2022 Conference Schedule

Best Practices in Christian Higher Education

Main Content



  • 6:00-7:30 p.m. – Registration and Mixer
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m. – Worship



Monday, 9:00-10:15 a.m. | Keynote Presentation

How “HIP” is your FYE? Interrogating the First-Year Experience as a High-Impact Practice

Hunter Welcome Center, Zones B and C

Jennifer R. Keup – Executive Director, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

The first-year experience (FYE) has been a philosophy for improving first-year student transitions for decades and stakeholders in higher education have developed numerous initiatives and educational experiences under the heading of “the first-year experience” (FYE). In 2005, AAC&U identified FYE as one of ten “high-impact practices” (HIPs) that enhance student engagement, learning, and retention. However, FYE only meets its full potential when it is continually evaluated for fidelity to the eight conditions identified by Kuh & O’Donnell (2013) that make HIPs successful interventions, including setting high expectations for performance, investment of time and effort, fostering reflection and integrative learning, supporting meaningful interaction with faculty and peers, and exposure to diverse perspectives. This presentation will draw from national data to examine FYE practices, critically interrogate the true nature of FYE as a HIP, and suggest areas for innovation and pedagogical improvement.
Back to Top

Monday, 10:30-11:45 a.m. | Concurrent Sessions

Simple, Intentional Strategies to Make HIPs Approachable

Hunter Welcome Center, Zone A

Stephen Baldridge – Dean, College of Humanities and Sciences, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Carol Zaricor – Assistant Professor of Instruction, University of Texas Medical Branch
Todd Ferguson – Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Jenn Rogers – Assistant Professor of Teacher Education, Abilene Christian University
Adam McCormick – Associate Professor of Social Work, St. Edward’s University

With the growing support of high-impact practices as a key aspect of student success and the student experience, there is increasing pressure on university faculty to find unique ways to implement HIPs in their courses and curriculum. While the literature is clear that HIPs are overwhelmingly positive, faculty can find them overwhelming, exhausting, and labor intensive (Halonen & Dunn, 2018). This panel will present ideas from three universities about specific, simple practices that lead to the development of multiple HIPs across several disciplines. Panelists will include experiences in collaborative courses, collaborative assignments, simulations, inter-professional education, and community-based learning.

Meeting the Needs of Diverse Populations on our Campuses

LYNAY Classroom

Trauma-Related Factors That Impact African American Male Persistence at a Theological Institution of Higher Education
Antonio Proctor – Senior Admissions Officer / Academic Support Advisor, The Interdenominational Theological Center

This study aims to explore various forms of trauma that could impact the academic performance of Black males at an urban graduate theological institution. This project exists at the intersection of religious education, trauma, equity and inclusion, as well as student success efforts. The research uses a phenomenological design to examine a specific group and phenomenon. It is intended to add to the existing body of knowledge centered primarily upon trauma-related educational practices. The purpose is to examine how faculty and staff utilize those practices to positively impact enrollment, persistence, and success of Black males while engaged in theological education.

How Diversity Becomes Immoral: Why Christian Higher Education Must Consider Disaggregated Graduation Data
Allen Jones – Professor of Bible, Corban University

In this session, we consider what disaggregated graduation data can tell us about institutional effectiveness and the ethics of educating increasingly diverse student populations. We engage broadly with national level Higher Education data, generalized data related to the CCCU collective, and granular level data from a self-study at our home institution – Corban University. We will then conclude with a discussion of Christian Higher Education’s responsibility to students of diverse backgrounds, and we suggest several ways interested institutions can begin to undertake this work.

Addressing the Needs of Diverse Learners in a Christian, Online, Higher Education Environment
Brian Cole – Associate Professor in School of Organizational Leadership; Program Director, M.Ed. in Higher Education, Abilene Christian University Online
Jennifer Butcher – Professor in School of Organizational Leadership & Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Abilene Christian University Online

With student demographics typically being more diverse in online higher education than at many traditional, residential campuses, new approaches are needed to support the learning and success of this diverse student body. The presenters will share best practices for addressing the needs of diverse learners in a Christian, online, higher education environment. Many of these practices will be from the cross departmental work the presenters are involved with at ACU Online, including activities that are aligned with the campus’s five-year DEI strategic plan.

