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“God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.”


“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” – EPHESIANS 2:19-22 (NIV)

W E LC O M E TO S U M M I T Our theme this year, drawn from Ephesians, is “Wholeness in a Broken World: Together Through the Power of the Spirit.” Since Summit’s modest beginnings in 1906, ACU has been devoted to providing programs and experiences to foster spiritual formation and renewal among students, faculty, staff and congregational leaders. The ways in which we carry out this divine mission have grown through the years. Summit 2018 will feature new approaches and vital topics. Instead of the many stand-alone presentations as in the past, this year’s gathering will consist of all-day or half-day tracks, entitled “Pathways.” These pathways will consider spiritual wholeness in such diverse areas as worship, preaching, congregational leadership, interfaith friendships, racial unity, biblical studies, and discipleship. We hope you will carefully review the array of offerings listed in the Summit program booklet and online at A special feature of this year’s Summit will be the formal launching of the Carl Spain Center for Race Studies and Spiritual Action. At the 1960 ACU Bible Lectureship (known today as Summit), Spain delivered a memorable address urging the university to open its doors to students of all races. We invite you to join us on Tuesday as Jerry Taylor, director of this new center, hosts various events that will honor Spain’s courage and challenge for all us to love more inclusively. Theme speakers will guide our hearts and minds in examining ways in which themes from Ephesians can lead us toward wholeness in today’s broken world. Keynote speaker Randy Harris and a combined group composed of the ACU Acappella Chorus and the Alumni Chorus will lead us in a stirring hour of worship Sunday evening. In addition, we are honored to welcome Taylor, Don McLaughlin, along with Matt and Jordan Dooley, as theme presenters each morning. Blessing upon blessing awaits all of us at Summit 2018 as we celebrate our heritage, praise God for the present and look with hope to the future. Thank you for joining us! DAVID WRAY Director, Summit


P R E S I D E N T ’ S W E LC O M E From its earliest days, this university has hosted an annual gathering our founders called Bible Lectureship and today, we call Summit. It’s a time of year when we look forward to engaging study and dialogue among Christians and church leaders that extends to our students, staff and faculty – our entire campus community. Whether you traveled across town or halfway around the globe, we want you to know how welcome you are on the Hill. We place a high value on opportunities like this to get to know you and together, better understand how we can be united in our commitment to following Christ and growing the Kingdom of God. Your presence encourages us in our historic mission to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. DR. PHIL SCHUBERT President Abilene Christian University

Navigating Summit’s new pathways Recent Summits have described areas of interest as tracks. Classes were presented in a smorgasbord manner, leaving some participants overwhelmed and confused by so many choices. Beginning this year, pathways will assist participants in selecting and attending their chosen areas of interest in ministry, missions and/or biblical studies. Our 16 pathways feature seven concentrated all-day sessions on Monday and five on Tuesday. Wednesday morning will highlight four half-day pathways. This approach allows more than 60 sessions from Monday to Wednesday, but with more accessibility than classes offered in the past. Learn more about Summit’s new pathways at

The Summit team: Sarah Sells, Roland Orr, Judy Siburt, David Wray, Leah Andrews and Darryl Tippens


OPENING NIGHT Summit 2018 is opening with a night of worship! Randy Harris will begin the week on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 6:20 p.m. at the University Church of Christ. He will explore “God’s Standing Ovation: Praising His Glorious Grace,” focused on Ephesians 1:3-14. The message will reflect on how God, in Jesus and by means of the Spirit, graces the church with many blessings, all to his glory. The service includes a joint concert featuring ACU’s A Cappella Chorus and the Alumni Chorus. We believe there is no better way to begin our week of seeking wholeness than to start with thanksgiving and praise to the God who has been with us through it all. Don’t miss this memorable event.


THEME SPEAKERS RANDY HARRIS 7 p.m. Sunday at University Church of Christ

God’s Standing Ovation: Praising His Glorious Grace Ephesians 1:3-14

Harris will reflect on how God graces the church with blessings upon blessings, all to his glory. God – in Jesus by means of the Spirit – calls, redeems and seals us for his good purposes. How delightful for all of us to rise and give God, our great Benefactor, a standing ovation.

ALAN JACOBS 11 a.m. Monday in Cullen Auditorium

How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds

Using messages from his book by this name, Jacobs describes positive modes of thought allowing us to communicate effectively and love each other in spite of our differences. Key themes include the dangers of thinking against others, the need to find the best people to think with, the error of believing we can think for ourselves, the conflict between thinking and belonging, and the dangers of words that do our thinking for us.

JORDAN AND MATT DOOLEY 11 a.m. Monday in Moody Coliseum Your Brokenness is Welcome Here Ephesians 2:11-22

We all know that a growing partisan spirit divides communities in society today. Neighborhoods, cities and nations are becoming more divisive. The old walls that often divided us – ethnicity, gender and class – are being fortified by new bigotries. The Dooleys will remind us that the church exists as an alternative way of peace and the witness of a gospel that radically includes all.

