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Great Purpose, Greater Community: ACSD Comes to Anderson

June 12, 2023
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Anderson University hosted more than 450 student development professionals from 95 different colleges and universities across the nation for the 2023 ACSD conference.

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Anderson University had the privilege of hosting the 2023 ACSD (Association of Christians in Student Development) Conference June 5-8. 

This year’s conference theme was “Great Purpose.” Participants attended engaging keynote speeches and took part in professionally-led workshops focused on enhancing campus life and student development. 

The keynote speakers, Hosanna Wong, David Guthrie and Stephanie Shackleford, delivered insightful lectures on the theme of “Great Purpose” and explored topics such as finding purpose through work and living a purposeful life. 

At the workshops, educators discussed a variety of concepts, ranging from creating campus-wide diversity and inclusion to student mental health and physical well-being. 

“I attended last year’s conference,” Anderson University Residence Director Jose Brown said, “and it is honestly super helpful for forming relationships with other people that are doing the same work you are and taking and implementing ideas through the workshops that give practical advice on how to navigate different situations and supporting different groups of students.”

All the workshops echoed the conference theme “Great Purpose, ” to “embody the Kingdom of God in the institutions where we serve, helping students to understand that their ultimate purpose is to give glory to God by using their education to advance The Kingdom.”

In addition to these enriching sessions, the conference provided ample opportunity for attendees to network, establish inter-university relationships and foster a stronger sense of Christian community. 

“I like that at ACSD there are so many like-minded individuals, and then I also really like that there’s people who are not thinking the way I’m thinking. They don’t look at this job and approach it in the same way that I approach it. But, we still get the opportunity to learn from one another. It shows diversity in the people that are in this field, and ultimately shows the bigger picture of the community of God and how, even in this, we can be different and still be given the same calling,” said Brown.

Alongside job conferences, networking events and conference lunches, participants enjoyed leisure activities like pool time, sand volleyball, spikeball and yoga. 

The ACSD 2023 Conference was a harmonious blend of fun and worship. It offered numerous opportunities for networking with like-minded institutions and individuals. Most importantly, it strengthened the commitment of faculty members to return to their respective colleges with renewed determination to better serve their students and campuses. 

“I think the like-mindedness with ACSD is this idea that we are all doing this for a bigger purpose, and leaning into this year’s theme, a ‘Great Purpose,’ and that is God’s Kingdom work. So, I think one of the things I like about the networking is getting to know people and getting to learn from people, getting to encourage and be encouraged by people.”

Brown wholeheartedly recommends ACSD for anyone interested in connecting with peers and growing in their ability to better serve their students. 

“I would definitely recommend that people come to this. ACSD is amazing and I really believe in it. I think it’s helped me as a professional so, so much, and I really think there’s no better opportunity to connect with people who just understand what you do.”

Details about the conference are online at /acsd2023

ACSD is committed to assisting student affairs professionals to stay current and relevant in the quickly changing environment of higher education, and Christian higher education in particular. More details can be found on their website at  


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