Programs and Events

The Adams Center facilitates ongoing programs and events to assist faculty in their pursuit of teaching and learning excellence.

February 26, 2024
  • Qualitative Research Lunch: Navigating the Journal Submission Process for Qualitative Researchers
    February 26, 2024  11:30 am - 1:00 pm

  • Lectio Divina
    February 26, 2024  11:30 am - 1:00 pm

February 28, 2024
  • Spiritual Disciplines
    February 28, 2024  11:30 am - 1:00 pm

New Faculty Orientation

Required for all new faculty, NFO launches as a three-day orientation in mid-August, and meets monthly throughout the school year. Topics include hospitality, theological foundations for pedagogy, sabbath rest, in addition to other teaching practices. Each new faculty member is assigned a mentor. Links to many of the resources that are shared as part of the training, can be found on this page.

Faculty Fusion

All faculty are invited to welcome each new academic year by participating in Faculty Fusion, a back-to-school mini-conference designed for inspiration, fun, and collegiality. Past events have included ….. Watch your email and follow us on Facebook to find out what each new year will bring. 

February 26, 2024
  • Qualitative Research Lunch: Navigating the Journal Submission Process for Qualitative Researchers
    February 26, 2024  11:30 am - 1:00 pm

  • Lectio Divina
    February 26, 2024  11:30 am - 1:00 pm

February 28, 2024
  • Spiritual Disciplines
    February 28, 2024  11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Master Teacher Training Program

The Master Teacher Program seeks to empower faculty to develop and implement best practices and data-driven techniques into their courses, resulting in long-term significant learning. Open to any full-time faculty member, participants meet monthly, engaging in face-to-face and online discussions, observations, and reflection.

Summer Faculty Institute

After the spring semester has concluded, an extended session for learning and renewal is offered. Recent institutes include workshops on vocation led by Dr. Ben Ries (ACU Dallas), inclusive pedagogy led by Dr. Jimmy McCarty (University of Washington-Tacoma), and scholarship led by Dr. Kara Alexander (Baylor University). The May 2023 Summer Faculty Institute will feature gifted and talented educator, Dr. Brittany Anderson (UNC Charlotte).

Reading Groups

Typically, two books are selected each fall and spring semester. Selections are organized around several themes: Mission, Teaching and Learning, Technology and Personal Development. Visit the Reading Groups page for a list of past reads. The list also makes an excellent resource for personal reading goals.

Lunch Sessions

The Adams Center hosts over one hundred educational lunch sessions each year. Sessions invite faculty to discuss teaching and learning, share scholarship, consider mission, and build collegiality. In addition, each semester we have several reading groups to discuss a common read. Our Monday morning email describes each week’s sessions.


In order to celebrate, encourage and create opportunities for connection, the Adams Center offers A variety of special events, designed to celebrate and encourage our faculty, are offered throughout the year. Typically these center around key annual events such as the Cup–O-Soup and Cookie Bake-off during the December finals week and a Dead Day picnic in spring. We look forward to greeting you and feeding you.

Teaching Squares

The Adams Center will offer an opportunity for any interested faculty to learn from one another through our Teaching Squares initiative. We are blessed with many gifted teachers at ACU, and this program creates a formal structure for soliciting the wisdom and experience of your peers in order to improve your own teaching. Check our newsletter at the beginning of each semester for opportunities to sign-up.

Mid-Semester Feedback

Mid-semester evaluations give faculty the opportunity to get feedback on what is working in a course as well as seek recommendations for improving learning and teaching. One way to “check the pulse” of your class is through focus groups. An Adams Center staff member would be happy to come to your class for 10-15 minutes, lead a discussion about your students’ learning and report back to you. Email to set up a time.

Contact Us

Laura Carroll

Executive Director

Scott Hamm

Assistant Director and Learning Designer

Rodney Ashlock

Director of Faculty Development

Amy Boone

Teaching and Learning Specialist

Hollye Jaklewicz

Administrative Coordinator

Stephen Rektenwald

Assistant Director of Educational Technology

In 1994, the President of the University established a Professional Development fund to be used to supplement currently budgeted monies dedicated to faculty enrichment. This document summarizes the purposes of the program, the process used to allocate the funds, and the closing dates for applications to be received.

