Apprenticeship in Regenerative Culture (ARC), is a group dedicated to creating intentional community.
The program is only three years old, but the founders both agreed the need for intentional community began when they were teenagers.
Dr. Kent Smith, a CHARIS professor, explained that he had an encounter with a young drug dealer who was questioning God. This led Smith to ask, “what will it take for ordinary people to know God?”
Smith said he realized most people were either not exposed to God or had poorly formed ideas about God and did not truly know His character.
In the 80’s, he began to find answers through a community of believers. From this, sprang the idea that Christians need an intentional community of believers who could love and support each other.
“The most powerful evangelist in the universe is a vibrant community of God’s people, a vibrant family of Jesus,” said Smith. “The beauty of how God has designed us ultimately is best experienced in joyful, interdependent, intergenerational communities of God’s love and purpose.”
Smith discovered that his vision for intentional community aligned with Laura Callarman’s vision and together they formed ARC. The goal of ARC is to give students key tools for community formation. They work on spiritual practices to create believers who are “skilled attention payers” in community.
“The Church is supposed to be transformative and regenerative, and yet, so much of the time it’s not,” said Callarman, a CHARIS Fellow and adjunct professor. “It’s not necessarily changing the world for the better and bringing gospel to the world, yet that’s what God has called it to be and asked it to be. This is essentially an apprenticeship in reclaiming some of those practices and values and relationships that allow for that to be the case.”
ARC is intended to transform individuals who can then go out and transform the world by building their own intentional communities after leaving ACU.
“College is unique, being at ACU is unique, because you will never be in a place where you are with people who are the same age as you, doing the same thing, at the same point of life,” said Jarren Longoria, one of the first ACU student to join ARC and a junior Bible missions major from San Antonio. “A big part of being intentional is realizing that intentional community starts right now. As hard as it is, you get the opportunity to grow with people who are different in many ways; age, stage of life and a lot more.”
ARC meets for Chapel every Wednesday in BSB 229.