College Spotlight: Shenandoah University
Half of the Shenandoah University students attending General Conrerence 2012 grqabbed the Rev. Adam Hamilton (third from the right) for a quick photo.
Students study Bible, aid Sandy survivors
The JustFaith (Justice and Faith) Christian Leadership program at Shenandoah University balances academics with practical experiences to prepare young adult leaders committed to justice and peace.
While taking a course on "The Global Context of Christian Leadership," students traveled from their campus in Winchester, Va., to Tampa, Fla., last April to participate in the 2012 General Conference. They learned about United Methodist beliefs and practices.
Another group participated in the Global Jubilee Village, a program focusing on global justice. Students in that program attended the Justice Conference in Philadelphia in February.
As they studied the missional mindset of the early church in "Introduction to the New Testament" during the Fall 2012 semester, students also trained to become members of a United Methodist Committee on Relief Early Response Team. They quickly put their training to use after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast in late October. Thirty-one team members spent Jan. 7-9 repairing homes in Staten Island, N.Y. UMCOR limits ERT teams to three days due to high emotional and physical stress levels.
Some JustFaith graduates will go on to seminary. Others will continue to be laity leading churches and the world toward more peaceful and fair resolutions to contemporary issues.
The Rev. Justin Allen is dean of spiritual life and director of the Institute for Church Professions at Shenandoah.
"As young adults become more inspired by experiences, and as they seek to answer their call to interact with a hurting world for Jesus Christ," Allen said. "We must seek to educate and inspire principled Christian leaders through classroom learning and through practical opportunities to engage the world beyond the four walls that often separate us from reality."