The 2014 Broom Colloquium will feature a professor of anthropology from Wheaton College who will discuss short-term missions during Chapel on Feb. 26 and will participate in a forum on Feb. 27 in Hart Auditorium.
Dr. Brian Howell of Wheaton will discuss his research and experience regarding short-term missions. Howell is the author of “Short-Term Mission: An Ethnography of Christian Travel Narrative and Experience” and several other books.
“Most people don’t know this, but 30 years ago, there was almost no such thing as short-term missions,” said Dr. Chris Flanders, associate professor of missions. “It’s an exploding phenomenon. One of the things researchers love to do is look at trends and ask why this has happened and that is exactly what Brian Howell has done.”
Howell’s interest navigates between culture, globalization and Christianity. He will use his knowledge of these topics to provide insight on how to improve ACU’s short-term missions programs.
“The ultimate goal is to learn from him and to improve what we are already doing,” Flanders said. “There are a lot of existing short-term missions all across campus.”
Flanders created the colloquium in the spring of 2007 and is now the director of the project.
“We’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time,” Flanders said. “Finally, in 2006, we had the opportunity to give the ACU campus a chance to have a missional conversation. It isn’t just for Bible or mission majors; it’s really meant to be for the entire campus.”
The colloquium was named after Wendell Broom, assistant professor emeritus of missions, and his wife, Betty.
“They were central figures in the mission community in the early 1970s,” Flanders said. “Wendell was one of the first Church of Christ missionaries who went on to get advanced degrees in missions. He’s kind of a big deal, so we thought it was appropriate to name it after them because they exemplify this notion of world Christianity.”
The colloquium has been successful in previous years and organizers hope to pack Hart auditorium again this year.
“A colloquium is a great opportunity to learn a lot of information in a short amount of time,” said Shaobeny Johnson, junior ad/PR major from Odessa. “I’d like to think of it as a seminar on steroids. I’m really looking forward to learn what this years’ Broom Colloquium is about.”