The Christian Scholars Conference will take place at ACU in June 2015.
The conference will be June 3-5. The theme is One World: Remapping Culture, Trade, Information and Faith. There will be four sessions led by Phillip Jenkins, Christian Wiman, Randall Balmer and Tavis Smiley.
“The mission of the Christian Scholars’ Conference is to create and nurture an intellectual and Christian community that joins individuals and institutions to stimulate networks of scholarly dialogue and collaboration,” said David Fleer, conference director and professor at Lipscomb University.
Dr. Gregory Straughn, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is a liaison alongside Fleer. Straughn and Provost Robert Rhodes are the connecting points between Lipscomb and ACU for the conference.
This will not be the first time it’s conducted on campus. Dr. Thomas Olbricht created the conference in 1981 at ACU. Since then, it has moved locations and is now on a four-year rotation schedule. It is administered at Lipscomb University for three years and relocates every fourth year to a supporting Christian university or college.
“The rotation provides the CSC leadership and geographical stability while allowing participating universities full ownership,” Fleer said.
The conference is heavily influenced by biblical studies, which was Olbricht’s original intention. Over the last decade, it has branched from biblical studies and has expanded to include all areas of study.
“The conference calls together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines in liberal arts, sciences, business, law, education and medicine to develop their own academic research and to reflect on the integration of scholarship and faith,” Fleer said.
More than 50 schools participate in the conference, and about 500 people are expected to attend.
“It’s scholars who identify themselves as Christians within those disciplines coming together for dialogue, conversation, mutual support, testing out new ideas, building and fostering relationships,” Straughn said.
Over the past 30 years, the conference has seen a fluctuation in interest level.
“But the last seven or eight years, with David Fleer’s leadership, it really started to grow and take off on a really healthy trajectory,” Straughn said. “It’s been a long time since it’s been at ACU, so we’re all excited to have it back at its original campus.”