Campus ministries in Macon and Atlanta are among 21 from across The Episcopal Church selected to receive grants for innovative programs.
In Macon, The Episcopal and Lutheran Campus Fellowship, will use its $4,850 grant to connect international and LGBTQ students at Wesleyan College to the local community, said Campus Missioner Dena Hobbs.
“We will be having a weekly lunch gathering and Bible study on the Wesleyan campus and monthly nights out where we provide money, transportation, and volunteers to take to the students out for movies, dinner, plays, etc.,” Hobbs said. “This is important because half of students at Wesleyan don't have a car and the international students don't know their way around.”
Hobbs said volunteers from St Francis Episcopal Church will make connections with students by providing rides to nights out events and St. Francis’ worship and community events.
At Georgia Tech, Episcopal Campus Missioner Kathryn Folk said the, $14,000 grant will be used to create a program to expand and strengthen the joint Episcopal-Lutheran campus ministry.
“Stepping Toward Wholeness is a multi-year tiered approach to ensure there are people, processes, and systems in place as the staff progresses to each level,” Folk said. “In addition, the program provides a set of checks and balances using a board of advisors to ensure goals are met before advancing to the next level.”
“The grant also allows us to host campus-wide events and training opportunities,” she said.
The Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta provide support for the Tech campus ministry, but Folk said extra funding was needed to reimburse travel for speakers, host events at larger space on campus, and create a host of training opportunities, including for certification as Professional Christian Life Coaches, Stephen Ministers, suicide prevention and mental health first aid.
The two Georgia grants are among 21 programs from across The Episcopal Church receiving grants from Episcopal Church Young Adult and Campus Ministry. The grants provide funding for dioceses, congregations, and community college/tribal college/university campuses that are engaging or seek to engage ministry with young adults on and off college campuses.
The Diocese of Atlanta operates campus ministries in Athens at The University of Georgia; in Atlanta at Georgia Institute of Technology, Oglethorpe University, Atlanta University Center, Emory University; in Rome at Berry College, Georgia Highlands College and Shorter University; in Macon at Mercer University and Wesleyan College; in Kennesaw at Kennesaw State University; in Milledgeville at Georgia College and State University; and in Dahlonega at the University of North Georgia.