Jun 29, 2009
Jun 28, 2009
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- A total of 55 students from Lindsey Wilson College's Southern Appalachian Region community campuses visited the A.P. White Campus on Saturday. The students, many of whom were accompanied by family members and friends, met with faculty and administrators from the School of Professional Counseling, visited with LWC President William T. Luckey Jr. during lunch, and toured the John B. Begley Chapel.
LWC's Southern Appalachian Region includes the college's community campuses in Big Stone Gap, Va., Cumberland, Ky., Hazard, Ky., and Richlands, Va. Students at those community campuses can earn a bachelor's degree in human services and counseling or a master's degree in counseling and human development, thanks to an innovative partnership with Hazard Community and Technical College, Mountain Empire Community College, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, and Southwest Community College.
"The students and their families were truly overwhelmed with excitement and appreciation," said Tommie Ann Saragas, Southern Appalachian Region regional enrollment director. "For many of them, the day solidified the importance of the journey they chose to embark upon with LWC -- toward becoming their best selves. ... The opportunity to grow and provide an example to future generations, the realization that they are agents of change in their respective communities, and the honest appreciation for the quality education they are receiving was evident on their faces and through the words they shared throughout the day.
"Lindsey Wilson's buildings are beautiful, and they provided the backdrop for hundreds of photos. But the Lindsey Wilson College I am so proud of is a compilation of the people inside the brick and mortar."
The students also raised money for the Mary Kloth Memorial Scholarship, a special scholarship named in memory of the late Mary A. Kloth, a counseling professor who served in the college's Southern Appalachian Region until her death in early 2008. Through sales of a commemorative t-shirt, the students raised more than $300 that will be added to the scholarship's endowment. LWC's Mary A. Kloth Center for Professional Counseling Services in Hazard is also named in her memory.
The students who made the visit to the A.P. White Campus were:
Hazard (Ky.) Campus:
Mountain Empire (Va.) Campus:
Amalia "Christy" Collins
Mary Alice Fields
Southeast (Ky.) Campus:
Southwest (Va.) Campus:
Scenes from the Visit
Jun 26, 2009
Jun 24, 2009
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- A group of Lindsey Wilson College students, faculty and staff will participate in the equivalent of the choral Final Four next week in Carnegie Hall.
The eight LWC students, alumna and faculty member will be part of a performance of Antonio Vivaldi's "Gloria" on Monday night in New York City's Carnegie Hall. The performance - which will merge more than 175 vocalists - will be accompanied by the New England Symphonic Ensemble.
"The honor of being selected to perform at Carnegie Hall is to the classical musician what winning the Final Four is to a college basketball team," said LWC Associate Professor of Music and Religion and Director of Choral Programs Gerald Chafin (left). "I'm incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of our choral students to perform at this level of musicianship."
Chafin will take six Lindsey Wilson students to next Monday night's concert: Molly Atkinson of Louisville, Ky.; Jenny Burdine Pine Knot, Ky.; Allison Chafin of Columbia; Katelin Frederick of Hustonville, Ky.; Tyler McCubbins of Magnolia, Ky.; and Josh Stephens of Stearns, Ky.
Also performing will be alumna Sara Hargis. Currently an LWC admissions counselor, Hargis was a member of the Lindsey Wilson Singers and she participated in the college's inaugural Carnegie Hall appearance.
Monday night will be the third time Lindsey Wilson students have performed at Carnegie Hall concert -- the other two were in 2002 and '06.
"It is a great deal of work to prepare for this concert, but students discover that it is worth the effort," Chafin. "It's an experience they will cherish and remember for the rest of their lives."
Students, who were selected for the program last fall, have spent the last seven months learning Vivaldi's popular vocal work. When they get to New York City, they will spend three more days of intensive rehearsals.
"In addition to the workouts, we'll enjoy getting to know the approximately 175 other singers who are participating in the collaborative project," Chafin said.
Hargis recalled her 2002 performance on the stage of legendary Carnegie Hall, calling it a "surreal moment."
"Walking onto the stage at Carnegie Hall for the first time was such a surreal moment," she said.
Atkinson said she has heard a lot about the special feeling singers get when they walk onto the historic Carnegie Hall stage.
