William Woods Receives Grant to Establish Campus Ministry

The Division of Higher Education of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has announced a $15,000 grant to help fund a campus ministry program at William Woods University.

The grant will assist WWU with the start-up costs to create an Office of Faith and Service. Its coordinator will serve as university chaplain, teach courses and provide value-based programming for the LEAD campus and community involvement program.

“Our students and faculty agree that they have seen a growth of student interest in faith and religion during recent years, and many attribute it to a change in attitudes since the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001,” Jahnae H. Barnett, president of William Woods University, said. “We are grateful to DHE for their generosity and look forward to meeting our student’s needs with the creation of the Office of Faith and Service.”

William Woods University has been part of the Christian Church of Missouri since the church acquired the Female Academy of Camden Point, Mo., in 1870 with the goal of providing “proper schooling for the orphans of the Civil War.” When fire destroyed the school in 1889, the church fathers decided to rebuild in a new location, and Fulton was selected. The first 52 students arrived in Fulton in the fall of 1890.

From those humble beginnings, William Woods University has grown into its present stature as an independent, professions-oriented liberal arts institution of about 3,000 students, offering both graduate and undergraduate degrees in a variety of disciplines in both campus and outreach settings.

College/University Grants have funded special projects at Disciples-related undergraduate institutions for 22 years. These projects are intended to benefit both the institution and the church as a whole.

The colleges and universities themselves provide funds for the grants by putting a portion of the money they are allocated from the Disciples Mission Fund into this special fund.

This year, $45,000 will be divided among three Disciples-related colleges and universities: Hiram College in Ohio, Midway College in Kentucky and William Woods University. The DHE Board of Directors approves new grants each spring based upon applications submitted by the schools.

Supported by contributions from colleges and universities in covenant with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the College/University Grant Fund represents a commitment by the church to special programs and projects that enhance and strengthen its relationship with the colleges and universities related by covenant to the church.

The fund receives a portion of Disciples Mission Fund revenues for this purpose, in consultation with the Council of Colleges and Universities.

Grants are made only for projects that represent new initiatives beyond present programming, and are not made for physical plant, endowment, general operating budgets, or for programs already in existence.

Including this year’s proposals, the program has funded 83 projects. Each institution in covenant with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has received at least one grant during the program’s history.

“College/University Grants are exciting because they show the creativity of the faculty, students, and administrators on campuses, but they also demonstrate the importance of the relationships between the colleges and universities and the church,” said DHE President Dennis Landon.

“These grants have been instrumental in developing programs that will nurture future leaders for the church and enrich the educational experience for students at Disciples-related colleges and universities,” he added.

DHE helps students discover how they will change the world in partnership with Disciples congregations, higher education institutions, and campus ministry programs. Including cooperative efforts with local congregations, DHE helped distribute more than $270,000 in scholarships to 141 recipients in 2003.

This summer, DHE will change its name to Higher Education and Leadership Ministries (HELM) to better reflect its ministry of leader development.