JERRY TAYLOR 11 a.m. Tuesday in Moody Coliseum

God Imagines Our Future: Being Filled With the Spirit Ephesians 5:1-21

Who better than Taylor to prompt us of God’s call to imitate Jesus and embolden us to emulate his way of love and self-sacrifice? Our journey as followers transforms us into a people of holiness. Taylor will proclaim how the Spirit within us seasons our conversations, rewrites our heart’s melodies, inspires our thanksgivings, and enables our submissive service.

DON MCLAUGHLIN 11 a.m. Wednesday in Moody Coliseum

God’s Empowering Protection: Taking Our Stand Ephesians 6:10-20

Don McLaughlin will challenge us to courageously take a stand with confidence to not only withstand the principalities and powers of the world, but also impact our neighborhoods for the cause of Christ. 4

AC U a n d t h e B a r n a G r o u p p r e s e n t C H R I S T I A N S AT W O R K DAVID KINNAMAN Summit is excited to have best-selling author and Barna Group president David Kinnaman join Summit this year to unveil innovative research done in partnership with ACU. Well known for his books Good Faith, You Lost Me and unChristian, Kinnaman brings his influential voice on faith and culture to campus to launch a monograph that explores the intersection of calling and career. Christians at Work offers a broad and introspective assessment of a sense of vocation in the church, specifically through one’s employment. As the world and our workplaces rapidly change – each uniquely marked by trends of digitization, globalization, secularization, and individualization – it’s never been more important for people of faith to think deeply about what they are made to do and why they do it. Kinnaman’s presentation on Wednesday morning will explore how many Christians understand their vocational identity and offer insightful reflections on how the church might better equip Christians to understand their work as participation in the life and mission of God. Whether you are a student anticipating a future career, a working professional deeply embedded in the workplace, or a church leader looking for ways to encourage those whom you lead, join us as Kinnaman leads us in this crucial and timely conversation.


SUMMIT FILM FESTIVAL This year Summit again presents a selection of quality feature films and documentaries to inform and inspire Christians:



(Drama) • Tuesday, Sept. 18 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. • Cullen Auditorium All Saints is based on the inspiring true story of salesman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock, the tiny Anglican church he was ordered to shut down, and a group of refugees from Southeast Asia. Together, they risk everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all. Starring John Corbett, Cara Buono and Myles Moore.

(Documentary) • Monday, Sept. 17 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. BSB 114 In Leaving My Father’s Faith, international best-selling author and pastor Tony Campolo is devastated when his 50-year-old son, Bart, announces that he no longer believes in God. Having worked together for decades in ministry, the two must now find a way to reconcile their personal understandings of Christianity and humanism before a rift separates them indefinitely.



(Drama) • Monday, Sept. 17 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. • Cullen Auditorium The inspiring and unknown true story behind MercyMe’s beloved, chart-topping song that brings ultimate hope to so many, I Can Only Imagine is a gripping reminder of the power of true forgiveness. Starring J. Michael Finley, Madeline Carroll and Dennis Quaid.


(Drama) • Sunday, Sept. 16 2:30 p.m. Cullen Auditorium The story of Paul – once the most infamous persecutor of Christians who became the most influential apostle – is retold through his relationship with Luke, a friend and physician. The two men struggle against a determined emperor and the frailties of the human spirit to spread their difference-making message to the world. Starring Jim Caviezel, James Faulkner and Olivier Martinez.


(Documentary) • Tuesday, Sept. 18 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. BSB 114 The Heart of Man is a cinematic retelling of the parable of the Prodigal Son, interwoven with true testimonials of personal and sexual brokenness. Narrative storytelling and documentary filmmaking are combined to reveal the compassionate heart of God the Father for his sons and daughters. Starring Robert Fleet, Serena Karnagy and Justin Torrence.

WACU Famous Pie Sale

One day only! Sunday, Sept. 16 • 3-10 p.m. ACU Museum (Corner of East North 16th Street and Campus Court) Stop by for homemade pie and other goodies while helping build the Women for ACU Endowed Scholarship Fund, which has been supporting Abilene Christian University students for 49 years.

YOUR BROKENNESS IS WELCOME HERE JORDAN LEE DOOLEY Sunday, Sept. 16 • 8-9:30 p.m. • Cullen Auditorium • Free admission Jordan Lee Dooley (pictured below, second from left) is a nationally recognized author and speaker based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pairing her bubbly and bold personality with practical application as well as God’s Word, she uses her powerful voice to call up her generation and equip them to stand in their true identity, rise above the culture and live with purpose. Thousands of followers around the world hear her wisdom, and this year, we have invited her to speak to students and Summit attendees alike.

Her motto, “Your brokenness is welcome here,” fits perfectly into our theme for Summit 2018. As we seek to find wholeness in a broken world, Jordan will guide us through the first steps of finding wholeness: recognizing and accepting brokenness. When we are able to love and accept ourselves in our brokenness, we are able to love and accept others in theirs, just as Jesus did. Though her main audience is directed at university-age women, anyone will benefit from the life-giving words she speaks. Join us Sunday night in Cullen Auditorium.


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ETHICAL WHOLENESS PA T H W A Y For more than a century, racial stereotypes and discrimination based on faulty theories of mankind, science and society have dramatically affected life for many. This pathway examines how Social Darwinism has resulted in disrupted relationships and eugenics with people of other races, religions and nationalities, both here in the U.S. and around the world. View a new documentary, Human Zoos, and consider how we can become whole again, based on Ephesians.