"Everybody I have talked to that has gone on this trip says it's one thing to see a performance on the stage of Carnegie Hall, but it's a whole different thing when you step out on the stage and look into the crowd," said Atkinson, who will be a Christian ministries senior in 2009-10. "They say it's breathtaking to step out and look into the crowd."
For McCubbins, Monday night's concert will be the perfect end to his college career. Last month, he received a bachelor's degree in biology from Lindsey Wilson.
"When I found out about the opportunity, I knew it was a chance of a lifetime to sing on the stage in Carnegie Hall, so I didn't want to pass it up," he said.
Monday night's performance will be especially meaningful to the Chafin family as Chafin's daughter, Allison, will be among those performing.
"A special honor for me is the opportunity to share the Carnegie stage with my daughter, Allison," Chafin said. "I'm certain it will be a priceless moment for us."
Lindsey Wilson already has a connection with Shulamit Hoffmann, the conductor of Monday night's concert. During the trip's planning stages last spring, the Lindsey Wilson Singers performed at the Los Altos United Methodist Church, Hoffmann's home church in San Francisco.
"It was a pleasure for our students to meet her and begin talking about the Carnegie Hall concert," Chafin said. "We're looking forward to Monday night."
Chafin noted that on the previous two trips to New York, the students experienced several surprises that made the experiences even more meaningful. For example, during the 2002 trip, students visited the site of the former World Trade Center less than a year after it had been demolished by terrorists.
Hargis remembered singing "Be Still My Soul" at Ground Zero in 2002 as the last beam from the World Trade Center was removed from the site.
"That was a moment that touched my heart in a way that nothing else had before," she said.Readers can follow the Lindsey Wilson Singers' trip to New York and Monday night concert at Carnegie Hall on Twitter. Beginning on Friday, June 26, Hargis will update the Singers' Twitter page with pictures, comments and sounds. To follow her on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/lwcsingers.
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- A recent graduate of Russell County High School is the recipient of a special scholarship to Lindsey Wilson College.
Jessica McGowan, a 2009 Russell County High School graduate, is the recipient of the Russell County-Lindsey Wilson College Partnership Scholarship.
McGowan is also the recipient of a Lindsey Wilson endowed scholarship. She plans to major in nursing at Lindsey Wilson. This fall, Lindsey Wilson is adding a bachelor of science degree in nursing, the only four-year nursing program in Southcentral Kentucky.
The Russell County-Lindsey Wilson College Partnership Scholarship is a scholarship reserved for a Russell County resident to attend Lindsey Wilson, recognizing the long relationship the college shares with the county. One of the college's early benefactors was a Russell County resident.
Jun 23, 2009
Jun 22, 2009
Jun 19, 2009
Jun 17, 2009
Combined, the four have given more than 60 years of service to the college and have worked with thousands of LWC students. In appreciation for their service to students, a reception was held for the four faculty and staff members in the Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center. Each retiree was presented with a commemorative Lindsey Wilson rocking chair.
The four honorees were:
■ Gladys Baker, who served for more than 13 years in LWC dining services. She was well-known by the college’s residential students because as the Cranmer Dining & Conference Center’s cashier, she was the first person to greet guests when they entered the building for breakfast and lunch.
■ Carolyn Keefe, who served 12 school years as associate professor of English.
■ Steve Sargent, who was associate professor of psychology since the 1999-2000 school year and the college’s director of institutional of research since 2003.
■ Curtis Slinker, who served for more than 24 years. From 1981-86, Slinker was an instructor in the college’s business division, secretary to the financial aid director and then financial aid director. From 1990 until his retirement, Slinker was assistant controller, then he was promoted to the college’s controller.
The Fun Factory will be held June 22-26, July 13-17 and July 27-31 for the region's rising first- through fifth-graders. The day camp is held from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CT Monday-Friday at Lindsey Wilson's A.P. White Campus.
The Fun Factory is supervised by Lindsey Wilson Assistant Professor of Recreation, Tourism, and Sports Management Tricia M. Day. This is the second year LWC's recreation, tourism and sport management program has offered the program.
"The Fun Factory provides rising first- through fifth-grade students a structured environment in which they not only have a good time but also learn some things as well," Day said.
The Fun Factory includes crafts and games, a daily one-hour lesson in the Lindsey Wilson Katie Murrell Library and supervised swimming at the Columbia City Pool. Campers are required to bring a sack lunch each day.
