Mike Cope's blog

Friday, January 06, 2006

I'm so thankful for the amazing things I know are going on at several Christian colleges. Pepperdine continues to reclaim its Christian heritage. Rochester College is on its way to becoming a top-flight school in the north. Harding continues to train and equip students for vocational missions. And with the hiring of Randy Lowry, this may well be the Year of Lipscomb. But today I want to say a word about Abilene Christian University. ACU was founded 100 years ago, and there will be centennial celebrations all year long. I'm so thankful to be involved with ACU as a teacher and also as the preacher for a church that is intimately connected with it. (More students attend ACU from Highland than any other church. Plus lots of administrators, faculty, staff, and students find their church home here.) I can't believe the strength of the department Jack Reese, Dean of the College of Biblical Studies, has put together. I would love to be a student going to ACU now to prepare for ministry. Take, for example, this one area: homiletics. You can study preaching with Randy Harris, Stephen Johnson, James Thompson, Jack Reese, Mark Love, and Tim Sensing. That's called hoarding the wealth! In a couple weeks, Randy and I will get to teach about 80 freshmen Bible majors Acts through Revelation. And I envy what they're going to be getting in the coming years. I'd like to sit in those classes they're going to have with Jeff Childers and Mark Hamilton and Larry Henderson and David Wray and Jerry Taylor and . . . Well, I shouldn't start. (Check out the undergrad faculty and the grad faculty online.) I didn't attend ACU as a student. But I am very thankful for all the women and men who have made it what it is. The university has been a blessing in my life and to churches all over the world. Happy 100th!

25 Comments:

  • ACU changed my life. Okay, God used the people and the lessons they taught and the environments they provided and the love they gave to change my life. I too, am so very grateful for this family called ACU.

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 1/06/2006 05:01:00 AM  

  • I'm a convert to the faith, Harding graduate, and preacher. I would have to say that in the last few years I have really come to understand and appreciate all ACU is doing. I agree Mike, they have an endless supply of scholars and are calling us back to our roots.

    I also appreciate the work they are doing with ICOC people. I am excited to see Steve Staten, Doug Jacoby, and Sam and Gerry Laing speaking at the ACU lectures.

    Thanks for your blog. I bet that you enjoy teaching there.

    By Blogger KMiV, at 1/06/2006 05:33:00 AM  

  • I have also been blessed by the Christian universities. I grew up attending the campus school at David Lipscomb, and had all but signed the dotted line to attend Harding for college (very exciting high school quiz bowl tournament there was a genius recruiting effort for dorks like me). On a whim however, I traveled to ACU to accompany a buddy on her survey of Abilene, and ended up LOVING it myself. These schools are precious institutions from which many of my "saltiest" mentors have come. Thanks for the nod Mike.

    And I've got to give a shout out to Dr J. Willis- the kindest Bible prof I ever had the pleasure to learn from.

    By Blogger Shanta, at 1/06/2006 06:28:00 AM  

  • Mike-

    I could not agree with you more. I have my undergrad in Biblical Text and my MDiv from ACU and have been blessed by all of the men and women there, specifically those in the Bible department.

    The ACU Bible Department is almost like the New York Yankees. They have so many great teachers that it's almost not fair!

    By Blogger Kent, at 1/06/2006 06:44:00 AM  

  • Congratulations on 100 years of kingdom work from those of us here at Harding! Having lived in Amarillo for 13 years, and being thus surrounded by ACU alums at church (my mom is one, by the way), I grew to love the place, as well, though I have only been there a couple of times. Keep on keepin' on....

    By Blogger don, at 1/06/2006 06:53:00 AM  

  • Shanta. It almost goes without saying. John Willis is a combination of Isaiah and Yoda. Isoda.

    By Blogger Mike, at 1/06/2006 06:55:00 AM  

  • The first time I stepped on the ACU campus was when I was a senior in high school....from that moment I knew ACU was where God wanted me to attend college. Looking back, I wouldn't trade any of my ACU experiences for the world. My time there, corny as it sounds, was magical.

