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AU News

Anderson Launches Great Commission Center

January 4, 2015

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Anderson University is launching a Great Commission Center to help students and faculty expand and enhance their involvement in mission activities in the U.S. and abroad.

The Center will be a joint partnership of the College of Christian Studies, Clamp Divinity School, and the department of Campus Ministries. Dr. Tim McKnight, Assistant Professor of Missions and Student Ministry, will serve as the director of the new Center. He will chair a Great Commission Council with representatives from colleges and campus organizations involved in sponsorship of mission projects and will be a resource for those groups and their leaders.

“While AU has sponsored student and faculty mission activities for many years,” explains President Evans Whitaker, “our goal with this center is to expand the University’s mission impact by providing coordination and resources as we assist university students, faculty, and staff in fulfilling the Great Commission.”

In its first phase, the Center will:

  • Develop a mission and church planting strategy for the University while creating more strategic focus in the mission efforts already occurring involving university students and personnel.
  • Network with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, Southern Baptist Convention, and other denominational and mission organizations to develop and implement the University’s mission strategy.
  • Develop and focus on home and international partnerships with the intent of assisting churches, missionaries and church planters to establish indigenous churches in the US and in the partner locations overseas.

In future phases, the Center will expand and enhance training and placement of students and graduates committed to church planting in the U.S. and abroad, provide greater support for children of missionaries as they enroll at Anderson University, and develop opportunities to partner with and assist churches in our region in their efforts to become more missional.

As the Center becomes established and active, McKnight believes significant benefits will be achieved, including “teaching students to pursue the Great Commission regardless of their academic discipline.” He says that through the Great Commission Center, “Anderson University will achieve a more intentional and effective approach to church planting and missions by sending students, faculty, and staff on long and short-term mission trips to work with our strategic mission partners.” 

“In the Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus instructs his disciples to carry the gospel to all people,” explains President Whitaker. “Our commitment at Anderson University is for our students to grow intellectually through rigorous academic experiences while also offering them experiences that equip them to live out the Great Commission in their own lives.”

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