HIGHER EDUCATION & CAMPUS MINISTRY: Colleges Help Draw Global Village Together
“The world is getting smaller,” said a person seated next to me on a recent flight. While distances between countries and cities remain essentially the same, advances in travel cause those miles to pass more quickly. Places in the world do seem closer!
The world seems closer in other ways as well. Wherever we live, the issues others face are now everyone’s issues. We cannot isolate ourselves from the challenges of living in a global village.
John Wesley believed that “the world is my parish.” United Methodist-related colleges reflect that belief as they help the world become smaller through opportunities for international study. More than sightseeing or travel odysseys, international study engages students in academic and social programs that foster a deeper understanding of the world in which all God’s children live.
United Methodist-related colleges in the United States also annually host thousands of students from other countries. Living side by side is an exciting way for young people to learn firsthand about one another’s personal and cultural lives.
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry offers several opportunities, such as a cooperative program to study in Prague, Czech Republic. Another church-initiated partnership allows church-related colleges to host annually 85 students from Northern Ireland for a year of study and cultural exchange; as many as 50 students from U.S. colleges, in turn, spend a year of study at a university in Northern Ireland.
Every church-related college reflects John Wesley’s concern for the world through international study options. Some examples:
• Syracuse (N.Y.) University provides an international study opportunity for all its students.
• Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, requires all students to complete a global perspective track in their course of study.
• The University of Evansville’s (Ind.) campus in Grantham, England, offers students the opportunity to study in an English manor-house setting.
• Dillard University in New Orleans is committed to developing educational opportunities in the Caribbean.
Help your congregation grow in understanding our “smaller” world; invite college students from your church or from a nearby United Methodist-related college to discuss the personal benefits of their international study opportunities.
Invite international students studying at a nearby college to speak about their home country and the differences (and the similarities) between the two cultures.
Provide financial assistance for college students from your congregation studying outside the country.
For additional information regarding the Prague study abroad program, the Northern Ireland exchange program or other international study opportunities, contact Jim Noseworthy at (615) 340-7406 or firstname.lastname@example.org
--Jim Noseworthy,General Board of Higher Education and Ministry