Best Practices in Christian Higher Ed

Conference and Research Seminar Series

In partnership with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

In partnership with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

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The Call for Proposals

Abilene Christian University is partnering with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities to host a series of two-year, cohort-based research seminars examining critical features of student success with a special emphasis on developing, implementing and assessing high-impact practices.

The work produced through the seminars, plus submissions from a broader call, will be presented at a biennial conference hosted at ACU. Additionally, Christian Higher Education journal will produce a special issue featuring the most relevant papers from the cohort and conference.

The call for proposals to present at the 2022 Best Practices in Christian Higher Ed conference opens Oct. 15, 2021. We look forward to hearing your ideas and collaborating on this exciting opportunity to spur one another on in raising up future Christian servants and leaders for the sake of the kingdom of God.


The theme for the 2022 conference is “Cultivating Engaged Learners Through First-Year Experiences.” Keynote addresses and presentations from the first cohort of High-Impact Scholars will focus on this theme. Other presentations will spotlight various other high-impact practices in the context of Christian higher education.

Research Seminar Series

ACU is also hosting cohorts of Christian faculty and staff for the purpose of investigating creative and innovative evidence-based practices to enhance the learning experiences of students across the nation. Special emphasis will be placed on examining the relationship between high-impact practices and the distinct aims of Christian higher education.

Each cohort will focus on a specific high-impact practice. The first seminar is already underway and focuses on first-year experience. The next seminar, which will launch in September 2022, will concentrate on global learning and study abroad.

students on campus

The ACU Effect

As a nationally ranked university in student success, ACU is uniquely positioned to lead conversations around best practices in Christian higher education. For the third year in a row, ACU is the highest-ranking university in Texas in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report benchmark focused on programs that lead to student success. ACU achieved top 10 status in three of eight areas of emphasis – #7 in First-Year Experience, #9 in Service Learning, #9 in Learning Communities – and was ranked #43 in Undergraduate Research.

Coming to Abilene

ACU is located just 5 miles from the Abilene airport and only 175 miles from the DFW airport. Numerous rental car agencies operate out of the Abilene airport for your convenience.

For lodging and amenities, please visit the Abilene Visitors Center. The conference has reserved rooms for attendees at the  Courtyard Marriott and the TownePlace Suites, both nearby the ACU campus. both nearby the ACU campus.

When you arrive on campus, you will head straight to the Hunter Welcome Center. While at the conference, we hope you will explore the many distinguishing features of our campus and historic Abilene.

Meet the Conference Keynote Speakers

Jennifer Keup

Keup is executive director of the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition and the co-author of Developing and Sustaining Successful First-Year Programs: A Guide for Practitioners. She has published numerous journal articles and frequently speaks about high-impact practices in higher education.

Richard Beck

Beck is a professor of psychology at ACU and sought-after speaker. He is the author of many books, including Authenticity of Faith, Unclean, and, most recently, Hunting Magic Eels: Recovering an Enchanted Faith in a Skeptical Age.