Jonathan Witt

HUMAN ZOOS How have we treated our fellow man? How have we broken unity? Here is one way: Ideas flying under the banner of science blinded some to the inherent dignity and worth of fellow humans, made in the image of God. This first of two sessions will preview a new documentary, Human Zoos, which speaks directly to this year’s Summit theme while also surfacing the chilling and oft-ignored story of racist eugenics in 20th-century America. AN ANSWER TO SCIENTIFIC RACISM This second session builds off the documentary shown in Session 1. Darwinism was used to justify eugenics and racism, a movement with roots in Charles Darwin’s own thinking, and extending well into the 20th century – and now alive among the Alt Right. But neither God’s book of special revelation, the Bible, nor his book of general revelation, nature, justifies racism or eugenics. When the blinders of methodological materialism are removed, the scientific evidence is clear: Humans of every race are the work of a grand intelligence, extending from and enriching this understanding is the Judeo-Christian doctrine of the Imago Dei.


Neal Coates

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Is there a new Cold War? Will we run out of natural resources? How should the U.S. and Russia and China interact? How do we as Christians react to concepts of competition among the countries of the world, especially the most powerful states? The third session of this pathway considers how the ideas of Darwin have been interpreted and applied among the various nations and the ramifications. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST IN THE MIDDLE EAST We hear in the news constantly it seems of threats from some countries in the Middle East against Muslim minorities, Christians and Jews. Some of these take the form of discrimination, some of these actions are much worse and include overt hostilities. Have concepts of eugenics been involved in these acts? What sort of response is needed?

DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE The ACU Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice is pleased to collaborate with Summit in presenting the Ethical Wholeness pathway


he department prepares students for Christian public service and leadership throughout the world. Alumni serve in federal and state agencies; as district court judges, city managers and political science professors at major universities; legislative assistants in Congress; partners in major law firms; and in elective office at the local, state, and federal level. Majors are engaged in significant experiential learning experiences, including Congressional internships in Washington, D.C., with the Speaker of the House, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. John Cornyn. Political science majors have recently won Fulbright, Truman and Marshall scholarships. Ninety-nine percent of political science students are admitted to law schools at institutions such as Harvard

University and The University of Texas at Austin. The Texas Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement agencies hire and value highly our criminal justice graduates. The department oversees ACU’s Jack Pope Fellows Program, which prepares students for public service. Its namesake is the late Jack Pope, a legendary Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. Students are mentored by experienced faculty such as criminal justice instructor Bob Delony, who has more than 40 years of experience in law enforcement; professor Mel Hailey, who was named the nation’s top pre-law adviser in 2015; and professor David Dillman, who won a Fulbright Faculty Scholarship during 2016-17 to teach and do research in Serbia.

COLLEGE OF BIBLICAL STUDIES CELEBRATION DINNER Join us as we honor outstanding Christian servants and leaders. Hear a message by Sam Gonzales in the Hunter Welcome Center as we honor this year’s recipients:

Sam Elliott

Minda Street Church of Christ in Abilene

Bill and Melba Kirkpatrick Southern Hills Church of Christ in Abilene

Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at Summit Headquarters. For more information contact Tina Chisholm at 325-674-3700 or 9

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BIBLICAL WHOLENESS PA T H W A Y PATHWAY GUIDE: Curt Niccum The world is broken, but it has been for some time. Over the centuries, Christians have responded to this brokenness by reinterpreting, redirecting, re-envisioning and reproducing the Word of God. Join us, in collaboration with ACU’s Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts (CSART), as we learn from the past how to address and perhaps even heal this brokenness.


Reading Israel’s Wisdom in a World Lacking Wisdom This session attempts to unpack the inner-workings of the simple two-line proverb in an effort to train up readers in the way they should go. Blessed is the person who doesn’t have a dog that returns to its vomit. And like the one who digs a pit, a little sleep and a little slumber can break bones.


Did you ever wonder why printed Catholic Bibles have a different number of books than Protestant and Jewish Bibles? This presentation will show images of historical Bibles and shed some light on the mystery.


Christian Scriptures in Early Islam Christianity and Islam, both tracing their roots to a common past, have been in conflict for centuries. Explore the shared and contested scriptural heritage of early Islam and Christianity as it appears in the Qur’an, apologetic writings and legendary stories. 10


Insights on Church Organization From the Ancient Mediterranean Church leadership has always been complicated. Although we often think of the ancient gatherings of Christians as developing from one fixed stage of organization to the next, the evidence from the broad, ancient Mediterranean world portrays a much more flexible and fluid organization. What might that suggest for today?


Truth and Discernment in the 21st Century We feel overwhelmed by the noise of social media, news outlets, and the relentless stream of facts and opinion. This session will show how the thought of Christian monk and theologian John Cassian can help us sort through the many conflicting messages we encounter in public conversation today.