Cultivating Spiritual Formation and Leadership Development within Christian Higher Education

Packer Forum

Shane Mountjoy – Associate Provost for Academic Administration and Dean of Faculty, LeTourneau University
Kecia Jackson – Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator, Lubbock Christian University
Earl Lavender – Executive Director of the Center for Vocational Discovery and Director of Missional Studies, Lipscomb University
Steven Moore – Professor and Chair of Language and Literature, Abilene Christian University

This session will focus on spiritual formation and leadership development of today’s college students on four different Christian university campuses. Each unique program represented on the panel engages students in innovative ways appropriate to its campus and student population. The potpourri of programs include a selective academic program for minority and low SES scholarly students, curriculum engagement to change spiritual trajectory with general population students in their required Bible courses, training committed followers of Jesus with leadership ability, and a program to elevate capable students with leadership potential in their faith and learning.

Creating Meaningful First-Year Experiences

AT&T Theater

Becoming the Mentors We Needed: Formative First Year Practices and Motivating Factors of Peer Mentorship in College
Sarah Todd – Director for Career Development, Eastern University

In spite of COVID, anxiety, and academic pressure, what inspires a first-year student to step up into a peer mentoring role during their second year? Based on interviews and focus groups, this session examines the motivating factors that prompted first year college students at a private liberal arts institution to pursue the following peer mentoring roles during their sophomore year: resident assistants, First Year Experience teaching assistants, and student chaplains. Among those interviewed, four primary factors emerged in particular: the desire for community, their sense of self-efficacy, a vocational connection, and the opportunity to impact incoming students’ experiences. After examining these factors, best practices will be shared on how to refine first-year experiences to encourage formation of second year peer mentors.

“I Would Never Have Talked to that Person”: The Power of an Assignment to Encourage Engagement
Marcia Everett – Director, The College Experience, Malone University

Can an assignment move two strangers into a more curious and genuine engagement with each other? High-impact practices have been identified extensively in FYS research yet there is less research about the outcomes of pedagogical approaches linked to those practices. Additionally, in Christian higher education, we are challenged to consider what kind of formation is happening in and through our classroom assignments and practices. One question, posed by David Smith (2021) is, “have our teaching practices nudged students toward genuine engagement with the people around them?” This session explores the impact of an assignment where first year students interact in paired structured conversations with a different peer outside of class each week of the semester. The impact of the assignment on outcomes related to meaningful engagement, diversity, and belonging will be shared, as well as ideas for how to incorporate a similar type of assignment in different courses and contexts.

Using Data to Drive Success

Adams Center

Empowering First-Year Success through Early Data Collection
Andrew Lehr – Dean of Student Academic Support, University of Saint Francis

Identifying obstacles to student success is critical to do early and often throughout a student’s first year; however, it is often difficult to identify those struggles quickly. Through the use of a homegrown first semester survey, our institution was able to identify institutional challenges and empower first-year instructors to promote holistic success among first year students. This session will identify ways in which our survey was developed, opportunities to increase student success, and how to equip faculty and staff with appropriate information and conclude with an opportunity to discuss best practices for early intervention in first-year populations.

Building an Institutional Culture for First-Year Experience Programs and Classes
Steve Conn – Dean of Students, LeTourneau University
Scott Moats – Interim CFO, Bethel University-Minnesota
Scotti Moats – Assistant Provost, Southwest Baptist University

This study explores the institutional elements necessary for a First Year Experience Program and Class to thrive at an institutional level. Based off the previous work of Cultivating a Culture of CARE (Moats and Moats, 2020), this research extends the work to identifying the essential elements administrators should emphasize within their institution. The research identifies the elements that are necessary for success while differentiating requirements based on ethnicity, class ranking, and athletics. Finally, the study provides a roadmap for campus leadership to help build a campus culture that supports a First Year Experience program and class.
Back to Top

Monday, 1:30-2:45 p.m. | Highlight Session

The Aim(s) of Christian Higher Ed

Hunter Welcome Center, Zones B and C

Perry Glanzer – Professor of Educational Foundations, Baylor University
Derran Reese – Director of Experiential Learning, Abilene Christian University

Does the word “Christian” in Christian higher education matter when incorporating evidence-based pedagogies, such as high-impact practices? How might our unique context shape the development, implementation, and assessment of such practices? Identifying the distinctive aim(s) of Christian higher education addresses those questions and then requires us to ask: do our students’ experiences align with our stated aim(s)?
Back to Top

Monday, 3:00-4:15 p.m. | Concurrent Sessions

Promoting Academic Resilience among Racially Minoritized Students through an Inclusive Ethics of Care and Belonging

Hunter Welcome Center, Zone A

Munyi Shea – Professor, Seattle Pacific University
Paul Kim – Professor, Seattle Pacific University
Joel Jin – Assistant Professor, Seattle Pacific University

An inclusive ethics of care considers the impact of structural inequalities on racially minoritized students’ lived experiences, and highlights the ethical commitment to amplify the voice of the historically underrepresented so that they feel valued and empowered. Despite their increasing numbers in higher education, racially minoritized students and first-generation college students (FGCS) face persistent challenges, resulting in higher transfer or withdrawal rates. This presentation will discuss three projects implemented at Seattle Pacific University to understand minoritized students and FGCS’ experiences on campus; identify the protective factors for their psychological and academic resilience; and provide culturally inclusive outreach and preventive intervention.

