By Jonathan Smith, Editor in Chief
When the Bible Lectureship ends each February, Dr. Mark Love, director of Ministry Events, usually can go a couple months before having to begin planning the next year’s event.
This year, however, with Lectureship moving to the third weekend in September, planning already has begun for next year’s event, which is only seven months away.
“At the same time I’m finalizing this brochure [for February], I’m sending out invitations for September,” Love said.
Despite the hectic schedule of planning for two Lectureships almost simultaneously, Love said plans are coming together for Sept. 17-20 program, and about half of the program already has been organized.
The university announced the change in the calendar during Lectureship last year. Instead of waiting 19 months between Lectureships, Love said it made more sense to shorten the preparation time and have two Lectureships in one calendar year.
Love said the schedule and events will be somewhat different than years past. The morning schedule basically will be the same with session times at 8:30 and 9:45 a.m. However, the afternoon schedule will be reworked to coincide more with the academic class schedule to allow more classes and students to attend the session. Afternoon class formats will incorporate workshop-style classes that allow for more interactivity for attendees, Love said.
When the change was announced last year, Love was prepared for attendees to have questions and concerns about the new date. When he made himself available for attendees to ask questions, few showed up to voice concerns. He said he has received a few negative responses since the announcement but mostly positive comments.
Most of the negative response Love said he received were from people who also regularly attend Harding’s Lectureship event, which will occur just one week after ACU’s in September. But Love said having Lectureship in February put it close to similar events at Pepperdine and Oklahoma Christian universities.
“That’s going to be true wherever we’re at on the calendar,” Love said.
The new date might prohibit some people from attending, Love said, but it also will allow some people to come who haven’t been able to attend.
The shortened planning timeframe hasn’t created only problems, however; some jobs have become easier. Love said he typically has to mail packages to groups who want to put exhibits in the exhibit hall area, and then he has to wait for responses from them. This year, he simply will be able to hand the packages to exhibitors this week and will know much sooner who plans to display exhibits.