MERCY AND JUSTICE WHOLENESS MARK HAMILTON Scripture makes provision for immigrants because they are the individuals most likely to be treated unjustly. From the beginning of Israel as a nation, there was recognition of their pain of oppression. Laws were established to protect the asylum seeker (the sojourner) and the immigrant. Justice demands justice for all – not just for a select few. We cannot say, “We shall love this person this way, and that person another way.” Join Mark Hamilton in discussion of his latest book, Jesus, Friend of Strangers: What the Bible Really Says About Immigration, dealing with immigration and the refugee crisis.

The Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts (CSART) at Abilene Christian University is pleased to collaborate with Summit to present the Biblical Wholeness pathway. The center fosters the study of ancient religious documents through research, teaching and academic mentoring. CSART seeks not only to encourage research and publication but also to equip students with the capacities needed to study ancient texts, engage academic dialogue, and contribute to the scholarly enterprise. Digital humanities projects around the world supply a rapidly expanding body of materials on which CSART draws and to which it adds. Partnering with others in external projects, the center brings the students and faculty of ACU into collaborative relationships with global scholarship. The center seeks to draw attention to global news of discoveries and noteworthy developments in the study of ancient religious texts. 11


DISCOVERING THE ENNEAGRAM CASEY McCOLLUM At first glance, the Enneagram (pronounced any-uh-gram) is a personality-typing system that helps us understand who we are and what motivates us. But in reality, it’s so much more than that. The Enneagram identifies nine ways of seeing and experiencing the world and describes with amazing accuracy how we think, feel and act. It is a fantastic tool for all kinds of relationships because it not only helps us understand ourselves but gives us compassion for other people in our lives. It also identifies our core struggles and sins that keep us trapped and helps us get out of our own way so we can grow into the person God created us to be. The Enneagram itself doesn’t change us, but it helps us see who we truly are and gives us clear steps for transformation, to be more like Jesus. Join Enneagram teacher Casey McCollum and learn which of the nine types you identify with as well as how to use the Enneagram in your own church, work or family.


ST I L L W R E ST L I N G : FA I T H R E N E W E D THROUGH BROKENNESS LES FERGUSON JR. After his wife and son were murdered in 2011, Mississippi minister Les Ferguson Jr. questioned God and his own outlook on life. In his recent candid book, Still Wrestling: Faith Renewed Through Brokenness, Ferguson shares his true story of when he struggled to believe not that God existed but that he even cared. His questions of faith and doubt illustrate his journey through tragedy to a deep, renewed faith, and inspire others to overcome their challenges.


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S M A L L- C H U R C H WHOLENESS PA T H W A Y PATHWAY GUIDE: Shawn Johnson There are far more “small churches” – 250 or fewer members and often far smaller in number – than large ones. However, the success stories and strategy books rarely highlight what would actually benefit those who worship in these congregations. Small churches are found in big cities, urban inner centers, rural towns, mission locations, and in every other nook and cranny of the brotherhood. The speakers in this Small-Church Wholeness pathway will address a variety of different areas that are of dedicated interest to those who love and labor alongside those in smaller assemblies.


Much energy is often invested in growing bigger churches. That’s good, but what would happen if more energy is expended on getting the focus right? Listen to the story of a small church in New Zealand that is struggling to find its center.


Preaching as Spiritual Direction in Small Churches In Kindling Desire for God, Kay Northcutt challenges preachers to consider the aim of a sermon. The aim, she argues, is the spiritual formation of the congregation. In this class, we will consider how this might be true, particularly in small churches.


Bridging the Gap Between Small Churches and the Academy Small congregations and their members provide a rich pluralistic context in which to form spiritual community and do ministry. This session examines the significant role of small churches in the kingdom of God and presents strategies for engagement in the wider culture.


The Power of Spirit-Reliant Prayer in Rural Ministry What is the relationship between prayer and the transformative, life-giving power of the Spirit? What happens when prayer becomes Spirit-reliant in rural churches? God acts powerfully on behalf of his people.


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MARRIAGE WHOLENESS PA T H W A Y PATHWAY GUIDES: Heidi Morris and Greg Brooks While larger society is downplaying and even rejecting the institution of marriage, there is a need for churches and Christian communities to use their collective voice to speak to its value and offer resources to strengthen it. These sessions, led by pathway guides Heidi Morris and Greg Brooks, will offer helpful marital resources and guide participants to consider how the sacredness of marriage can be revived. The Marriage Wholeness pathway is presented in collaboration with ACU’s Family First initiative.


Part One New York Times best-selling co-authors Les and Leslie Parrott are well known for their ability to unlock the truth about how to help couples have a love that lasts a lifetime. Drawing from their SYMBIS assessment tool, Les explores important relational factors in marriage preparation and enduring relationships.


Part Two As leading marital experts, Parrott and his wife, Leslie, have created SYMBIS, an award-winning marriage preparation assessment tool used successfully by more than 1 million couples. In this session Les explores how churches and practitioners can use this assessment to help couples make their marriages everything they are meant to be.



Is the church intentionally teaching and promoting healthy and godly marriage? Drawing from his years in ministry, counseling and his book, The Marriage-Friendly Church, Camp explores how the church is a needed advocate in helping married couples.


What does it take to have a healthy and vibrant marriage? Explore how seven factors can help anyone have a fulfilling marriage that can last a lifetime.