    By Blogger Julie, at 1/06/2006 07:11:00 AM  

  • I'll never forget the first newswriting assignment I turned in to Merlin Mann. It came back with a big, red "64" on the top of it. I couldn't believe it. Since first grade, teachers had been telling me what a good writer I was. Well, according to Merlin, Charlie Marler and other profs I had in the ACU journalism dept., good wasn't good enough. I had to be better. I still don't write anything without hearing Dr. Marler's voice saying, "Hmmm...are you sure you want to word it that way?" I still want to be better.

    We're still paying off our student loans (that's what happens when you marry someone who went to ACU and then went back there for grad school), but it's been worth every penny.

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 1/06/2006 07:18:00 AM  

  • I am very thankful for the heritage of faith at ACU and for the many incredible professors that I have been blessed to learn from. These men and women have challenged my faith into further development and richness. Some of my favorite professors have been Jerry Taylor, Jeanene Reese, and Willard Tate. Not to mention Mike Cope. I praise God for the mentors that have gone without titles that have loved, edified, and caused my faith to be questioned and streched.

    By Blogger Lauren, at 1/06/2006 08:50:00 AM  

  • Have you people seen some of the BUILDINGS around here? There are some great ones, and I would know. I currently work in the Administratio building, and it's one of the best buildings ever. The bible building is good too, but the wireless signal is very spotty. I haven't spent much time in COBA, but I've been told it's nifty, too. And the Tower of Light is the best one of its kind in all of Abilene.

    Yeah, the people are grand, but the facilities are the heart and soul of this place. Not to mention the grounds...they are nearly always immaculate, and GREEN, which is saying something for Texas.

    Still waiting for that parking garage to go in, though.

    ;)

    By Blogger Greg Kendall-Ball, at 1/06/2006 09:06:00 AM  

  • Hi, Mike--

    When I graduated from Harding after growing up there and moved out west for a short while, my first impression of ACU was sadness at the lack of tall trees. (If you know Harding, you know what I mean.)

    Of course, that was just the campus. Since then I've learned that what they lack in trees, they make up for in other kinds of growth. And like trees, they keep growing and have an impact that will outlast even the tallest, oldest oak tree.

    (And for all I know, maybe the trees there have grown since I was there?)

    Thank God for both schools.

    By Blogger Sheila, at 1/06/2006 10:07:00 AM  

  • You're makin' me wanna move back to Abilene, Mike Cope!!!

    By Blogger Jana, at 1/06/2006 10:29:00 AM  

  • Congratulations to ACU for 160 years of educating kids to go out & serve in our world! Thank you, too, to the professors & staff who sacrifice better salaries elsewhere, to teach & serve at schools like ACU. Prayers for another 160 & then some!

    By Blogger annie, at 1/06/2006 10:30:00 AM  

  • OOPS--make that 100 yrs. rather than 160. Sentiments all still the same!

    By Blogger annie, at 1/06/2006 10:34:00 AM  

  • Thankful for ACU and the history it has played in my family's life.

    Especially grateful that two of my children will be graduates in the near future, and for the life long friends made, club experiences, and degrees to be earned from ACU.
    Biggest kudos for the faithful examples they get to see in action daily.

    By Blogger Hoots Musings, at 1/06/2006 11:50:00 AM  

  • OK, ACU is a terrific school. I went through the MFT program and it was excellent. And I loved the OT history course I took with Isoda (ha, that's a great one!!!).

    I have one beef with ACU, though. I admit upfront that this comment comes from a native Minnesota. Why in the name of all things beautiful did anyone decide to set up shop in Abilene, TX? (Lord, thank-you for the safe distance blogs provide). I mean, Austin is a cool place, San Antonio has that sweet riverwalk. If you gotta be in Texas, why Abilene?

    OK, it's open season - crucify me.