Holistic Course Development in Christian Higher Ed

LYNAY Classroom

Building on the Cornerstone: Assessing Outcomes in the First-Year Seminar
Trey Shirley – Cornerstone Director and Associate Professor of Art and Design, Abilene Christian University

Starting in 2010, Abilene Christian University re-envisioned its first-year seminar; this resulted in the creation of Cornerstone. Cornerstone is an academically-centered orientation seminar designed to develop relationships, advance critical thought about sources of knowledge, and promote critical examination of moral, ethical, social and spiritual issues. Integrating a wide range of innovative teaching tools, Cornerstone uses large forum lectures in combination with small classroom sections taught by university faculty. Focusing on a common assignment that has now been assessed for 10 consecutive years, this session will discuss the program’s assessment and the interventions taken to close gaps in student learning outcomes.

The Benefits of Using High-Impact Practices in Conjunction with a Christian University’s Mission to Meet First-Year Orientation Course Outcomes
Cindy McClenagan – VP Academic Affairs, Wayland Baptist University
Rosemary Peggram – Director of Student Success, Wayland Baptist University

In response to both SACSCOC’s required Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and the realized need to better prepare first-year students for success, Wayland Baptist University (WBU) expanded its first-year orientation course to incorporate more high-impact practices. In fall of 2018, this revised course–Best Achievement Strategies for College (BASC)–launched with outcomes summarized under Mindset, Major, and Mission. As the Mission outcome is to “promote belonging and servant leadership through hands-on service-learning initiative[s],” our presentation demonstrates how WBU uses a required, community based, service learning project or assignment to connect BASC students to the institution’s distinctively Christian mission and the community in which the campus resides.

Are You Engaged?
Brianna Garza Farin – Academic Advisor & INT 100 Coordinator, Concordia University Irvine
Cari Chittick – Professor of Education, Concordia University Irvine

Come examine current research in the area of transformative learning to enhance personal teaching of lessons in your own higher education classroom. Discuss effective strategies for relevant and meaningful lesson plans as well as assignments to enhance student learning, understanding, and development of skills for personal growth as they become equipped for their various vocations. Apply a student-centered approach to current lessons for the classroom to increase engagement and help students to make meaningful connections through reflection and active interpretation for their college experience. As students develop holistically, the aim is that they become wise, honorable, and cultivated citizens.

Using Collaborative Assignments and Projects in Healthcare Education

Packer Forum

Jennifer Shewmaker – Provost, Lipscomb University
Lynette Austin – Professor and Chair of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Abilene Christian University
Lory Chrane – Undergraduate Program Director, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Abilene Christian University
Katelin East – Assistant Professor of Social Work, Abilene Christian University
Monica Garcia – Director of Clinical Education/Instructor, Abilene Christian University
Kari Williams – OTR Occupational Therapy Department Chair and Program Director, Abilene Christian University

The College of Education and Human Services at ACU has committed to developing experiential learning opportunities that are sustainable and scalable. The innovative Inter-professional Education program puts students in the hot seat, pushing them to put to work the things they’ve learned in the classroom in real-world practice with simulated clients. Students from a variety of health professions work together, learning with, from, and about the other professions as they work in interdisciplinary teams to solve complex problems in healthcare. In this panel, faculty and clinical staff will share their use of collaborative projects and assignments across healthcare disciplines, provide data regarding student learning and discuss lessons learned across the three-year process.

The Engaged Learning Initiative: Empowering Students through Exploration and Experiences

AT&T Theater

LeAnn Davis – Associate Vice President for Instruction, Freed- Hardeman University
Holly Rowsey – Director of the Center for Instructional Innovation, Freed-Hardeman University
Jud Davis – Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Freed-Hardeman University

The Engaged Learning Initiative at Freed-Hardeman University provides a framework to organize engaged learning courses, scholarly activities, and student-driven projects into a comprehensive program that enhances the undergraduate student experience. Through participation, students encounter powerful ideas in a challenging collaborative environment, embrace their God-given potential and responsibility, and engage their world in vocation and service. Students connect classroom theory with high-impact practices in academic research, creative expression, global citizenship, servant leadership, and bridge experiences. In this session panelists will discuss how this initiative created a culture shift, expanded relationships, and enhanced the scholarship of teaching and learning at FHU.

