Moment for Mission
"You are witnesses of these things." —Luke 24:48, NRSV
Historically Black Colleges were created during a time when the color of one's skin could prevent people from being educated. United Methodists have been a part of Historically Black Colleges from early on and continue to keep a strong legacy of supporting education for all still today. While race is no longer a factor in being denied entrance into postsecondary education, there continue to be gaps in education. According to the National Student Clearinghouse, black students are falling 20 percentage points below white students on college graduation rates.
As United Methodists, there is something we can do. Whether it is a lack of opportunity, a lack of resources, or little community support for these students to achieve their goals of graduating college, our gifts to the Black College Fund can help diminish the factors contributing to lower graduation rates. Our giving to the Black College Fund apportionments goes to the 11 United Methodist-related Black Colleges that are known for developing leaders, pastors and people who serve their communities.
Our gifts support faculty development, maintain infrastructure and assist with students in need of financial support and scholarships. Our support of these schools and their students is our witness, as God's people, caring for others. Not only is it the witness of the church, these students carry on the witness through their work in the community and the world as leaders and servants.
God of Love, Open our hearts that we may be filled with love for all of your people. Grant us courage that we may give boldly that others may have the same freedom and opportunity to grow in knowledge and wisdom as leaders in your church and our communities. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Seventh Sunday of Easter – Dear God, thank you for your great generosity toward the whole world. You give us guidance and encouragement through your word. You did not hold back even your Son so that we would have eternal life! You make our joy complete. Let us find joy by giving with joy to the ministries of this church for the sake of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. (John 17:6-19)
There are 11 United Methodist-related colleges and universities that are supported by the Black College Fund. These schools have been a living witness of the kingdom of God. In demonstrating that education is for all, it affirms that God's image is reflected in the mind of every person, even during the periods of our history when some were convinced that not all were created equally.
The 11 institutions our Black College Fund apportionments support are Bennett College, Bethune-Cookman University, Claflin University, Clark Atlanta University, Dillard University, Houston-Tillotson University, Meharry Medical College, Paine College, Philander Smith College, Rust College and Wiley College. All of these institutions still strive today for all students to have an affordable, quality education. Black College Fund is used for developing faculty, maintaining infrastructure of the schools, and offering student financial support and scholarships. Our gifts enable students with moderate income to attend these schools as the support received from the Black College Fund helps keep tuition down during a time when tuition continues to rise.