ACU hosts national conference on Stone-Campbell archives


Faculty and staff from Abilene Christian University hosted in March an unprecedented gathering of archivists, librarians and historians from all three historical streams of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Churches of Christ, Independent Christian Churches and the Disciples of Christ.

“We convened the colloquy to grow new insights and resources for teaching with the most significant historical artifacts from the Restoration Movement,” said Dr. John Weaver, dean of ACU’s Brown Library. “In addition to this, we also realized our hope for deeper collaboration among the curators and other teachers of this history within a wide variety of educational and ecclesial contexts that share a heritage.”

Focused on the “Pedagogy of the Archive,” the 20 colloquy participants came from across the country to spend three days in Dallas, developing innovative strategies for teaching with historical documents and artifacts from the Stone-Campbell Movement. Topics included the importance of digitization and websites for teaching rare historical materials, and the colloquy concluded with creation of a new online Stone-Campbell Teaching Archive. This digital repository includes instructional images and related tips for teaching the history of the Stone-Campbell Movement, with artifacts from all the traditions and institutions represented at the colloquy.

“It was an amazing time, sharing ideas for teaching from our unique historical materials in the ACU archives,” said Mac Ice, ACU archivist. “I’m excited to experiment with some new teaching resources and methods for enriching the intellectual and spiritual lives of our students, staff and faculty at ACU.”

Participants in the colloquy plan an online conference this summer to discuss additional initiatives to support teaching and greater appreciation of the Stone-Campbell movement.

The Colloquy on the Pedagogy of the Archive was supported by a grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and located at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.