Registration is now open for the fall event of ACU’s 116th year of Summit, Oct. 13-14, part of the new twice-a-year format designed to better serve church leaders.
Each fall, a two-day gathering will coincide with ACU’s Homecoming weekend, and each spring, a two-day event will lead into Sing Song weekend.
“By joining Summit with two large networking events on campus, our attendees can connect to others in their line of ministry, followed by time and space to connect with friends, mentors and others in the broader university community,” said Leah Andrews, who has directed Summit since 2021 and helped orchestrate the change. Andrews recently moved into a new role on campus and has been replaced as Summit director by Jennifer Schroeder.
The new format focuses primarily on specific congregational leadership groups, and these communities will engage with God, with one another and with material designed to equip them for effective service, said Schroeder.
Reflecting the theme “Abide With Me,” this fall’s communities will focus on children’s ministry, Hispanic ministry, preaching, recovery ministry, small church leaders and youth ministry. Each community will have the flexibility to form their sessions and thematic interpretation around the needs of their area of ministry, she said. In addition to the specific groups, a general interest track will be offered examining 1 Peter as it applies to the church today – an excellent source of enrichment for anyone wanting to attend Summit, whether they serve formally in ministry or not, Schroeder said.
Noted author and practical theologian Dr. Andrew Root will speak at Thursday evening’s plenary session on “Churches and the Crisis of Decline,” which is also the title of his latest book.
Attendance will be limited to 400 participants, and registration is required.
“In the more than 100 years of Summit, we find the world has changed drastically,” said Schroeder. “Where folks used to line up to hear a well-loved speaker, we now live in a time where we can hear that speaker with a few clicks of the mouse. Where folks used to crowd tents of exhibitors and tables of books and other printed material, we now live in a time where one can read and order the same online from the comfort of their own living rooms.”
Organizers have made a number of pivots throughout the 116-year history to keep Summit relevant and serve the needs of its audience.
“We must remain open to change to meet the needs of our attendees, yet always hold the greater purpose of Summit high,” Schroeder said. “Although the method may be different, we still serve our mission to connect church leaders in transformative learning communities for dialogue, encouragement and edification.”
— Wendy Kilmer
July 23, 2022