2019 Annual Meeting








The 9th Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers was held at Techny Towers Conference and Retreat Center, Techny, IL. We were pleased to register 78 people including staff and board members from 17 Study Centers and 13 Partner Organizations, and 3 other guests, who are developing new study centers or partner organizations. We began at 1:30 pm on Monday, August 5 and concluded at noon on Wednesday, August 7.


∼ The Speakers ∼


The Annual Meeting again offered lectures by two university professors, Dr. Ken Elzinga of the University of Virginia and Dr. Elizabeth Corey, of Baylor University. Below are bios of our speakers, the descriptions they provided of their talks (and links to those talks), and descriptions of this year’s workshops based on information provided by their leaders.


Dr. Kenneth G. Elzinga is the Robert C. Taylor Chair in Economics at the University of Virginia. He was the first recipient of the Cavaliers’ Distinguished Teaching Professorship at the University, a recipient of the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Professor Award, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award, as well as awards in education from the Kenan and Templeton foundations. In 1992, he was given the Thomas Jefferson Award, the highest honor the University of Virginia accords its faculty.

Dr. Elzinga’s major research interest is antitrust economics, especially pricing strategy and market definition. He has testified in several precedent-setting antitrust cases.  The author of more than seventy academic publications, he also is known for three mystery novels, co-authored with William Breit (under the pen name Marshall Jevons) where the protagonist employs economic analysis to solve the crime.


Dr. Ken Elzinga – “Study Centers: Following and Sending”  For people who believe in the Christian gospel, life involves following Jesus Christ and of being sent out for His purposes in the world. Study Centers should understand how their resources are devoted to both equipping students to follow Jesus and to sending them out in His name.


  • You can listen to Dr. Elzinga’s lecture, Part 1 HERE


Dr. Ken Elzinga – “Study Centers: Asking and Receiving”  Study Centers need donors.  We less often recognize, however, that donors also need the recipients of their funds – like study centers – that are in the trenches ministering to the world in unique ways.  For both fundraisers and donors, Jesus’ teaching about giving money away shows us that the donor-recipient relationship is one of mutual benefit and equal need.


  • You can listen to Dr. Ken Elzinga’s lecture, Part 2 HERE
  • You can download Dr. Elzinga’s PowerPoint slides HERE.


Dr. Elizabeth Corey joined the Honors Program’s faculty in 2007 and has served as Director since 2015. She earned a B.A. in classics from Oberlin College, an M.A. in art history from Louisiana State University (LSU) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from LSU. She has taught courses at Baylor on political science, great texts and in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. She has earned several awards for research and teaching, and was a 2016-2017 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow. Her book, Michael Oakeshott on Religion, Aesthetics, and Politics, was published by the University of Missouri Press in 2006. She writes for First Things and serves on the board of the Institute on Religion and Public Life. She has also published in The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Affairs and in a variety of scholarly journals. During the 2018-19 academic year she is the American Enterprise Institute’s Values and Capitalism Visiting Professor.


Dr. Elizabeth Corey – Love, Friendship and Liberal Learning:  Liberal learning is a deeply “affective” endeavor. At its best, it transforms the whole person—not just our intellectual faculties. Elizabeth Corey spoke about her experiences as both a student and a teacher, emphasizing the deeply meaningful relationships that may sometimes arise between teacher and student, and between students themselves.


  • You can listen to Dr. Elizabeth Corey’s lecture HERE.


∼ The Workshops ∼


  • Board Leadership – Led by: Edward Dixon (Center for Christianity and Scholarship) & Bill Wilder (Center for Christian Study)How can Boards best see to the flourishing of their study centers? And how can staff Directors best relate to their boards? This session focused on the working relationship between Directors and their boards.


  • Christian Hospitality: Incarnational Presence in the Study Center Context – Led by: Richard Horner (Christian Study Center of Gainesville) & Lauren Babb (Assistant Manager, Pascal’s Coffeehouse)In this workshop we offered theological reflection on the biblical notion of hospitality, considered ways in which Jesus embodied this way of being in the world, and argued that biblical hospitality should play a central role in the work of our study centers. We also thought together about how hospitality can find practical expression in our ministries.


  • A Relational Approach to Major Gifts – Led by: Madison Perry (NC Study Center) & Tom MacAdam (The Focus Group)A relational major gift program can provide the foundation for successful annual funds and capital campaigns. Tom MacAdam (a fund-raising professional from the Focus Group) and Madison Perry (a newbie) offered a framework for understanding major giving and talked about how it has played out in the study center context.


  • Study Center Communications – Led by: Rachel Korhonen (Anselm House) & MaryRachel Bulkeley (NC Study Center)Study Center communications are both educational (telling campus who we are) and invitational (encouraging participation). This session provided space for thinking about goals and methods for outward-facing communication and explored strategies for effective internal/staff communication.


∼ The Future of CCSC ∼


The Future of the Study Center Movement:  After Drew Trotter provided his thoughts on what study centers need to think seriously about as the movement moves into the future, Madison Perry led a discussion of the movement and what the Consortium should be in order to best serve it in the coming years.


Resignation Announcement of Drew Trotter, Executive Director of the Consortium:  On Monday afternoon, Missy Deregibus, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors read a letter from Karl Johnson, Chair of the Board of Directors, announcing that Drew Trotter will resign as Executive Director of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers effective December 31, 2020.  Please be praying for the Search Committee in their quest for a successor for this extremely important position.