By Jonathan Smith, Managing Editor
Dr. Charles Siburt will assume several new responsibilities after being named vice president of Church Relations.
The position is a high-level position in the university administration and makes Siburt part of the President’s Cabinet.
“It makes official a lot of things I’ve been doing unofficially,” Siburt said.
The role, which went into effect Sunday, gives five main responsibilities to Siburt:
* To represent church relations in the Cabinet;
* To work with the College of Biblical Studies and the president to promote positive church relations;
* To serve as director for the Center for Church Enrichment.
* To direct the doctor of ministry program;
* And to serve as the Frazer professor of church enrichment, which focuses on encouraging healthy congregations.
Dr. Royce Money, president of the university, said this role will help facilitate part of the university’s mission of being a service to the churches, and that he hopes the creation of this position sends a message to the Churches of Christ.
“I hope that this appointment signals to the congregations within our fellowship that we take our commitment to them seriously and are interested in expanding our influence among them,” Money said in an e-mail.
Money said the idea of this position has been in the back of his mind for several years but that once he decided to create it, the decision of who to name was easy.
Siburt, who has worked at ACU with churches since 1988, regularly consults and does workshops with ministers and churches and maintains the university’s ministry resources Web page. Siburt also oversees ElderLink, a ministry that serves elders in the Churches of Christ, and the Minister Support Network.
“Charles Siburt has instant credibility within the leadership of our churches because of his signifcant ministry among them,” Money said. “He was a natural choice for the position.”
Bill Young had served as director of church relations, which also managed the annual Bible Lectureship. When Dr. Mark Love was named director of ministry events in 2001, he took over only the Lectureship responsibilities.
Money said creating the position will not affect next year’s budget because it is being covered by previously budgeted, reallocated funds.