F A M I LY F I R S T I N I T I AT I V E ACU’s Family First initiative is pleased to collaborate with Summit to present the Marriage Wholeness pathway Family First is an organization dedicated to providing resources to help promote healthy and Christ-centered relationships in the lives of all ACU employees and their families. The work centers on hosting recreational events on and off campus, as well as seminars from key speakers and writers. Its website features an online resource library about various family and relational topics, as well as information about counseling resources. Relationships are important to everyone, and Family First seeks to provide resources that encourage and help strengthen the relationships in our lives that matter the most.

Sunday, Sept. 16 • 7 p.m. • Abilene Civic Center Abilene congregations, in collaboration with Summit and Family First, are pleased to bring psychologist, motivational speaker and bestselling author Les Parrott to the Abilene Civic Center for Fight Night, an evening filled with humor, fresh insight and practical, new strategies for turning conflict into a means for deeper relationship. Fight Night is a fun “date night” for couples of every age and stage, from those pre-engaged to seniors who have been married 50 years or more. Couples will laugh while they learn new ways to instantly improve their relationship, gaining practical tips to strengthen communication.



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WORSHIP WHOLENESS PA T H W A Y PATHWAY GUIDE: Sam Souder When you hear the word “worship,” what comes to mind? How did we get to where we are today? How do you work with creative teams (and do you even need one)? From those new to worship ministry to those with years of experience, this pathway – led by guide Sam Souder and others – takes an honest and open look at the practical nuances of leading worship in today’s churches, and what the future holds for this important aspect of congregational life, regardless of church size. Be a part of the discussion!

Sandra Henderson WORSHIP RHYTHMS

There is a rhythm, a kind of automaticity that occurs when our hearts are in line with who God is in our life. Worship becomes natural. To lead worship, or to live a life of worship, there are some rhythms we need to acknowledge and practice. In this class, we will weave these things through the practical worship, praise team, and leading the church highs and lows. We can’t handle the technical and spiritual highs or the lows if our hearts aren’t in line with God’s.

Taylor Belt and Duncan Campbell YOU WANT TO BUILD WHAT?

Developing a Creative Team and Empowering Them to Lead Worship For centuries, art has been at the root of church and worship. Too often, we isolate our creativity in worship to sing ing or an occasional video. In this class we will explore what it means to gather a group of creative people and challenge them to think outside the box. We will give you tools to begin to broaden your church’s creative future, offering practical and impactful projects you can begin working on for a small amount of money. These tools will help bring a bigger impact to message series and bring to life what is being communicated in your services. Join us for this exciting journey into rediscovering what it means to use the creative gifts God has given us.

Chad Higgins and Pat Bills OPPOSITES ATTRACT … OR DO THEY? Preachers and musicians/artists tend to think … differently. When it comes to Sunday mornings, the relationship between the worship leader and preacher is crucial. Worship services benefit when great collaboration takes place between the two; on the contrary, they can suffer because there is no trust, appreciation nor love. This class will explore healthy ideas and ways to have a healthy relationship with your worship leader or preacher.


Projectors, sound boards, microphones, sheet music, praise teams … over the last 20 years our tribe has seen several significant shifts in corporate worship settings. In this session, we’ll explore some of these changes, what caused them and what precipitated them.


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TECHNOLOGY WHOLENESS PA T H W A Y PATHWAY GUIDES: Berlin Fang and John B. Weaver Church leaders and technology experts like pathway guides John Weaver and Berlin Fang will explore practices for maintaining and supporting meaningful connection to other people in four contexts of our lives: self, family, church and school. By assessing the impact of digital technologies on community, and exploring possible ways forward for meaningful connection, each session offers valuable and practical descriptions of wholesome Christian relationship to technology.


Technology in the church can help or hurt a congregation. This session will consider the power and perils of incorporating technology in ministry and church settings, including social media campaigns, digital Bibles in worship and small groups, and whatever comes next.


The Bible’s literary forms present patterned forms of behavior reflecting ancient situations in life, while also exemplifying practices that serve God, with habits realizable even today. What are these biblical forms of spirituality and their significance to individuals in an increasingly digital world?



Developing Wholeness in a Connected World Young adults, teens and tweens are highly engaged with social media. They use it to construct and share their own identity while navigating social relationships. This session will explore the challenges and opportunities social media presents, and strategies for helping young people navigate its use in a healthy, spiritually formative manner.


Distraction or Empowerment? Technology has become integrated into our daily lives, but how is that affecting our students? This presentation will show how technology tools can be used to empower teachers and students in an age when the same tools also can create distraction and division.

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I N T E R FA I T H FRIENDSHIP WHOLENESS PA T H W A Y PATHWAY GUIDE: Garry Bailey When scripture tells us to love God and love others, it’s not just a call for how Christians should treat each other. Our call is to love our neighbors, even those who follow other religious paths. Establishing friendships with people of other faiths is a much better witness than condemning them for not believing as we do. Pursuing interfaith friendships does not assume that the friends have the same spiritual beliefs and practices. What remains true, however, is our call to love God and love others. The sessions in this pathway will suggest ways that we can reconcile the brokenness of interfaith differences by reaching out in love.


