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ACU will continue spring break campaigns, president says (UPDATED)

Statement issued in response to student newspaper article.

The Optimist, the student newspaper at Abilene Christian University in Texas, reported last week:

For the first time in almost four decades the university will not send hundreds of students to far-flung locations on Spring Break Campaigns.

Kenneth Pybus, an ACU journalism professor and student media adviser, tells The Christian Chronicle:

The story was accurate when it was written based on interviews with administrators and students. But, as I understand, not everyone was aware of the decision, so after the story was published the administration reached the decision to continue Spring Break Campaigns. And I think that’s a relief to a lot of students and alumni.

ACU President Phil Schubert this week issued a statement clarifying the university’s intentions:

Last week, the Optimist published an article titled, “ACU drops Spring Break Campaigns.” While unintentional, the information reported was inaccurate and the result of some misunderstandings. ACU is not dropping Spring Break Campaigns, and we will continue our commitment to provide year-round opportunities for students to engage in Christ-centered leadership and service.

I am amazed at the global awareness of our students and their passion to share the love of Christ with others. We want each of them to embrace the “outlive your life” principle, and we see them doing that each day, taking advantage of the unprecedented opportunities around them to make a real difference in the world.  

In addition to Spring Break Campaigns, ACU students serve internationally every year in dozens of locations through the WorldWide Witness program, medical missions trips, and the Red Thread Movement. Many of these opportunities did not exist 10 years ago but have been developed organically by students, faculty and staff who want to serve others.

We also see record numbers of students deeply involved in Abilene through campus and community organizations such as Treadaway Kids, Young Life, SALT, Isaiah 58, Lynay, Pulse, Big Brothers Big Sisters, with ministries of local congregations, and in Dallas through ACU at CitySquare. Beginning this spring, students will have an exciting new local opportunity through Service in the City, a program designed to strengthen ties to our neighbors in Abilene.

I hope this provides clarity about our commitment to Christian service, not only during Spring Break , but throughout the entire year. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or wish to discuss this.

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