Teachable Moments: What Can We Learn from this Peer Mentor Program and Professional Development Series for First-Year Students?

Adams Center

Meg Reister – Associate Professor of Special Education & Early Childhood, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Ann Dulany – Assistant Vice President for Student Success & Dean of Advising and Academic Operations, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Rebecca Rook – Director of Education Program, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Brigid Utz Student Leader,  Franciscan University of Steubenville

The Teachable Moments Peer Mentor Program First Year Experiences (FYE) Project involves embedding the Teachable Moments Professional Dispositions Workshop Series and the Teachable Moments Peer Mentor Program as first year experiences into a first year course for education majors. The researcher investigated these FYEs to see what impact professional development, online resources, and service opportunities have on the first year students. Information from this study will be shared in efforts to better tailor programming to maximize effectiveness and retention of first year students.
Back to Top

Tuesday, 9:15-10:15 a.m. | Keynote Presentation

Reclaiming “Best”: Christian Pedagogy in a Secular Age

Hunter Welcome Center, Zones B and C

Richard Beck – Professor of Psychology, Abilene Christian University

Christian Higher Ed routinely uses the word “best” to describe its practices, pedagogy and rankings. “Best,” however, assumes teleology: Best for what? Without specifying this telos, “best” becomes an empty cipher or marketing buzzword. Worse, in a secular age, “best” becomes a Trojan Horse, a poisoned pill, calling the entire enterprise of Christian education into question and incoherence. The existential challenge facing our institutions is reclaiming “best.
Back to Top

Tuesday, 10:30-11:45 a.m. | Concurrent Sessions

Serving All Students in the First Year

Hunter Welcome Center, Zone A

Developing Academic Tenacity in Beginning Undergraduate Students
Cathy Box – Director, Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship, Lubbock Christian University
Jessica Rogers – Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Lubbock Christian University

This presentation will highlight a Quality Enhancement Plan that was put in place with the express purpose of instilling, fostering, and supporting academic tenacity among beginning undergraduate students in order to support persistence. You will learn about research-based curriculum enacted in our freshman seminar courses that was designed to establish or strengthen a growth mindset in students, along with the implementation of effective Faculty Learning Communities that create learner-centered environments that further develop and support adaptive mindsets.

Supporting First-Generation Students: The Story of a Christian Liberal Arts College
Brenda Morton – Associate Professor of Education, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Aida Ramos – Dean, College of Education, Social and Behavioral Sciences, John Brown University

This session will share the findings from a four-year longitudinal study on a program for first-generation students at a Christian Liberal Arts College. The program, titled “Bridges” was created in the fall of 2017. First-generation students who were accepted to the university were invited to apply to join a cohort of first-generation students in a pilot program. Those who were accepted were brought to campus ahead of other freshmen students and participated in seminars and activities aimed to help with the transition to higher education and to develop friendships. Seminars included a session with a representative from the financial aid office, student life, library services, and other student support departments. They also participated in community building activities and outings as a cohort. Data was collected at admission to the pilot cohort, through a survey at the end of the first year, and through interviews at the end of their senior year. The Bridges program was found to have a high retention and four-year graduation rate. In fact, three students graduated within three years. There were, however, challenges along the way. This session will share the challenges and successes the students experienced on the way to earning a bachelor’s degree.

Career and Calling Circles: Pursuing a Sense of Belonging for First-Year Underrepresented Students
Chris Riley – Assistant Professor of Political Science and Criminal Justice, Abilene Christian University

In the spring of 2021, the pre-law program at Abilene Christian University launched and began facilitating All Rise, a community-building support circle for underserved pre-law students. This presentation will (1) provide an overview of the underlying research related to the sense of belonging on college campuses, (2) set out the theoretical concept of career and calling circles, (3) explain how All Rise was developed and worked in practice, and (4) share data from the study related to the program’s first semester considering whether the All Rise program contributed or not to first-year underserved students’ sense of belonging.

What Is It That Calls You To Others?: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and the Common Good

LYNAY Classroom

Monica Smith – VP and Chief Diversity Officer, Augustana College (IL)

The presentation will be framed in the role and mission of faith-based liberal arts colleges. Connections between diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice (DEIJ) and common good will be highlighted. Common good is mission-critical for faith-based colleges and universities. Discussion of concepts, barriers to inclusion and best practices will be substantial and substantive.

