Presbyterians Hold Summit to Promote Higher Education

( [email protected] ) May 20, 2004 04:32 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE — The Presbyterian Church (USA) is sponsoring a Higher Education Ministry Summit in Richmond, VA, June 23 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, just before the start of the 216th General Assembly, which starts on June 26.

Campus ministers, college students, college and university chaplains, synod and presbytery staff and others involved in higher education ministries in the PC(USA) will come together attend the summit with the goal of laying the groundwork for a national association to represent and advocate for those involved in PC(USA) higher education ministries.

The Rev. Jerry Beavers, a member of the conference planning team who works as a chaplain at Presbytrian-related Muskingum College in New Concord, OH, described the gathering as a “big tent-big picture event.”

“It’s a time to meet and learn from others in higher education ministries, and to find ways to keep the Presbyterian Church’s higher education presence and mission healthy and effective,” Beavers said.

The summit was developed by the denomination’s Office of Higher Education after the 213th General Assembly in 2001, which encouraged to expand a churchwide strategy for higher education ministry.

The planning team includes leaders from the Presbyterian Student Strategy Team, the National Network of Presbyterian College Women and the Presbyterian College Chaplains Association.

“With the current financial realities facing the denomination, we have to develop partners in the PC(USA)’s higher education ministry,” said the Rev. Bob Turner, associate for Higher Education Ministries and Students’ Ministries. “The denominational offices just don’t have the staff or funding to do much of the resourcing and program development required. The summit intends to draw out committed partners who will invest themselves in this mission.”