Interfaith Relations and the Second Great Commandment Why is the second greatest commandment (Mark 12:31) relevant, even in our increasingly pluralistic culture where our neighbors are often persons who follow faiths other than our own? What can this admonition mean for those of us who see Christianity losing influence in our society and other faiths – or no faith at all – challenging the way “things used to be”? Which reasons compel us to love non-Christian neighbors as ourselves?

Salim Munayer MUSALAHA

Lessons Learned From Reconciliation Between Israelis and Palestinians the Last 25 Years Musalaha is a unique 25-year-old reconciliation ministry among Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews who have a common faith in Jesus and also in the wider society among Muslims and Jews.


Promoting Tolerance, Friendship and Reconciliation Between Christians and Muslims Because Christianity and Islam comprise nearly 55 percent of the world’s population, interactions between their communities and institutions are critical for global peace. Using the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12) as a reference point, this session will explore how tolerance, friendship and levels of reconciliation between Christians and Muslims are possible and powerful.

Derran Reese and Ezdehar Alsahow MORE IN COMMON

A Muslim and Christian Discuss Faith and Friendship Though we can disagree on various issues of theology and faith, deep and genuine friendships can emerge when people of different faiths focus on the numerous things held in common. Hear a Muslim and Christian describe how friendship can be forged through a shared commitment to hospitality, celebration of diverse cultures and people, and passion for serving the common good. 19

The Lytle Center for Faith and Leadership is honored to collaborate with Summit to present the Business Wholeness pathway The mission of ACU’s Lytle Center is to advance the understanding, practice and development of Christian service and leadership to the glory of God and the benefit of society. Open to all majors, it envisions preparing a new generation of leaders who show the love of God and lead with competence in their chosen fields and the character of Christ in business, government, media, technology, education, healthcare, and numerous organizations and communities around the world.

The Halbert Center for Missions and Global Service is honored to collaborate with Summit to present the Business Wholeness pathway The mission of ACU’s Halbert Center is to infuse missional and intercultural competence into the entire campus, inspiring and equipping all students, faculty and staff to join in God’s mission as we become exceptional, innovative and real disciples for Christ in the world. The Halbert Center programs provide missions opportunities for students through short service trips, summer internships, and gap year opportunities around the world. We also partner across campus for on-campus missional activities such as a weekly Missions Chapel, the annual Broom Colloquium, and the Missions Student Association.


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BUSINESS WHOLENESS PA T H W A Y PATHWAY GUIDES: Dodd Roberts and M.C. Jennings It is possible to be a business leader fully on mission for God! However, just as many believe incorrectly that science and Christianity are at odds, some believe business and God do not mix. This pathway will consider the ways in which businesses and business people are redeemed by God when fully committed to him. Join us to hear several believers who have business success discuss how they mesh their training and careers with their vocational calling in Christ. The Business Wholeness pathway is presented in collaboration with ACU’s Halbert Center for Missions and Global Service, and the Lytle Center for Faith and Leadership Development.


Van Duzer will present and discuss the principles covered in his book, Why Business Matters to God. In it, he explores the nature and meaning of doing business and finds it calls for much more than most think. He presents a profoundly Christian approach integrating biblical studies with the disciplines of business and economics.


What Could Go Right? In 2007, social entrepreneur Leonard blended passion and purpose to found Second Chance Coffee Co. Its business model is simple and unique: Meticulously select beans from the top 1 percent of coffee in the world, roast and deliver the same day, and hire post-prison people into an environment that allows them to shine.


When Alan Barnhart and his brother, Eric, decided to start a business, they were dedicated to building it on the biblical principles of money.

Upon starting Barnhart Crane and Rigging, the brothers capped their income at a middle-class level and began sharing profits. More than 30 years later, they have given away tens of millions of dollars, and eventually the company itself.


With Bock’s help, his Christian community, Jesus People USA, has started more than 30 for-profit businesses in 40 years. In this session, he will share his insights into building businesses that join God in building his kingdom, lessons he has learned through his successes and failures, and what it looks like for a disciple to be in business.


Making Your Life Count Patrick Lai has started multiple profitable businesses with the goal of kingdom growth, has planted churches, and also authored multiple books on the topic of transformational business. In this session, he will provide examples of how he and others have used business around the world to join God in his plan to create disciples and grow his kingdom.


Visit Jacob’s Dream One of the most visited landmarks in West Texas is on ACU’s campus. Take time to explore the award-winning Jacob’s Dream sculpture site, southeast of the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building. It’s an inspiring 34-foot-tall bronze sculpture, based on the Genesis 28 story of Jacob’s unusual dream, as created by ACU art and design professor Jack Maxwell, with assistance from his wife, Jill, and their students. Gather at Jacob’s Dream each morning at 8-8:15 a.m. for a brief devotional time centering on the choices we make and the God we serve, and begin the day with prayer! 22

Join us Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Recital Hall of the Williams Performing Arts Center. for a performance of The Mountaintop. Set in Memphis’ Lorraine Motel just hours before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, it portrays the renowned civil rights leader as a very human man, stripped of the m–ountains of mythology now woven into his remembrance. The Mountaintop provides insight to our societal strengths and frailties, and our own personal accomplishments and failings as, with King, we ponder the cost of what we contribute and the legacy we leave behind. This recent Broadway hit was the 2010 winner of Britain’s Olivier Award for Best New Play. Recommended for ages 16 and older.