Faith-Based Instruction, Community Engagement, and Strategic Partnerships

Packer Forum

Faith-Based Instruction in Allied Health
Kari Williams – OTR Occupational Therapy Department Chair and Program Director, Abilene Christian University

A summary of qualitative results from a mixed methods program evaluation of a faith based allied health educational program. Semi structured interviews were conducted in which students reflected on shared learning experiences including service learning, global learning, and other experiential learning practices. Student interviews provided insight into the role that service learning and collaborative assignments play in the areas of skill development, empathy, leadership and self efficacy. Students discussed the role of faith in the curriculum and learning experiences, and it’s impact on professional and personal identity formation. Students confirmed the powerful role that faculty hold in spiritual formation and successful implementation of these learning experiences.

Advocacy and Community-Based Learning
Karen Longest – Professor of Psychology, Oklahoma Baptist University
Bret Roark – Professor of Psychology, Oklahoma Baptist University

Students selecting a minor in advocacy are provided the opportunity to develop skills that will help them become advocates for change. This interdisciplinary minor incorporates courses from communication studies, English, political science, psychology, and sociology. To complete the minor, students partner with a community agency to carry out a project that benefits the agency but also assists students in developing advocacy skills. Feedback from students and site supervisors regarding progress on learning goals, skill development, and benefits for the agencies will be presented. Follow-up information from students regarding their post-graduation use of the skills they developed will also be provided.

Utilizing Strategic Community Partnerships
Stephanie Hamm – Associate Professor of Social Work, Abilene Christian University
Katelin East –  Assistant Professor of Social Work, Abilene Christian University

This interactive presentation will address utilizing community partnerships to enhance curriculum. Community partnerships increase student confidence as they engage decision makers in the community, as well as contribute to service delivery. Social work education values the use of experiential learning as critical for all areas of higher education.

Framing the Student Experience from Start to Finish

AT&T Theater

Embracing the ePortfolio as a High-Impact Practice in our Education Program
Rebecca Rook – Director of Education Program, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Meg Reister – Associate Professor of Special Education & Early Childhood, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Brigid Utz Student Leader,  Franciscan University of Steubenville

Electronic portfolios, or ePortfolios, have long been utilized in educator preparation programs to support pre-service teachers’ growth as reflective practitioners and to provide them a means for showcasing their instructional capabilities. ePortfolios have also been used by educator preparation programs to produce data for programmatic assessment and accreditation (Strudler & Wetzel, 2011). This study explored the creation, validation, and establishment of interrater reliability of an ePortfolio scoring rubric in an educator preparation program that desired to create an evaluation instrument that could meet these aforementioned aims.

Education Day: Enabling Potential Students to See Themselves at our Institution of Higher Education
Ann Dulany – Assistant Vice President for Student Success & Dean of Advising and Academic Operations, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Rebecca Rook – Director of Education Program, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Meg Reister – Associate Professor of Special Education & Early Childhood, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Brigid Utz Student Leader,  Franciscan University of Steubenville

A postsecondary outcome and high-impact practice takes place at our institution of higher education (IHE) in the Education Program called Education Day. This high-impact practice allows for teaching and learning to occur, current college students can develop their leadership and presentation skills, and the IHE can focus on improving retention and postsecondary outcomes. Education Day, an advising event, will allow high school students to consider pursuing education as a major and to consider enrolling in college. College students are invited to share their experiences with the high schoolers who are then invited to shadow the college students for a day.

Instructional Design for Experiential Course Delivery with a Global Impact

Adams Center

Donita Brown – Instructor, Lipscomb University
Lauren Pinkston – Assistant Professor of Business as Mission, Lipscomb University
Joseph Bamber – Associate Professor of Marketing , Lipscomb University
Rob Touchstone – Director, Center for Vocational Discovery, Lipscomb University

In this interactive workshop, faculty will conduct breakout sessions to offer an opportunity for you to design your classes of various topics using experiential learning opportunities. The workshop facilitators will provide a foundation for dynamic instruction that engages Generation Z learners and coach participants through inclusive, culturally-sensitive course design guaranteed to increase student engagement through global impact opportunities.
Back to Top

Tuesday, 1:30-2:45 p.m. | Concurrent Sessions

Forming the Whole Student

Hunter Welcome Center, Zone A

Redeeming the Space Between: How Residential Learning Communities Promote Success by Blending the Curricular and Co-curricular
Ryan Erck – Program Director, Baylor University
Katie Windham – Director of Brooks Residential College, Baylor University
Mona Choucair – Senior Lecturer and Faculty-in-Residence, Baylor University

Residential learning communities (RLC) infuse the high-impact practice of learning communities into a residence hall. In doing so, they bring together siloed divisions on our campuses. By “redeeming the space between,” these communities pull isolated resources together to offer students a more holistic and seamless experience. In this session, Christian higher education administrators, practitioners, and faculty will learn about (1) the evidence of how such programs promote success as demonstrated through a recent research study, (2) the value of how RLC faculty-in-residence open space for interaction, mentorship, and discipleship with students, and (3) how successful RLCs can be approached as redemptive opportunities.

