DiArron Morrison, who worked as the resident dean at both of the freshman male residence halls, McKinzie and Mabee, is finishing his first semester as an instructor in the College of Biblical Studies.
Morrison is teaching Jesus: His Life and Teachings and Cornerstone this semester. Next semester he will teach Early Christians: Life, Literature and Community and the Message of the Old Testament.
Although he has only been an RD for two years, his extent into his collegiate and biblical careers has stretched further than that.
“I’ve worked with college students the better part of five years now, actually approaching six years in ministry,” Morrison said.
He said that a large part of continuing his career at ACU, from residence life to instructing, is due to his passion for working with young adults.
“A big lens of people I like to work with is that 18 to 23-year-old age group,” Morrison said. “Teaching just allows me to have another vantage point of an area I’m passionate about.”
Unlike many instructors and other members of faculty, Morrison recent experience of working in Res. Life has allowed him to learn to work with college students from a different angle.
Morrison said he believes that college students should be understood and worked with in mutual respect.
“At 18 to 23, people just go around handing out things to people of that age. Everything with college students is earned,” Morrison said. “So, I try my best to meet everyone with a standpoint of mutuality and to treat everyone with the respect any adult should be treated with.”
His passion for the gospel has and continues to give him the ability to approach each situation in his work through a Christ-like lens.
“I like to create with my environments what Christ calls the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ and I think the first step of that is that mutual respect.”
While he is passionate about his work, Morrison said he is just very passionate about getting involved and connected wherever he is at.
“When I came to ACU, I wanted to be at ACU because I wanted to be at college,” Morrison said. “I love this experience and I try to engage it in every way I can.”
Whether it was working with students in a dorm or working with students in the classroom, he said that he strives to get connected and plugged in, something he said every student in college should do.
To many Bible majors, the professors and instructors in the department are highly regarded for their knowledge and interpretation of the text and their ability to convey scripture in a relevant and practical way.
To Morrison, he said he is in shock to join the company of a selection of esteemed biblical scholars.
“I believe the Lord does things purposefully,” Morrison said. “I’m looking at giants over in the Bible department and the idea of teaching alongside people like Randy Harris or even someone like Jerry Taylor, who’s been a mentor to me since I got to Abilene, the idea that we’re colleagues is wild.”
Even though this part of his career for Morrison is different than being an RD, he said he feels like this is another opportunity to continue his passion of working with young adults.
“It’s completely different to live within feet from them,” Morrison said. “I’m just really interested in seeing another way I can really connect with college students.”
Morrison’s tenure as an RD in both halls allowed him to connect and help students in a more personal form than an average instructor or professor could accomplish.
By being a part of Res Life, he said he was able to meet and engage students where he knew he could do a lot of good.
“As an RD, [the staff and I] were there to ensure everyone there was known. My primary responsibility was to prepare people for the next step,” Morrison said. “That requires me to meet people where they are and help them figure out what that next step is.”
Even as an RD, Morrison said he had moments where he felt a Christ-like environment was being created and nourished around him.
In a moment with his coworkers, he said, “We did a diversity training called ‘Love Your Neighbor’ which ties the gospel to issues within diversity and giving people the idea: ‘What might Jesus say about this conversation?’”
Morrison’s focus on God and passion to help others in every environment he is in has made an impression on everyone he has worked with.
Elias Culpepper, a senior math education major from Ennis and former RA in McKinzie Hall, said Morrison walks around like a light of God’s word and that it is very obvious when anyone gets to know him.
“He lives for God and he lives to serve others which is very apparent in the way he walks, talks and just goes through life,” Culpepper said. “He’s here to serve you and me and everyone around us.”