Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Washington Adventist University and REACH Columbia Union Urban Evangelism School Sign Agreement to Jointly Provide Urban Ministry Training

Washington Adventist University and REACH Columbia Union Urban Evangelism School Sign Agreement to Jointly Provide Urban Ministry Training

Story and Photo by Washington Adventist University Staff

The Washington Adventist University (WAU) Department of Religion will soon offer courses in field evangelism to students interested in urban ministry who are also participating in the REACH Columbia Union Evangelism School (RCUES) in Philadelphia, Pa. The two schools and the Columbia Union Conference signed a memorandum of understanding recently that will guide the joint training effort.

“We are pleased to work with the REACH Columbia Union Urban Evangelism School to help train students who are interested in urban ministry,” says WAU President Weymouth Spence, WAU president. “Washington Adventist University has long been a gateway to service, offering encouragement to faculty, students and staff who participate in  mission trips locally and abroad. This agreement offers students yet another opportunity to learn how to better serve others in our North American cities and urban areas.”

“Engaging young adults is a priority for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Columbia Union Conference,” says Dave Weigley, president of the Columbia Union Conference. “This partnership will provide a great opportunity for us to help our young people experience the mission of our church firsthand. We’re pleased that one of our own young adults, Dr. Tara VinCross, will serve as director and help prepare young leaders for service.”

As part of the signed agreement, faculty from the WAU Department of Religion will provide leadership training in discipleship, community development, urban agriculture and various aspects of evangelism. The joint effort will provide students with the opportunity to gain a unique experience in metropolitan/urban ministry through a selection of courses that will enrich their experience in urban ministry. The REACH Urban Evangelism School’s hands-on curriculum is offered as a 12-month training and experiential program that prepares students for ministry in cities and urban areas throughout North America.

Students interested in urban ministry and participating in the Urban Evangelism School program will be able to earn up to 15 credits that will be transferrable to any college, and can be counted toward a degree. The WAU courses that will be offered include such topics as Jesus and the Gospels; Ellen G. White and the Gift of Prophecy; Knowing and Sharing Christ; Ministry in the City; The Theory and Practice of Urban Ministry; and Church Growth in the Urban Setting.

As part of the memorandum of understanding, students in the evangelism school program who take the WAU-provided courses will be required to maintain at least a 2.8 grade point average and must be recommended for the courses by their instructors and the advisory committee of REACH Columbia Union, based on classroom and field evaluation.

The REACH Columbia Union Urban Evangelism School is required under the agreement to maintain a high standard of student personal integrity and academic rigor throughout the experiential learning process. The agreement also requires the evangelism school to offer its Urban Mission Year experience to WAU Theology students and those with other majors. As part of the agreement, the Urban Evangelism School will provide appropriate housing for participating WAU students at a location that is close to the school’s Ministry Center in Philadelphia.

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