On Wednesday, campers will take a field trip to an area attraction.
"We want campers to have a good time, and we also hope to teach them that there is a world of recreation beyond video games and television," Day said.
The cost of the camp is $85, plus a one-time $15 registration fee. All payments cover the cost of running the camp.
For more information about the Fun Factory, contact Day at firstname.lastname@example.org or (270) 384-8066 or co-director Rebecca Schmidt at (270) 384-8017 or email@example.com.
Jun 15, 2009
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Lindsey Wilson College has received a $2,500 donation from Community Trust Bank.
The donation will be used to support the Lindsey Wilson Fund, according to Lindsey Wilson President William T. Luckey Jr.
The Lindsey Wilson Fund is used to offset the difference between the college’s tuition and the cost of educating students at the college.
Community Trust officials said they made the gift to Lindsey Wilson “because of what this college means to our region.”
“Community Trust Bank appreciates Lindsey Wilson College and what it does for Adair County and our region,” said Community Trust South Central Kentucky Region President Ricky D. Sparkman. “Higher education is a good investment in our region’s future.”
Presenting the gift to Luckey on Monday morning were Sparkman and Lee Ann Collins, who is manager of the Community Trust Columbia branch.
A native of Adair County, Collins knows firsthand the value of Lindsey Wilson -- she grew up on Young Street next to the college’s A.P. White Campus, and also attended the college’s former training school before graduating from Adair County High School in 1982. Collins is the daughter of Sue Sandusky and the late Sammy Sandusky.
“It’s been incredible to watch this college grow over the years,” Collins said.
And Luckey said Lindsey Wilson appreciates Community Trust’s support.
“Lindsey Wilson is extremely fortunate to enjoy such strong relations with the region’s business community,” Luckey said. “One reason for Lindsey Wilson’s phenomenal growth over the last 25 years is because we enjoy a strong partnership with area businesses.”
Jun 12, 2009
The 29 students were part of the Rogers Explorers program, which was held June 10-12 at Lindsey Wilson. Sponsored by the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky., in conjunction with Lindsey Wilson, the Rogers Explorers is an intensive three-day, two-program that exposes rising ninth-grade students to courses in communication, mathematics and science.
Two Rogers Explorers programs were held this summer -- one at Lindsey Wilson, the other at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky. A total of 59 students from the Center for Rural Development’s 42-county service area participated in the program at the two colleges. The Rogers Explorers program is one of three summer programs the Center offers to youth in its service area.
“One of the biggest benefits of this program is that it gets students to think about postsecondary education even before they have entered secondary education,” said Jessica D. Melton, Center for Rural Development assistant director of education and training. “Being on a college campus, being in a college classroom and being with college professors all have a positive influence on them. … It’s different than going to a basketball campus – they are experiencing the academic elements of a college campus.”
During the day, the 29 Rogers Scholars at Lindsey Wilson were taught by the college’s faculty in subjects that included genetics, physics and communication skills. When not in class, they enjoyed several social events, and they also participated in community-service projects in Adair and Russell counties.
“It’s very important to have a community-service component in the program because we want the students to understand the importance of serving others and helping their communities through service,” Melton said.
One of the activities the Rogers Explorers especially enjoyed was a videoconference meeting with officials at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
That activity impressed Alison Feese of Columbia, who will be an Adair County High School freshman this fall. Like many of the Rogers Explorers, Feese was surprised to learn that NASA had job opportunities for just about every interest.
“It was really interesting to see all the stuff they do,” Feese said.
The videoconference meeting with NASA “gives them that dream-big potential,” Melton said.
At Friday evening’s closing ceremony, held in the Norma and Glen Hodge Center for Discipleship, Center for Rural Development President and CEO Lonnie Lawson told the students and their family members that the three days spent at Lindsey Wilson were but a beginning in their education journey.
“You must take an active role in your education” Lawson said. “Only you can really get to where you need to be in education.”
Lawson also praised the Rogers Explorers for combining academic pursuits with community-service activities.
“This is really what the heart of the mission for the Center for Rural Development is all about – it’s about improving the quality of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky,” he said. “And we can only do that if we keep our best and brightest here at home, educate them here at home, get them involved in community decisions, get them involved in community service.”
And if the evaluation of Noah Richards of Columbia is any indication, the Rogers Explorers program held at Lindsey Wilson was a tremendous success.