Oral Interpretation of Ephesians Join us Monday at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of mixed-media entertainment. Nationally acclaimed oral interpreter Dena Counts will be performing a reading of the book of Ephesians. She will be joined by renowned artist Heather Heflin Hodges, who will create a work of art as Dena speaks. The event also will include a performance by Gracenotes, a women’s a cappella student group.

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C O N G R E G AT I O N A L W H O L E N E S S PA T H W A Y PATHWAY GUIDES: Eric Gentry and Wilson McCoy Congregational ministry presents a unique leadership challenge. We are broken men and women attempting to lead our churches towards wholeness in a fractured world. A key way forward in this leadership dilemma is admitting and embracing the brokenness we all carry. Pathway guide Eric Gentry and others will speak into this paradoxical predicament by providing hopeful and helpful ways to guide congregational leaders as they seek to guide churches towards wholeness. In a concluding panel discussion, all four presenters will join facilitator Wilson McCoy for a conversation engaging the themes from the day.


Facing Human Limitations to Empower Our Ministry Church leaders often feel like they need to project strength and competency to minister effectively, but what if we are wrong? God’s strength is often revealed through our human weaknesses when we are willing to embrace our brokenness. In this session, author Smith describes her pastoral journey of learning how vulnerability can shape a unique ministry presence and practice.


Spiritual Formation in Broken Congregations Like their ministers, congregations face seasons of doubt and trial. Can a church remain Christ-centered in these moments? If so, what practices of spiritual formation are vital to the congregation, and how do we enact those disciplines across a varied church body? Wilson, longtime minister and now a university chaplain, will share possibilities from the deep well of spiritual formation and spiritual direction.


Practicing Ministry in the Midst of Pain Church leaders are faced with a unique tension of ministering to the pain of others while experiencing their own seasons of doubt, pain and struggle. In this session, veteran minister Cope will speak about his years of experience, reflecting on how he has navigated this tension, including the people and practices that have sustained him and the lessons he has learned.


Caring For Yourself While Caring For Others How does “rejoicing with those who rejoice” and “weeping with those who weep” impact a minister’s personal and spiritual life? McCoy will share her expertise on self-care and trauma stewardship, and how ministers can incorporate practical steps to ease symptoms of burnout and compassion fatigue.


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DISCIPLESHIP WHOLENESS PA T H W A Y PATHWAY GUIDES: Ben Pickett and Phil McKinney Our faith and commitment to Christ are frequently separated from the rest of our lives, yet a disciple is one who is fully devoted to him. In spite of living in a fragmented and broken world, Christians should be growing up in every way into the fullness and wholeness of God. Join hosts Ben Pickett and Phil McKinney with their guides on a pathway to explore ways in which we can grow into spiritual maturity as disciples of Jesus Christ.


What is a disciple? What is discipleship? These words are often confused today. However, the Holy Spirit enlightens the eyes of our hearts (Ephesians 1:15-23) to what it means to be disciples of Jesus Christ. This session will examine holy and wholly living as disciples of Jesus in a broken world.


This talk will examine the interpretation of Ephesians 4:1-16 in the thought of Thomas Aquinas, who taught Christian theology at the University of Paris in the 13th century. It will place Aquinas’ interpretation of this passage into dialogue with current literature on women’s experiences, exploring the possibilities for an understanding of “wholeness in community” that takes both of these perspectives into account.



At the heart of discipleship is a recognition of the personal relationship between God and human beings. The nurturing of this relationship is central to our growth as disciples of Jesus. This session will introduce classic and contemporary ways of understanding spiritual growth and examine how these themes, informed by Scripture, help us see ourselves, our relationship to God, and the moral and communal responsibilities that necessarily emerge for Christians.


We tend to compartmentalize the various aspects of our lives. Our spiritual selves are relegated to Sunday or when we are with those of our faith community. This is not who God made us to be. The Jewish people perceived themselves through a holistic lens and brought all these aspects together. Thus, each part was infused through every other arena – one’s vocation was viewed as spiritual life and spiritual life was viewed as one’s vocation, etc. It is through prayer that we become integrated. This class will look at the process of integration through prayer as well as explore the way into which God’s has invited us.

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PREACHING WHOLENESS PA T H W A Y PATHWAY GUIDE: Eddie Sharp God – Father, Son and Spirit – seeks to bring his people into a place of unity and wholeness. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians lays out in a wonderful way how God’s eternal plan brings us into life to the praise of his glory. Join host Eddie Sharp and others in exploring how preaching Ephesians might offer to those who listen and respond a clear path to wholeness in Christ.


Fowl authored the New Testament Library commentary on Ephesians, published in 2012. He will provide an overview of the structure and message of Paul’s letter, helping all hear the message more clearly.


During the more than 20 years in which McLaughlin has preached for the same dynamic congregation, the church has faced an array of social issues with grace and courage. Listen as he describes how Ephesians gives us ample encouragement for the church to find unity and peace through the power of the cross and the blood of Jesus.


As a minister whose focus is on children and families, Henegar is keenly aware of how the pressures of society seek to form the essential human relationships into scarred, marred wrecks of what God hoped and intended that they might be. In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul lays out a blueprint for a healthy Christian household. Join Henegar as she explores how that concept preached today.


