Best Practices
in Christian Higher Ed

Conference and Research Seminar Series

In partnership with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

In partnership with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

Main Content

High-Impact Practices

Abilene Christian University is partnering with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities to host a series of two-year, cohort-based research seminars examining critical features of student success with a special emphasis on developing, implementing, and assessing high-impact practices.

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) designates “high-impact practices,” or HIPs, based on evidence of significant educational benefits for students who participate in them—including and especially those from demographic groups historically underserved by higher education. These practices take many different forms, depending on learner characteristics and institutional priorities and contexts.

The work produced through the seminars, plus submissions from a broader call will be presented at a biennial conference hosted at ACU in Fall 2024. Additionally, the Christian Higher Education journal will produce a special issue featuring the selected papers from the cohort and conference.

Bible building rotunda


The theme for the 2024 conference is “Expanding Minds and Hearts Through Global Learning and Study Abroad.”  Keynote speaker Melissa Torres, President of The Forum on Education Abroad will present the theme keynote on Study Abroad and Dr. Alex Sosler, assistant professor of Bible and ministry at Montreat College and assisting priest at Redeemer Anglican Church will provide theological perspectives in his keynote address.

Presentations will highlight various high-impact practices in the context of Christian higher education as well as Global Learning/Study Abroad. The 2022-2024 research cohort presentations will focus on Global Learning and Study Abroad.

Campus view with beautiful sunset

Research Seminar Series

ACU also hosts cohorts of Christian faculty and staff for the purpose of investigating creative and innovative evidence-based practices to enhance the learning experiences of students across the nation. Special emphasis is placed on examining the relationship between high-impact practices and the distinct aims of Christian higher education.

Each cohort focuses on a specific high-impact practice. The research cohort is formed at the conference and begins a two-year research project that culminates in their presentation at the next biennial conference as well as the inclusion of their research in a special theme issue of the Christian Higher Education Journal.

Visit the featured issue of the Christian Higher Education Journal, Volume 22, Issue 3-4 (2023) to examine the research seminar cohort issue from the most recent conference held in fall 2022.

The ACU Effect

As a nationally ranked university in student success, ACU is uniquely positioned to lead conversations around best practices in Christian higher education. For the fifth year in a row, ACU is the highest-ranking university in Texas in the U.S. News & World Reportbenchmark focused on programs that lead to student success. In 2023, ACU ranked in five of eight categories and achieved top 10 status in three of those – #7 in First-Year Experience, #7 in Service Learning, #7 in Learning Communities, #23 in Study Abroad and #26 in Senior Capstone.

Sunrise at Jacobs Ladder

Coming to Abilene

ACU is located just 5 miles from the Abilene airport and only 175 miles from the DFW airport. Numerous rental car agencies operate out of the Abilene airport for your convenience.

The DoubleTree by Hilton (link text to DoubleTree website here) in downtown Abilene is the recommended conference hotel. It is a short distance to campus and a complimentary limited shuttle will be provided to and from the conference. For additional lodging and amenities, please visit the Abilene Visitors Center at the link below. The following hotels are offering special discounted rates for conference attendees as well: Courtyard Abilene Northeast, TownePlace Suites Abilene Northeast, Home2 Suites, and Holiday Inn Abilene North

When you arrive on campus, stop by the Hunter Welcome Center for information about the university, to set up a tour, and to get recommendations for things to see and do while you are here. While in town, we hope you will explore the many distinguishing features of our campus and historic Abilene.