Toward a Comprehensive Approach to Personal Vocation in the First Year
Don Steve Frezza – Professor of Software Engineering, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Joshua Miller – Professor of Programming and Coaching, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Megan Reister – Associate Professor of Special Education & Early Childhood, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Valerie Plaus – Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Christopher Payne – Assistant Professor of Biology, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Juan Jauregui – Associate Professor of Economics, Franciscan University of Steubenville
John Pilsner – Assistant Professor of English, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Franciscan University of Steubenville has established a strategic initiative in support of vocational and leadership development of our first-year students. As a Catholic institution of higher education, FUS is actively pursuing “the formation of the lay faithful [as] an ever-clearer discovery of one’s vocation and the ever-greater willingness to live it so as to fulfill one’s mission…” (St. John Paul II). This presentation describes the synergy and summarizes the preliminary findings for engagement in first year students’ personal vocation and Christ-centered leadership. This presentation will provide a brief introduction to the three classes of activities, a comparison of their approach and findings, and a summary of their achievements for the 2021-22 academic year.

Faith and Learning Outside the Classroom

LYNAY Classroom

From Extra-Curricular to Co-Curricular: The Evolution of an Undergraduate Ministry Practicum

Michael Hoffman – Campus Minister, Graceland University

This presentation covers the challenges and successes of changing an undergraduate ministry education program from extracurricular to co-curricular for future bi-vocational ministers.

Residential Chaplains: A Promising Resource for Faith and Character Formation
Austin Smith – Doctoral Student, Baylor University
Perry L. Glanzer – Professor of Educational Foundations, Baylor University

Chaplains provide a variety of means and opportunities for spiritual formation among college students. Although some Christian institutions have chaplains in residential communities, this population is untouched in the literature. As such, this exploratory study collected data from three Christian institutions with residential chaplain roles in a joint case study. The study sought to understand these three models for residential chaplaincy, examining the structure, strengths, and weaknesses of each. This session will discuss the study and its implications for researchers and practitioners who wish to consider how to leverage the benefits residential chaplains provide for student faith and character formation.

Benefits and Outcomes of Faculty Involvement with Ratio Christi – a Christian Apologetics Student Organization
Darren Williams – Professor, Sam Houston State University
Treston Smith – Lecturer, Sam Houston State University

Ratio Christi (RC) Christian Apologetics Clubs are focused on promoting thoughtful Christianity through dialog and discussion of current historical, scientific, philosophical, ethical, etc challenges to the truth claims of Christianity. The RC club at SHSU just celebrated its 10th year, and the presenters will give a faculty / director’s perspective as well as a former student’s perspective on the benefits of involvement such as improved critical thinking skills, specific improvements in listening and conversational skills, improved Bible knowledge, broader historical perspective, and an understanding of how to answer challenges to the Christian worldview.

Fostering Creative and Digital Skills for Post-Graduation Success

Packer Forum

Amos Gutierrez – Creative Learning Technologies Coordinator, Abilene Christian University
Kendra Jerniga – Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, Abilene Christian University
Theresa Naldoza – BSN Program Director & Chair, Abilene Christian University
Steve Hare – Instructor of Bible, Missions and Ministry, Abilene Christian University
Monique Marquardt – Associate Professor of Practice / Director of Corporate Engagement, Abilene Christian University
John Boyles– Assistant Professor of Bible, Missions and Ministry, Abilene Christian University

Preparing students for success post-graduation goes beyond knowledge within their degree program. Creativity and digital fluency are important skills that can be learned by anyone and that contribute to potential success in nearly every industry. Abilene Christian University, through the use of creative software, encourages faculty to foster creativity and develop digital skills in students through the classroom experience. A panel of faculty that have implemented digital creative assignments will discuss best practices for implementing these assignments in their courses.

