LC In the News:
"A Higher Calling for Higher Education"
(From Interpreter Magazine)
On campuses across the United States, visual symbols cue students and visitors to Christian associations.
Walk onto the campus of Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Ky., and the nine-story, round chapel - with a lighted dome come dusk - draws the eye. The domed Hendrix Chapel at Syracuse University in New York stands out as one of most prominent connections to the institution's Christian roots. At Louisburg College in North Carolina, a labyrinth built by Professor Will Hinton represents life paths. "Sometimes in our life, we're able to choose the path that we walk on, and other times, we find ourselves confronted with journeys and paths which are not of our making," Hinton explained in a YouTube video.
Though these visible structures are outward signs, it is the inward life - the faith communities, spiritual guidance and encouragement and worldview - that sets United Methodist-affiliated institutions apart...
... An October 2012 video contest, sponsored by the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church, asked college students how United Methodist connections enriched their experiences.
"These 36 student videos painted a portrait of educational communities that honor your faith journey as an integral part of your development," said Overton, one of the contest judges.
She called the United Methodist approach unique. Some secular campuses are simply unfriendly to religion, she said, while other church-related college communities narrowly prescribe what students should believe.
"What we heard over and over was that United Methodist-related schools offer young adults a place where they are neither pushed to rebel against their faith nor to isolate it from their intellectual development," Overton said. Students talked about opportunities to wrestle spiritually and intellectually with their faith and the steady support from peers and faculty.
Louisburg student roommates Ashley Britton and Rianna Bowling co-produced the winning video. It demonstrates theological depth and understanding of students' developmental journeys, as well as how these journeys were different because Louisburg is connected to the church, Overton explained.