6. Samford University
Starting out as a men’s school in 1841, the 212-acre Samford University was relocated a few times until it ended up in the Birmingham suburb of Homewood, Alabama. The current campus’ design was modeled after Colonial Williamsburg, and large lawns and red-brick buildings dot the campus.
The campus has a number of event spaces, such as the 288-seat Harrison Theatre and the 300-seat Brock Recital Hall. Wright Fine Arts Center holds 2,600 people, and the Pete Hanna Center complex can hold up to 6,000. Reid Chapel (shown on page 55), the university’s most symbolic building, serves as a scenic backdrop for many events. It was modeled after the first Baptist church built in the Americas and includes the striking Jane Slaughter Hardenbergh Memorial Organ, which dates back to the ’60s and was fully refurbished in 2011.
7. Azusa Pacific University
Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Mountains provide the backdrop for evangelical Azusa Pacific University, located 26 miles northeast of Los Angeles in Azusa, California. Founded in 1899, APU was the first Bible college on the West Coast. It has since grown to be one of the largest Christian universities in the country.
Conferences can be held at APU from May through July. The university’s main meeting venue is the 70,000-sq.-ft. Richard and Vivian Felix Event Center. It has seating for up to 4,000 and can accommodate an array of events, from performances and banquets to lectures, conferences, exhibitions and more. Smaller breakout rooms are also available, and the Upper Turner meeting room can seat up to 1,000.
8. Whitworth University
Whitworth University’s 200-acre campus in Spokane, Washington, is full of tall pine trees and red-brick buildings, some more than a century old. More than $100 million in campus improvements have been made since 2000.
Seminars and workshops can be accommodated year-round on campus, and the university can host larger conferences for nonprofit groups during the summer. A number of facilities can be rented, including the 1,100-seat Cowles Auditorium, a 250-seat teaching theater, a 120-seat recital hall and classrooms for 10 to 240.
Also on-site is the Seeley G. Mudd Chapel, which can seat 300 people. It has a LCD projector and sound system.