Biennial Conference

Best Practices in
Christian Higher Ed

Stay tuned for information on our next Best Practices in Christian Higher Ed Conference coming in the fall of 2024.

Stay tuned for information on our next Best Practices in Christian Higher Ed Conference coming in the fall of 2024.

Main Content

2024 BPCHE Conference
“Expanding Minds and Hearts Through Global Learning and Study Abroad”

Save the date!

September 29 – October 1, 2024

Call for Papers opens on November 1, 2023

Registration to attend the conference will open January 15, 2024

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 2024 conference is “Expanding Minds and Hearts Through Global Learning and Study Abroad,” and keynote addresses and presentations 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 2024 Conference Keynote Speakers

Melissa Torres

Melissa Torres joined The Forum on Education Abroad as President and CEO in 2019. She has over two decades of experience in higher education and program design, development, and implementation. She previously served as Vice President for Academic Programs at IES Abroad where she supervised 36 international study abroad centers in Asia, Europe and Latin America and worked with faculty and administrators across the globe. Her campus-based experience includes leading a variety of international initiatives for three institutions: Brown University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Ohio State University. Before joining The Forum, Melissa served as a volunteer Chair of the association’s Outcomes Assessment and Research committee for three years, was a member of NAFSA’s Work, Internships, Volunteering and Research Abroad (WIVRA) subcommittee, and was a founding member of the Business International Studies Network (BISNet) Business Colloquium. She holds a BA in International Studies from Stonehill College and a Master’s degree in Global Education from The Ohio State University.

Alex Sosler

Alex Sosler is Assistant Professor of Bible and Ministry at Montreat College and Assisting Priest at Redeemer Anglican Church in Asheville, North Carolina. He is also author of Learning to Love: Christian Education as Pilgrimage and editor of Theology and the Avett Brothers. Alex is also writing a book on spiritual formation with Baker Academic called A Short Guide to Spiritual Formation (May 2024) and co-writing a book with Gary Ball on theology and the arts with Cascade (Fall 2024). He’s married to Lauren and dad to Mariela, Auden, and Jude.

Conference Highlights

Conference Sessions

Participants have the opportunity to join multiple sessions on various topics related to best practices in Christian higher education. Each session examines 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. 

Hunter Welcome Center at night

Time for fellowship

The conference opened with an evening mixer where Attendees enjoyed conversation while enjoying heavy hors d’oeuvres on the patio of ACU’s Hunter Welcome Center. Following the mixer, attendees gathered together for a time of worship led by ACU students, staff, and alumni. 


A Night of Fun Beyond the Conference

On Monday evening of the 2022 conference, attendees had the opportunity to join a night of fun and fellowship in the SoDA (South of Downtown Abilene) district. Participants displayed their axe-throwing skills at the Abilene Axe Company and enjoyed a delicious meal from a local food truck. There was live music on an outdoor stage, and participants listened while enjoying dessert and a cup of coffee from Moose Mountain Coffee Bar & Roastery or walked to any of the other local establishments in the area. Stay tuned for similar opportunities for fun and fellowship at the 2024 conference. This event has an additional fee.

Other Special Activities

At multiple times during the conference, attendees had the opportunity to participate in two unique experiences at ACU. 

Get Creative at ACU’s Maker Lab
The 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 N
uclear 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.