faith and learning. We don't want it to be seen as an event primarily for out-of-town guests and hosted solely by the College of Biblical Studies."
Because of the strain on facilities during February, a September Lectureship with more outdoor venues available and less competition for campus space will be a step toward one of the primary goals of Lectureship – building community.
"A September move opens up more of the campus for usage in ways that enhance community," Love said. "We gain the amphitheatre. We gain green space for outdoor eating, music and fellowship. And, although it is not our primary reason for the move, we realize the February weather often adversely affects the event itself and the decision by some whether or not to attend."
Research conducted by the Office of Ministry Events indicated that the constituencies of Lectureship and events such as Sing Song and Homecoming are distinct, Love said. The primary Lectureship audience members seldom attend Sing Song and almost never attend Homecoming, so the move should not have a significant impact on attendance at either of those major ACU events. The research also showed that most of the respondents would be more likely to attend in September than in February.
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