January 30, 2019
Anderson University's Christian Ministry Foundation is driven by a single goal: to help lessen college expenses as students prepare for ministry careers.
“We want to help them reduce or eliminate college debt so they do not have to delay beginning their ministry careers,” said Dr. Bob Cline, Anderson University Vice President for Church Relations.
The foundation formed in January 2017. Dr. Cline benefited from a similar program when he was a student, and he later brought the idea to AU.
“I understand how important it is to have some help when you need it,” he said “It’s especially gratifying now to see it come full circle and for me to have a part in helping it grow here.”
Initially, the goal was to fund a $100,000 endowment. During that campaign, the foundation received an $8,000 grant from the Baptist Foundation of South Carolina that helped award three scholarships during the first year, and board members of the Christian Ministry Foundation contributed funds toward three more scholarships the second year.
For the 2019-2020 school year, the foundation has reached its goal with an endowment of over $124,000 and can begin to draw on those funds to award five scholarships. A new goal seeks to increase the endowment to $250,000. Dr. Cline hopes the Christian Ministry Foundation annual banquet, scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 5, will be a boost to that goal. The program gets underway at 6:30 p.m. in the G. Ross Anderson Jr. Student Center.
The $1,000 renewable scholarships go to undergraduate students in any major who are planning a full-time ministry career. Selection is based primarily on financial need.
Anna DiJenno, a senior majoring in Christian studies, says the scholarship was an unexpected blessing.
“I’m so thankful not to have to worry about how to pay for this year,” she said. DiJenno was raised by a single mom and says her life was shaped by an abusive father and not growing up in a Christian home. “Once I became a believer, I felt adopted into a family by a Father who loves me no matter what,” she said.
DiJenno’s goal is to become a children’s director or pastor.
“I want to help children know they’re fully loved regardless of their home life,” she said.
Noah Greene, a junior majoring in Worship Leadership with plans to enter the seminary, says that not only was the scholarship “an answer to a prayer” that alleviated financial burdens, but he has also found a supportive community in the annual banquets that unite contributors and recipients.
“They are all very encouraging, asking how I’m doing in school and what my plans are,” Greene said.
The banquets also provide an opportunity to spread the word about the foundation’s efforts, Dr. Cline said.
“That’s what motivates people to help and to give—when they meet real students and hear their need and passion for the ministry and strong sense of calling,” Dr. Cline said.
Members of the foundation help support it by paying a yearly membership fee of $150. Currently, there are 131 members (or member couples), plus 16 churches and 13 business or ministry groups who’ve joined.
The chairman of the foundation’s board is Cliff Satterwhite, a graduate of Anderson College who still vividly remembers the impact when someone paid for his first semester. He and his wife, Barbara, welcome the chance to pay it forward.
Other foundation members are the Reverend Dale and Harrianne Lynch, both Anderson alumni as well as AU parents. They had established a scholarship at the university but have since transferred it to become part of the Christian Ministry Foundation.
“We believe in everything it’s doing,” said the Rev. Lynch. “It provides a way for students to receive a Christian education and to be able to follow their calling to the ministry, to fulfill God’s purpose and plan in their lives.”
To make a gift or for more information about the Christian Ministry Foundation, click here or call the Office of Development at (864) 231-2147.