“My three days here have been the best three days I’ve had my whole life,” said Richards, who will be a freshman this fall at Adair County High School. “I can’t wait to go home and use the skills we have learned.”
AUDIO: Rogers Explorer Noah Richard reflects On his three days
AUDIO: Rogers Explorer Heather Jackson Of Adair County on her career plans
SCENES: FROM ROGERS EXPLORERS
SCENES: ROGERS EXPLORERS GRADUATION
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Five Lindsey Wilson College alumnae celebrated a milestone Friday at their alma mater. The five alumnae gathered on the Lindsey Wilson A.P. White Campus to celebrate their 40th birthdays. They returned to Lindsey Wilson because they met one another while students at the college.
To prepare for their big day on campus, the five alumnae held a scavenger hunt that included several Lindsey Wilson items.
“This is where our friendship began, so we thought this would be sentimental and nice,” said Kelli Stemm Float of Danville, Ky.
Float – who won the scavenger hunt – was joined by fellow alumnae: Sarah Barbee Espinosa of Lexington, Ky.; Kara Alexander of Florence, Ky.; Lara Day Adams of Kuttawa, Ky.; and Stacy Norman Read of Glasgow, Ky.
Alexander, Float, Adams and Read were all cheerleaders while at the college, and Espinosa was a student ambassador at the college. Adams made history when she graduated with LWC’s first bachelor’s degree in liberal studies.
On Friday, the five alumnae met with LWC President William T. Luckey Jr., who recruited several of the women to the college when he ran LWC’s admissions program through most of the 1980s.
The alumnae also received a campus tour from Director of Alumni Relations Randy Burns. And it’s a good thing they received a tour because their alma mater has added more than two dozen buildings since they were students at the A.P. White Campus.
“We wouldn’t have been able to find anything because I think there are only two classroom buildings that I recognize from when we were here,” Float said.
Although the five alumnae have led different lives since their Lindsey Wilson student days, the one thing they still agree on was that Associate Professor of Chemistry Robert Shuffett was one of their best professors.
“His integrity was what we remember most,” Float said. “He was the whole package because he wanted to teach us about life as well as chemistry. He was invested in us, and he wanted to see us succeed.”
Jun 10, 2009
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Lindsey Wilson College is accepting applications for its graduate program in education. The 30-hour graduate program allows area teachers to earn a Rank II change in just 14 months.
Classes are offered on weekends at the Charlene S. Harris Education Center in Russell Springs, Ky. The cost for the 30-hour graduate program is $325 per credit hour. Including books, supplies and other incidental costs, the total cost for the graduate program is about $12,000 - which makes it one of the more affordable education graduate programs in the region. Financial assistance is available.
The LWC Education Division's conceptual framework theme is "Teacher as Leader in Rural Schools," and the theme is woven throughout the division's curriculum.
"The program's eight courses are designed around improving P-12 classroom strategies and leadership skills," said LWC Education Division Chair Janette Ralston. "The classes are directly related to individual schools' improvement plans."
Ralston said students enjoy matriculating through the program in a cohort.
"The program is offered in cohorts, which helps build camaraderie among students that can lead to lifelong friendships and professional relationships," she said.
A total of 17 students graduated in the program's cohort last month at LWC's spring commencement. The students came from several area counties, including Adair, Pulaski and Russell counties.
For additional information about the program, contact Ralston at firstname.lastname@example.org, (270) 384-8159 or (800) 264-0138.
Jun 5, 2009
COLUMBIA, Ky. – Lindsey Wilson College sophomore Elizabeth Goode of Somerset, Ky., told a classroom of incoming freshmen on Friday morning why she prefers to wear flip-flop sandals. And then the freshmen told her something about their shoes.
The exercise was part of an introduction session Lindsey Wilson uses on EDGE Day to introduce students to their new classmates.
“The idea is that they will talk about their shoes, which is pretty basic, and that will help introduce them to others,” said Lindsey Wilson Director of Student Activities Bobbie Owen.
Breaking the ice is a big part of an LWC EDGE Day. EDGE – which stands for education, development, growth and experience – is an orientation program for the college’s incoming freshmen.
More than 170 incoming freshmen attended Friday’s EDGE Day, the first of four five-hour orientation days the college will hold this summer.
