Tag Archives: Bible marathon

Belmont Abbey College hosts Bible marathon reading event – CAN

Belmont Abbey College hosts Bible marathon reading event – CAN

By Francesca Pollio Fenton – CNA Staff, Apr 26, 2024 / 06:00 am

Students, faculty, monks, and staff at Belmont Abbey College took part in their first “Cover to Cover” Bible Marathon Reading Event from April 8–12, 2024.. | Credit: Nicholas Willey

Eighty-five hours and 42 minutes. That was the time it took students, faculty, monks, and staff to read the Bible from beginning to end at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina during its first “Cover to Cover” Bible marathon reading event earlier this month.

More than 110 readers took turns standing at a podium in Stowe Hall, the college’s main administration building, reading aloud from sacred Scripture throughout the day and night beginning Monday, April 8, and ending in the early hours of Friday, April 12.

Tom MacAlester, PhD – Vice Provost and Dean of Student Life at Belmont Abbey College, told CNA in an interview that the idea came from an experience he had during his time in college at Florida State University.

“There was a group of a number of campus ministries at Florida State that kind of undertook an ecumenical approach to reading the Bible from cover to cover, nonstop,” he explained. “Baptist students and Catholic students — we even had some students from Hillel come and read parts of the Old Testament, and it was a really cool event.”

“It’s stuck with me all these years, and I was excited to be able to try it out here at the Abbey and ended up having a fantastic reception,” he added.

Ahead of the event, sign-up sheets were sent out to all students and staff giving them the ability to find a time that worked with their class schedules.

MacAlester shared that once they shared the vision for the event, “it was an easy sell” and “students got really excited about it.”

“There was a moment where we were like, ‘Oh, maybe we’ll just do the New Testament,’ but then students started signing up for the Old Testament,” he said. “You know reading the Book of Numbers at two in the morning — that sounds like really exciting stuff, right? But our students signed up really quick.”

He said many students have reached out to share how meaningful the event was to them and how, for many, “in a beautiful and a providential way, the Lord had them reading a very specific verse just for them and how touching and moving that was to them.”

There are now plans in the works to ensure each incoming class to Belmont Abbey has the opportunity to take part in the “Cover to Cover” Bible marathon at least once during their four years at the college. This will most likely mean a once-in-three-years cycle, MacAlester explained.

MacAlester hopes that students recognized “the power of Scripture” by taking part in this event.

“It’s a blueprint right? If we’re looking for a guide, if we’re looking for inspiration in how to live a holy life and one day hopefully get to heaven and bring our friends, we can’t be ignorant of Scripture,” he said.