Study Abroad as a Best Practice in Christian Higher Education

AT&T Theater

John Osborne – Director International Programs / Assistant Professor, Oklahoma Christian University
Stephen Shewmaker – Executive Director, ACU Study Abroad, Abilene Christian University
Audra Pleasant – Executive Director International Programs, Harding University
Rebecca Zanolini – Director of Global Learning, Lipscomb University

Many in higher education believe that global engagement is an important part of a student’s education. Studies show that students who study abroad have higher grades, experience less attrition, and graduate at higher rates than students who do not study abroad. A panel of global education leaders will share how study abroad is increasingly being understood as a best practice in higher education.

Refining the First-Year Experience

Adams Center

Jared Gott – Director of Emerging and Innovative Programs, Freed-Hardeman University
Jenny Johnson – Dean of the Honors College, Freed-Hardeman University

First-Year Experience programs are designed to help students acclimate to a distinct campus culture and to equip them with the necessary tools for success. While these programs may be effective with an individual class of students, each year a new cohort arrives with their own unique needs and challenges for your institution. In this session, participants will discuss adapting a First-Year Experience to meet student needs and will then discuss strategies for modifying a program in a manner to prevent faculty/staff burnout, claim administrative buy-in, and create synergy with existing programs.
Back to Top

Monday, 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Poster Sessions

Active Learning Formats and Student Outcomes Among First-year Physical Science Majors

Valerie Plaus – Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Physical science students are tracked for three years to assess the correlation between active learning classroom strategies and traditional learning classroom strategies.

Charged to Learn: Making a Case for Spirituality, Self-efficacy and Self-worth

Veon Stewart – Assistant Professor of Mathematics, AdventHealth University
Is there a link between how first-year university students perceive their identity in God and their subsequent performances in their courses? If students see themselves as children of God, does that realization have any impact on their performance in the classroom and in their daily lives? What leads a student to action, to adapt their habits to align with their identity in Christ? This poster will showcase various intervention strategies employed in two STEM courses that seek to explore the concept of intrinsic motivation as it relates to faith and learning in the classroom.

Creating for Good: Facilitating Creative Graphic Arts in Community Engagement

Stephen Rektenwald – Assistant Director of Innovation Foundry, Abilene Christian University
Stories are an intrinsic part of our experience as humans. They’re a vital part of how we communicate with one another. The successful presentation of content is more than just a barrage of information and numerical data, relevant images are needed to connect concepts with meaning. Presentation storytelling elevates an idea into a compelling message. Our challenge to students was to research a local non-profit organization and create a concise, image-heavy visual presentation that tells the organization’s story and motivates the viewer to get involved.

Digital Writing Practices to Enhance Student Learning

Todd Primm – Professor, Sam Houston State University
Treston SmithLecturer, Sam Houston State University
Two faculty will share experiences with multiple digital writing tools in biology and psychology courses and connections to the university WID program. Tools include online journaling and discussion boards. Journal prompts, student responses, and strategies for interactive journaling will be shared. The subscription service Packback uses automation with discussion board format to stimulate student interaction and scales well to larger classes. Length of postings, connections to course content, and instructor grading load will be discussed. Digital writing can be used to increase student critical thinking and engagement, promote writing skills, and help students reflect on course content.

Ecumenism and Identity: Insights from Interviews with Ten CCCU Provosts on the Potential Possibilities of Ecumenical Engagement for Mono-Culture Institutions

Hannah Antrican – Graduate Student, Corban University
There is current discussion within the world, and within Christian higher education, on the importance of diversity. However, this is exceptionally difficult for Christian higher education, because the Christian identity narrows the student pool. On top of that, many Christian universities have denominational affiliations or even statements of faith that narrows the demographic even more. This poster will provide insights from 10 current provosts affiliated with various Christian universities. They tell their successes and difficulties of diversity, while still keeping their denominational identity. This poster will then suggest other possibilities for creating diversity, as well as partnerships the institution can make with other denominations.

Improving Metacognition Training for Faculty and Students

Jessica Rogers – Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Lubbock Christian University
This poster will explore how a Faculty Learning Community was utilized at Lubbock Christian University to motivate faculty to implement metacognition strategies in classrooms across disciplines. Results of the learning community show growth in use of metacognitive strategies by faculty and students. This poster will also explore the specific use of a new strategy, a study option survey, in first year chemistry courses and the results on students’ exam scores and metacognitive skills based on the Metacognition Awareness Inventory instrument.

Just as You Did it for One of These, You Did it for Me: Incorporating Service Learning in a College Algebra Class Impacts Multiple Lives

Veon Stewart – Assistant Professor of Mathematics, AdventHealth University
Service-learning provides a rich opportunity for students to connect what they are learning in the classroom to the wider community. Armed with the knowledge gained and their personal skills, they address targeted needs of local schools or community organizations. Service-learning projects have been incorporated in a college algebra curriculum aligning with the university’s mission of developing skilled professionals who extend the healing ministry of Christ. Gathered data from different trimesters show the intrinsic and extrinsic benefits of incorporating such learning in the mathematics classroom for the students and the communities they serve. As students serve others, they are serving Jesus.