In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul challenges the Christians to walk in a new way. He tells them that by God’s power they can stand against the evil one. This is the pathway of life to which we are called to the praise of God’s glory. Gonzalez’s presentation on the Christian walk is one you won’t want to miss.


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RACIAL WHOLENESS PA T H W A Y PATHWAY GUIDES: Jerry Taylor and Curtis King Are societal pressures and a divisive climate drowning out the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of nonviolence in the face of oppression? Escalating racial, political and religious polarizations in America require Christians to be as clear as possible about what their biblical response should be regarding acts of civil violence against their neighbors. What is a Christ-centered answer when an increasing number of people believe they have authority to personally use violence when deemed necessary?


After Jesus’ arrest in Matthew 26:52, he tells Peter, “Put your sword back in its place.” He does not tell him to discard it. In what ways does this passage speak today to Christians who possess weapons? How did Hutu and Tutsi Christians view this passage in the Rwandan genocide of 1994? How does a Christian reconcile the blessing on peacemakers in the Sermon on the Mount with Peter’s willingness to use violence during a moment of civil conflict?


During the Jewish Holocaust, Dietrich During the Jewish Holocaust, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian and author of the Christian classic The Cost of Discipleship, struggled to apply Jesus’ teachings on nonviolence in response to Adolf Hitler. In the 1932 classic Moral Man and Immoral Society, American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr addressed the difficulty of applying biblical principles to this topic as well. How can these texts guide our thinking and Christian convictions on whether the personal use of violence is justified? 26


In a critical analysis of Marvel Comics’ movie Black Panther, we will examine the various portrayals of the struggle to effectively respond to the violence of oppression. How does this popular movie inform us and what would an application of its principles demand of us as diverse Christians living in America and in the world?


David Walker, a former slave, wrote a book in 1829 in which he made a fervent appeal for slaves to use violence in gaining freedom from their masters. Does this strategy have a place in today’s world in which corruption and other evil practices still prevail? Which scriptures or theological arguments could dissuade Christians today, regardless of race, from using civil violence to respond to oppression and injustice?



Choose from on-campus, online or intensive courses.

The ACU Graduate School of Theology offers a variety of on-campus and online programs allowing you to earn your master’s degree while continuing to gain valuable ministry experience.


Students in the Graduate School of Theology receive an automatic tuition discount and may be eligible for additional merit-based scholarships.



Complete your degree full time or part time.

On Campus


Master of Divinity

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

Master of Arts in Global Service

M.A. track in Theology

M.A. track in Old Testament

M.A. track in New Testament

M.A. track in Ancient and Oriental Christianity

M.A. track in Modern and American Christianity

Doctor of Ministry

325-674-3735 (on campus) • 855-219-7300 (online) • •


The Siburt Institute for Church Ministry exists to offer resources and best practices for leading congregational communities in pursuit of God’s mission in the world and to provide avenues for the spiritual formation of Christian leaders.


Summit – annual gathering of Christian leaders, church members and university students for conversations about faith and life for ministry throughout the world. ElderLink – events held across the country for persons engaged in congregational leadership. Contemplative Ministers’ Initiative – a two-year spiritual formation program for early career ministers. Ministers’ Support Network – weekend sabbatical retreats designed for ministry couples in need of renewal, reflection and discernment.


Consulting Services – Access to ACU faculty who specialize in various aspects of congregational ministry. MinistryLink – MinistryLink is a web-based job board for ministers and churches. The Looking Team – The Looking Team is an active, relationally driven team helping churches find candidates for open ministry positions.


Church Health Assessment – a robust and statistically reliable research instrument providing objective profiles across nine areas of congregational life. Ministers’ Salary Survey – an annual nationwide survey measuring minister compensation packages. Video, Audio and Printable Resources – a collection of multimedia resources and documents tailored to church leaders.


CHARIS – a website hosting critical, contemporary conversations about Christian leadership through invited posts and online essays. Discernment: Theology and the Practice of Ministry – a digital, online, peer-reviewed journal that presents work describing Christian ministry in an array of contexts. E-Newsletter – monthly communications announcing events and highlighting resources. • 325-674-3722 • 28








Wildcat Preview Days

• Friday, September 7 • Friday, September 28 • Monday, November 19


Admitted Student Days • Monday, October 8 • Saturday, November 3 • Friday, December 7

Wildcats are better together! Come home and celebrate what it means to be a Wildcat at Homecoming this Oct. 11-14. Register today at


ACU Box 29423 Abilene, Texas 79699-9423 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

Coming September 15-18, 2019 • Register today at

A Conversation Where Life and Faith Converge in Christ

Living the Psalms In today’s trying times, it is easy to become discouraged and troubled and to wonder how God is present and working in and through us. The Psalms serve as a beautiful reminder that these struggles are not new to God’s children, but that he has been ever-present and faithful throughout all time. Make plans to join us in 2019 as we explore Living the Psalms.

2018 ACU Summit Program  

2018 Abilene Christian University Summit Program.

2018 ACU Summit Program  

2018 Abilene Christian University Summit Program.