But freshmen don’t spend the entire time in a classroom. Following ice-breaking sessions, they go outside to participate in team-building activities that include untying a human knot and a song game.
“We get them out of the classroom and get them around campus,” Owen said. “We do team-building activities with them. A lot of students find their roommates on an EDGE Day through the activities.”
While students break ice and build teams, parents and family members meet with college officials to learn about student life at Lindsey Wilson. Then following lunch in the Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center, students and family members visit a series of stations in Biggers Sports Center.
By the time they exit Biggers Sports Center, the freshmen have a class schedule for the 2009 fall semester, a parking permit and have completed paperwork necessary to enroll.
“They are building those relationships now, then on opening weekend in August they will further solidify their relationships with several more activities and events,” Owen said. “By the time the school year begins, they won’t feel like strangers in a classroom.”
EDGE also helps demystify the college experience, Owen said.
“One of the questions we ask freshmen on an EDGE survey is whether they would be afraid to talk to a professor a staff member when they first get to Lindsey Wilson,” Owen said. “Many of them tell us that they are because they often enter college with the pre-conceived notion that professors and staff members cannot be bothered with students. But on EDGE Day, we tell them that at Lindsey Wilson that’s what professors and staff members are here for – they want to have contact with their students and they want to help them.”
EDGE Day also is an opportunity for incoming freshmen to meet upperclass students who share similar interests and backgrounds.
“When we assign students to an EDGE group, we go out of our way to look at their intended major and their extracurricular activities so that we can pair them with an EDGE leader with similar experiences,” Owen said. “That makes it easier for freshmen to ask questions such as how to get involved at Lindsey Wilson.”
LWC’s final two EDGE Days of the summer will be July 24-25. For more information, contact the Student Activities Office at email@example.com or (270) 384-8100.
Sights & Sounds from EDGE
AUDIO: Advice from sophomores Danielle Albertson & Elizabeth Goode
AUDIO: Advice from EDGE Leader MacKinsey Wheeler
Jun 4, 2009
SOMERSET, Ky. – Tasha Miller of Pikeville, Ky., didn’t know a lot about play therapy at the start of this week.
But by the end of Thursday, the Lindsey Wilson College human services and counseling senior thought she might want to incorporate play therapy into her career as a mental health professional.
“It’s something that I’m going to consider using because I want to work with children after I graduate,” she said.
Miller was one of more than 160 people from seven states who attended the first sponsored conference of the Lindsey Wilson Appalachian Center for Play Therapy. The two-day conference, which was held at the Center for Rural Development, featured Garry L. Landreth, an internationally known play therapy expert, who discussed play therapy and its benefits.
“Play therapy gives a voice to children by using their play,” said Landreth, who is the the founder of the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas, the largest play therapy training program in the nation. “The play therapist ‘listens’ to the meaning in the child’s play, just as the therapist listens to meaning of an adult’s verbalization. So while they are in a playroom setting, their toys are viewed as being like a child’s words and play is the child’s language.”
‘Child’s Play Language’
The task of the play therapist is to understand the “child’s play language,” Landreth said.
“And that’s not as difficult to read the play language as you might initially think because play is a universal language,” Landreth said. “Children all over the world play similarly, just the items they play with differ. ... Give a child in South Africa a pile of sand and they play in it the same children in Kentucky play in the sand.”
Play therapy as a discipline was first discussed in the 1940s, but Landreth is responsible for popularizing it over the last 40 years, said Lindsey Wilson Associate Professor of Human Services & Counseling Jodi M. Crane.
Landreth has published more than 150 journal articles, books and videos. His award-winning book Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship has been translated into several languages.
Landreth’s articles, books and videos are among the reasons play therapy has become one of the fastest-growing areas in the mental-health profession, Crane said.
“The mental-health profession is finally recognizing that it’s not effective to sit children down in big chairs and tell them what they need to do or give them instructions about how to live their lives – it doesn’t work,” Landreth said. “We need to give them a chance to communicate at their level, the same way we give adults an opportunity to communicate verbally. That recognition is slowly catching on.”
Despite efforts to promote play therapy, Landreth said the subject is taught as a separate class in just about 30 percent of the U.S. counselor-education programs.
‘Struggling with Lack of Recognition’
“We are still struggling with the lack of recognition of the child’s ability in their own way to solve emotional issues,” he said.