Purposes of the Program

The Presidential Fund for Professional Development is a special fund of $11,000 that has been set aside to assist University faculty in becoming excellent teachers and scholars. Monies from this fund are intended to support faculty members traveling to conferences to improve their teaching or to present their research and scholarship at national or international conferences. Priority will be given to those attending conferences about teaching

Awards from the Presidential Fund for Professional Development will be given in amounts up to $1,000 per fiscal year, per faculty member.

Eligibility to Apply for Funding

In order to be eligible to apply for funding, the faculty member must attend a conference (or conference track) related to teaching. The conference can be directly related to the applicant’s field or a general teaching conference (for example, a Lilly conference). The applicant does not need to present at the conference. If the applicant chooses to attend a teaching track at a disciplinary conference, they must attend at least three sessions related to teaching. Faculty who attend a teaching conference will meet with Adams Center staff to share what they have learned.

Alternatively, an applicant may be presenting their research at a national or international conference or program within his/her discipline. The event must be generally recognized by the discipline as a major conference or program. The presentation can be either a paper or poster accepted through a peer-review process or an invited presentation. 

Monies from this fund may not be used to supplement participation that is otherwise funded by the conference organization. Monies from this fund must not be used to exceed the costs of conference participation. 

Application Process

Applications will be submitted to the Faculty Development Committee through the online form. Applicants should be prepared to provide: 

Rationale for attendance

        • A description of the teaching conference the faculty member wishes to attend and a rationale for how the conference will enhance the applicant’s classroom teaching, OR 
        • A description of the faculty member’s selection for participation in the meeting (noting how peer review has been involved in his/her selection). A copy of the acceptance or invitation letter for the presentation must be included, along with an abstract of the presentation.
        • Travel Budget
              • The budget must reflect any funds allocated by other sources, including the faculty member’s department. The budget should indicate how the funds that are being requested will be used (travel, registration fees, and so on), and should reflect the total expenses that the faculty member expects to incur.Travel Budget
          • The budget must reflect any funds allocated by other sources, including the faculty member’s department. The budget 
      • Applications for awards will be accepted three times each fiscal year for as long as the Fund remains in effect. Closing dates for applications are:
        • Summer Cycle: 5 p.m. on the second Monday in April. This cycle includes travel to events that occur from June through September.
        • Fall Cycle: 5 p.m. on the second Monday in September. This cycle includes travel to events that occur from October through January.
        • Spring Cycle: 5 p.m. on the last Monday in January. This cycle includes travel to events that occur from February through May.
      • Applications must be supported by a recommendation from the faculty member’s Department Chair, confirming the prestige of the conference or program and the significance of the faculty member’s participation. The Chair will receive an invitation to complete the recommendation form once the application has been submitted. Prior to applying, therefore, applicants should discuss with their Chair their plans to apply for Presidential Funds.  
      • Complete applications will be evaluated by the Faculty Development Committee, and this committee will make a recommendation for awards to the Provost’s Office.
      • The Provost’s Office will notify faculty members in writing whether or not they have been awarded funds. Upon award, funds will be transferred to the departmental FOAPs provided by the faculty member on the application.

      Criteria for Awarding Funds

      If the Faculty Development Committee receives more applications from eligible faculty than can be funded in a given cycle, they will use the following criteria to select which applications to fund: 

      • The committee will consider the quality of the proposal, the conference’s scope of influence, and the applicant’s need for funding. 
      • Preference will be given to applicants who did not receive Presidential Funds within the current or previous fiscal year. 
      • Preference will be given to junior faculty building their portfolios for tenure and promotion. 
      • The committee will aim to distribute Presidential Funds across the widest variety of departments and colleges. If there are multiple applicants from the same department, the committee will use the above criteria to select which applicants receive funding. In some cases, the committee may choose to offer smaller awards in order to fund multiple applicants from the same department. 
      Brown Library Room #264
      ACU Box 29201
      Abilene, TX 79699-9201