By Sarah Carlson, Student Reporter
Three ACU students have been recommended to study at the Focus on the Family Institute in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the fall semester.
A committee of university professors interviewed and recommended the students, who will find out from the institute whether or not they have been accepted into the program May 5.
The three students recommended for the program are: Rachel Bowden, junior psychology major from Houston; Teresa Pecinovsky, sophomore Christian ministry major from Cresco, Iowa; and Tracy Harper, sophomore elementary education major from Midland, Mich.
Bowden said the Focus on the Family Institute has the final say on who is accepted into the program, but it strongly considers what the university committee, as well as the other participating universities, recommend.
Dr. Gary McCaleb, vice president of the university, said ACU usually sends between two and four students to the institute each semester.
The number of students accepted by the Focus on the Family Institute can fluctuate because of the number of available spaces in the program, as well as how many students are being sent from other universities.
McCaleb said recommended students are usually accepted, and that he can’t recall a semester where the institute has accepted fewer than two students from the university.
The overall objective of the instruction at the Focus on the Family Institute, as stated on its Web site, is to equip leaders in the Christian worldview as it pertains to family, church and society.
“I see it more as a training opportunity,” Bowden said. “I see myself working with families in the future, and this program would help me not only in the family area but broaden my views of the world.”
Students at the institute in the fall will attend classes such as Christian Worldview Studies; Marriage and Leadership Studies; Family Life Studies; Family, Church and Society Studies; and a Practicum relating to a specific field of interest.
Bowden said if she is accepted by the Institute, the program would help enhance her Christian perspective of the world, which would help her ability to minister to families in need in the future.
Pecinovsky said she is “looking forward to being challenged. I feel like I’ve been well prepared at ACU to go step into a rigorous educational environment.”
“I really want to learn what it is like to be a Christian leader,” said Pecinovsky, who will spend this coming summer working with the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles. “I want to be with people who are focused and experienced in their field, and I want to get out of my comfort zone and experience different parts of the country outside of Abilene.”
Harper said that more than anything, attending the program would be a personal challenge for her and everything in which she believes.
“I know that I would leave the Institute a different person than when I entered it,” she said.
Harper is interested in teaching either third or fourth grade, but she said attending the program is not directed at her major so much as it is to help her out in life and the way she views things.
She said she is excited about participating in the program because of the many ways it can benefit her.
“I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me,” Harper said.