By Kelsi Peace, Managing Editor
This year’s Lectureship will launch its first student driven track, designed by a student committee and with a constant theme: dialogue.
“Dialogue just opens up so many doors,” said Anna Peters, student committee member and junior elementary education and children’s ministry double major from Houston. “It gets the heart stirring; it gets the mind thinking. Lectureship is a good time for that.”
Less than two months after Lectureship ended last fall, Dr. Mark Love, director of Lectureship, asked Dr. Wayne Barnard, university dean of spiritual formation and assistant professor of
higher education, to create a committee of students who would create a 15-hour student track.
A semester and several monthly meetings later, the committee of about 20 unveiled a schedule hitting on tough issues, including social justice and issues that divide the church.
Student committee member Bradon Lewis, senior youth and family ministry and physics double major from Abilene, said committee inventors hope to get students outside the “ACU bubble.”
“I think it’s good to have conversations that sometimes deliberately pop those bubbles,” he said.
And tough issues are the ones to do so, he said.
Kate Miller, ministry events coordinator, oversaw the committee while Barnard was in Oxford, and said feedback from this year will dictate what happens at future Lectureships.
“The more we can get students involved – not just attending, but participating – the better,” Miller said.
For Brady Bryce, who will take over Dr. Mark Love’s position next fall, a student track is at the heart of Lectureship. Bryce said while reading over the history of Lectureship, he found a reference that said the event was for students and visitors.
Bryce said he hopes to grow the student track next year.
“We’ve got to see how it plays out,” he said.
The student committee, which was composed of students involved in an array of activities, spent time conversing with friends and in casual conversation with other students to plan the track, Lewis said.
“We missed some of it, because we only have 15 hours,” he said.
The 15 hours they do have will be spent tying into this semester’s Chapel theme, Micah 6:8, and beginning dialogue the committee hopes will carry into the rest of the year.
For example, the conversations began with ‘Mysticism in the Modern World,” led by Randy Harris, instructor of Bible, ministry and missions, and could carry into the semester, possibly as a part of Harris’ Socrates Caf‚, a discussion group that meets in the Den, Lewis said.
And with Reel Spirituality, Lewis said students can examine how not only to help those in other parts of the world, but also how to offer aid to neighbors in Abilene.
“Our new trend is. we’re on fire about justice,” Lewis said.
Despite its name, the student track isn’t for students alone.
Lewis said the hope is that visitors of all ages will attend as well.
“I want [students] to know that the generation gap doesn’t have to be there,” Peters said. “The older people that come to Lectureship . they’re actually here because they want to know who we are as a campus.”
The hope, too, is that the student track will draw students to Lectureship.
“Students never go,” Peters said. “They just take the sleep time or do laundry.”
For Lewis, Lectureship has always been something he’s attended, but not something he’s found applicable to his life.
“It wasn’t the dialect that I spoke.”
Now, with a time for students to have important discussions, students should also consider the church’s future, Lewis said.
“I wonder what our church is going to look like,” Lewis said. “What is our Lectureship going to look like?”