    By Blogger Fajita, at 1/06/2006 12:01:00 PM  

  • "If you gotta be in Texas, why Abilene? "

    To control the demographic explosion ???? ;O)

    Or - Austin is too liberal??? Or - San Antonio's too humid??? ;(

    OR - Abilene is just right???
    [Yeah!~! At least imho] :O)

    By Blogger Kathy, at 1/06/2006 12:10:00 PM  

  • I guess 100 years ago, things looked a little different in the state of Texas.....Fajita et al - here's a link to some of the story behind the history of ACU.

    ACU History

    By Blogger Jenni, at 1/06/2006 01:01:00 PM  

  • Hey, ACU could have been in Ballinger or San Angelo. I would take Abilene over those places any day of the week. Refer to Dr. John Stevens book on ACU for the story of how the college landed in Abilene.

    By Blogger Kent, at 1/06/2006 01:07:00 PM  

  • When I first started ACU in 1988 I wondered "Why Abilene?" myself... but looking back I just don't think ACU would have worked anywhere else. Most students come to Abilene for ACU. I doubt many come to ACU for Abilene. Could the same be said if it were anywhere else?
    Happy 100 ACU! Three generations of my family are better for knowing you!

    By Blogger SG, at 1/06/2006 01:21:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the history link, Jenni. Very interesting.

    Abilene is certainly not a very pretty city. It more than makes up for it in friendly atmosphere though - not to mention plenty of strong churches. The quality of the church can make or break a city in my opinion.

    Congrats on 100 years ACU!

    By Blogger reJoyce, at 1/06/2006 02:36:00 PM  

  • there's something about Abilene that draws you in...after matt and i spent five years in school there it was so hard to leave, and it felt like home...i could never even begin to describe the blessing that this wonderful place has been in my life...and being an alumnus of the ACU theatre department is a whole other blessing in itself...every time matt and i go back for some function or show, we find ourselves wanting to move back to our little garage apartment on Amarillo street and stay forever

    By Blogger tine, at 1/06/2006 03:00:00 PM  

  • I love ACU. I got my undergrad at Harding and my masters from ACU. It was great preparation for ministry. I am doing a second masters now at SMU and it is a piece of cake compared to the work I had to do at ACU.

    My son, Jonathan, is a senior ministry major at ACU. He has had the greatest training in the world to work with you there at Highland and sit at the feet of those wonderful professors at ACU.

    Mike, I praise God for those of you who love enough to train young men and women for ministry and life! Thanks for all you have done for Jonathan.

    By Blogger Paul, at 1/06/2006 10:13:00 PM  

  • There are many great things going on here at ACU-it is an awesome place to be at right now. Since I am working on my MDiv, I have the pleasure of learning from all of those wonderful professors you mentioned-wow what a gathering-and of course, including Isoda!! HA!

    I went to LCU for my undergrad-and there are many wonderful things going on there, too!! It continues to grow by leaps and bounds and for such a small institution, there are some AMAZING Bible profs there! It was a true blessing getting my Undergrad from there.

    Coming to work at ACU has also put a whole new spin on it-I work with the heart of ACU (imho) with Campus Life, and those are some of the most amazing men and women of faith I have known. It is truly a blessing to work for and with people like that who are seeking to build up God's kingdom by equipping this generation to reach out and serve. I pray that God will continue to use us for His will...

    By Blogger Katherine, at 1/08/2006 11:29:00 AM  

  • Christian education runs deep in my family. My wife and I attended ACC in the 50s. Her greatgranddad helped start and was on the board of Cordell Christian in Okla. and raised funds for Childer's Classical Inst., which became ACC/ACU, when it started in 1906. Her aunt was in the first class. My Son-in-law's grandfather was a Dean at Lubbock and his other grandfather taught at Pepperdine. Our four children all attended Columbia Christian, ACU and Harding while their mates attended Harding, Columbia Christian, and Lubbock. I served at Columbia Christian for 21 years and our son is now chairman of the board at Anderson Christian School in Indiana. We are proud of our Christian school background and pray that all of the schools will "stay the course." Too many schools lose their way (Harvard, Yale, etc.)

    By Blogger Glenn, at 1/08/2006 11:32:00 PM  

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