By Jessica Brodie
PORTLAND, Ore.—South Carolina delegates and friends showed their support for higher education and campus ministry during General Conference May 16 at Higher Education Night.
Higher Education Night celebrated how United Methodist-related educational institutions are shaping the faith, vocations and commitments of students. There are more than 1,000 learning institutions around the world. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry is also celebrating 150 years of support for these institutions.
“It was a really well done event,” said Lollie Haselden, delegate alternate, noting that in addition to incredible entertainment and delicious food, they were able to see firsthand the products of United Methodist education.
Three stages featured performances by students from United Methodist-related colleges and universities around the world, including the Africa University Choir. Attendees also got to experience interactive exhibits and artistic displays that detailed the history United Methodist higher education.
South Carolinians said they enjoyed Higher Education Night.
Delegate Michael Cheatham said it was good to be able to celebrate campus ministries and the impact they have on young lives.
Don Love, delegate alternate, said much the same.
“We do a lot of good inspiring youth and motivating them through campus ministry,” Love said. “My church—Wesley UMC, York—has a long history of supporting campus ministry. We even have a line item in our budget, and have for as long as I can remember.
“It’s critical to support young people in their spiritual journey.”
Delegate Martha Thompson said the night was a good opportunity for South Carolinians to see what the UMC has available when it comes to higher education and campus ministry.
“We think Wofford, Spartanburg Methodist College Claflin and Columbia College, but if you look at what we have beyond, it’s a lot,” Thompson said.
Dr. Kim Cape, general secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, called the night a “high energy, interactive event” that enabled attendees “to feel the dynamic energy of the students who will lead our church in the future, to shake hands with the faculty that are guiding them and to be moved by the testimony of graduates.”