2022 Biennial Conference

Best Practices in Christian Higher Ed

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Registration is now open for the Best Practices in Christian Higher Ed conference being held September 25-27, 2022.

The registration fee is $300, plus $50 for the “Night of Fun and Fellowship.” Be sure to register before the September 1st deadline.

The conference will begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, and will end at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022.

About the Conference

Join faculty and staff from Christian colleges and universities as we examine the intersection of high-impact practices and Christian higher learning. The conference will provide attendees the opportunity to network, share insights and research, reflect on the distinctiveness of Christian education, and join together in worship.

The theme for the 2022 conference is “Cultivating Engaged Learners Through First-Year Experiences,” and keynote addresses and presentations from the first cohort of High-Impact Scholars will focus on this theme. Other presentations will spotlight various high-impact practices in the context of Christian higher education.

High-impact practices include:

  • First-Year Experiences
  • Common Intellectual Experiences
  • Learning Communities
  • Writing-Intensive Courses
  • Collaborative Assignments and Projects
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Diversity/Global Learning
  • ePortfolios
  • Service Learning/Community-Based Learning
  • Internships
  • Capstone Courses and Projects

Meet the Conference Keynote Speakers

Jennifer Keep headshot

Jennifer Keup

Keup is executive director of the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition and the co-author of Developing and Sustaining Successful First-Year Programs: A Guide for Practitioners. She has published numerous journal articles and frequently speaks about high-impact practices in higher education.

Dr. Richard Beck headshot

Richard Beck

Beck is a professor of psychology at ACU and a sought-after speaker. He is the author of many books, including Authenticity of Faith, Unclean, and, most recently, Hunting Magic Eels: Recovering an Enchanted Faith in a Skeptical Age.

Freshman at Sunrise Devo

Conference Sessions

Participants will have the opportunity to join multiple sessions on various topics related to best practices in Christian higher education. Each session will examine one or more high-impact practices in relation to the following aspects of Christian higher education: teaching and learning, diversity, equity and inclusion, Christian spiritual formation, vocational and leadership development, and retention and outcomes. 

Abilene Axe Company

A Night of Fun and Fellowship

On Monday evening of the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to join a night of fun and fellowship in the SoDA (South of Downtown Abilene) district. Participants can display their axe-throwing skills at the Abilene Axe Company and enjoy a delicious meal from a local food truck. There will be live music on an outdoor stage, and participants can listen while enjoying dessert and a cup of coffee from Moose Mountain Coffee Bar & Roastery or walk to any of the other local establishments in the area. 

The cost for this special event is $50 per attendee. This price includes one meal from a food truck, dessert, coffee and axe throwing. Be sure to add this event to your registration to secure your spot at “A Night of Fun and Fellowship”!

Jacob's dream

Other Special Activities

The conference will open Sunday night with a mixer at 6:00 p.m. Attendees will enjoy conversation while enjoying heavy hors d’oeuvres on the patio of ACU’s Hunter Welcome Center. Following the mixer, attendees will gather together for a time of worship led by ACU students, staff, and alumni. 

At multiple times on Monday and Tuesday of the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in two unique experiences at ACU. 

  • Get Creative at ACU’s Maker LabThe Maker Lab is a 7,000 square foot design and fabrication space open to all ACU students, faculty and staff, as well as our neighbors in Abilene and surrounding communities. Participants will be led by the director of the Maker Lab in a creative design project and get a tour of this state-of-the-art experiential learning facility.
  • Tour ACU’s Campus – Jump on a golf cart and tour the distinctive facilities and landmarks on our Abilene campus. A featured stop along the tour will be a look at ACU’s Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing Laboratory. NEXT Lab is experimenting with using molten salts, rather than water, as a coolant for nuclear reactors with the goal of designing and building the first university-based molten salt research reactor. Other sites on the tour include Jacob’s Dream, the newly renovated Moody Coliseum, the Williams Performing Arts Center and more. 

These two activities have no additional cost for attendees, but please mark on the registration form that you would like to participate so we can reserve your spot.


The Grace Museum in Downtown Abilene

Coming to Abilene

The Abilene Christian University campus 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.

When you arrive on campus, you will head straight to the Hunter Welcome Center. While at the conference, we hope you will explore the many distinguishing features of our campus and historic Abilene.