Learning and Serving: Community Camp Experience

Amy Gibbs – Assistant Professor, Abilene Christian University
The ACU Department of Occupational Therapy offers two unique student-led community summer camp experiences serving the local community. Together these free camps, a handwriting camp and a life empowerment camp, provide opportunities for first-year occupational therapy students to plan, organize, and lead daily activities, advocate for children and families with unique needs, serve the local community, learn how to interact with a variety of populations, and reflect on their experiences and growth. The camps partner with those underserved within the community to promote healing from trauma and wellness through activity, and to improve skills necessary for success in the classroom.

Mission Mindful: Connecting Christianity and Computer Science

Gary Locklair – Professor, Concordia University Wisconsin
Being true to a Christian university’s mission means a professor must connect and relate a Christian worldview to the subject matter. This is not accomplished in a superficial manner, but by a significant integration of content and Christ. Computer science naturally lends itself to a meaningful connection with Christianity. True computer science is a vocation where we can serve our neighbor well. Good computer science considers the ethics and morality of the problem and solution. Beautiful computer science produces systems that are a pleasure to use and  maintain. The creativity of computer science, often done in communities, reflects the creative nature and process of God. This presentation will demonstrate the practical ways Christianity and computer science are connected.

Moving the Needle: A Faculty Shift toward Learner-Centered Instruction

Cathy Box – Director, Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship, Lubbock Christian University
This poster will share the results of a mixed-method research study conducted to determine the effectiveness of a Professional Learning Community (FLC) in helping faculty make their courses more learner-centered. The purpose of the study was to ascertain the effectiveness of the FLC by investigating the journey of change experienced by its participants and determining factors that support or constrain the successful development, implementation, and continuation of productive behavioral change. Findings will include the level of change that occurred, supports and constraints experienced, and strategies that “stuck” even two to three years after their time in the FLC.

Piloting Metacognition and Non-cognitive Instruction in a Corequisite Basic Writing Course

Nathan Shank – Associate Professor of English Language and Literature, Oklahoma Christian University
It is not a mystery that many students struggle in basic writing courses at college. This phenomenon has only been exacerbated recently by events such as the pandemic. Could part of the reason be linked to the manner in which basic writing is presented at the university level? Learn more about a recent initiative at Oklahoma Christian University that addresses this issue through recognition of the metacognitive component of learning and reducing the stigma associated with basic writing coursework, while not diminishing essential skill-building in components such as critical reading, grammar, and intentional writing.

Promoting Engaged Learning by Unifying Coursework Value with Student Career Trajectory and Vocation

Christopher Payne – Assistant Professor of Biology, Franciscan University of Steubenville
A generalizable assignment was designed to provide students the opportunity to develop personal appreciation of course material, connect it to career planning, and ground both within a unifying framework of Christian vocation to improve student engagement and learning. The assignment requires students to synthesize a paper on careers and vocations, interview a professional about relevance of course materials and faith in the student’s target career, and reflect on personal and career value of the course unified by a reflection on students’ personal vocations. An assessment tool is introduced, and success of application in multiple institutional courses is demonstrated.

Socioemotional Selectivity Theory in Relation to Undergraduate Graduation

Justin Diaz – Graduate Assistant of Residential Education, University of Denver
Socioemotional Selectivity Theory is a psychological theory that states as time horizons shrink, or are perceived as shrinking, individuals become more selective regarding behaviors, goals, and activities. This theory focuses on the lifespan, and influence time constraints, or perceived time constraints, may have on an individual. SST can offer insight into the actions and emotions of graduating seniors as they prepare for life after college.

Vibe Check: Are Faith Integration Practices Having the Impact We Intend?

Amy Stumpf – Professor of Religion and Society, California Baptist University
While much time and resources have been given to preparing faculty and staff to integrate faith into the academic and co-curricular experiences of students at California Baptist University (CBU), little is known about how our students actually experience and perceive those efforts. This poster will highlight the qualitative themes derived from five focus groups conducted between November 2020 and February 2021 with a sample of diverse undergraduate students. It will also highlight impressions from both Christian and non-Christian students about their experiences with and perceptions of the “Christian culture” at CBU. Finally, it will explore potential implications of the findings for CBU and similar universities.
Back to Top