Central to play therapy is for the therapist to see the child as a person, not as a junior version of an adult.
“Children are people, they just happen to be younger people,” Landreth said. “They are persons worthy of respect, as any person is worthy of respect. They just happen to be 3, 4 or 5 years old. They possess the same capability of helping themselves emotionally that adults possess. In fact, sometimes it’s harder for adults to help themselves because their minds get in the way – they keep thinking about all the things that didn’t work.
“I love the child’s approach and view of their world – they approach their world with newness. It’s new, eager, creative and willing to explore.”
Appalachian Center for Play Therapy
In addition to exposing more than 160 mental-health students and professionals to play therapy, this week’s conference was also something of a coming out part for the Appalachian Center for Play Therapy. Founded early this year by Crane, a nine-year veteran of the LWC faculty, the center’s goal is to help educate and train mental-health professionals and others who work with children about the benefits of play therapy.
“The center makes it possible to train greater numbers of people in how to use play therapy,” Crane said. “Otherwise, it’s sort of hit or miss as to where that training can be found in this region of the United States.”
And Landreth said he was “very impressed” with the center’s first conference.
“It took me longer to get to where Jodi is now than it has taken her to get where she is is today,” he said. “In less than 10 years, she has started a play therapy program, is building a center for play therapy and has held a conference for play therapy. That’s very impressive, and it also speaks of the tremendous need this region has, as evidenced by the fact that it attracted professionals from seven states.”
Connie Stallard of Clintwood, Va., was among those who attended the conference and hopes to become a licensed play therapist. A 30-year veteran of special education, Stallard said she sees numerous possibilities for integrating play therapy into her work.
“I’ve seen such a need for this service in helping young people,” she said.
To learn more about play therapy, go to the Association for Play Therapy Web site.
Play therapy pioneer Garry L. Landreth (left) chats with Aaron Meriwether of Columbia on Thursday at the Appalachian Center for Play Therapy conference, held at the Center for Rural Development.
COLUMBIA, Ky. – An Adair County resident has been named a DuoCounty Telephone Cooperative Corp. Scholar at Lindsey Wilson College.
Joseph Thomas Payne of Columbia has received the telephone cooperative’s scholarship at Lindsey Wilson.
Payne, the son of Joseph and Majorie Payne, is a 2009 graduate of Adair County High School. He will be a freshman this fall at Lindsey Wilson, where he plans to prepare for a career in music. And he will get a good start to his major – beginning this fall, the college is adding a bachelor of arts in fine arts administration. It will be the 22nd undergraduate program offered at the college.
DuoCounty Telecom founded the scholarship program for one year for a first-time, full-time freshman to attend Lindsey Wilson from DuoCounty’s service area, which includes parts of Adair, Casey, Cumberland and Russell counties.
“It’s an honor to receive this scholarship from DuoCounty,” Payne said. “I appreciate everything DuoCounty has done to help me attend college.”
And DuoCounty officials say they are equally excited about supporting the scholarship program at Lindsey Wilson.
“We are pleased to be able to help a good student like Joseph attend a wonderful college like Lindsey Wilson” said Duo County Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer Bill Magruder. “Duo County Telecom is dedicated to education in our community. We hope Joseph achieves his goals at Lindsey Wilson College.”
At Adair County High School, Payne was a member of marching band, concert band, district honors band and pep club. He was a recipient of several honors, including the honors award, outstanding musician and most improved musician.
Jun 1, 2009
COLUMBIA, Ky. – About two dozen people made history Friday night at Lindsey Wilson College.
The individuals were part of the first meeting of the college’s new graduate program in Christian leadership. Being part of a graduate program’s inaugural class is exciting in itself.
It’s even more exciting considering the program is less than a month old. The program was approved in late May by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In less than two weeks, the program registered 15 students for the summer session that began Friday; another six students plan to enroll in the program in the fall.
“The stated goal of The United Methodist Church Board of Higher Education is that we are to develop the next generation of Christian leaders,” said Dean of the Chapel Terry Swan, who is the program’s director. “And that is what this program is doing – preparing the next generation of Christian leaders for The United Methodist Church and other churches throughout our region.”
A major attraction of the new program – which is Lindsey Wilson’s third graduate program – is classes are offered on weekends and Monday nights. For students with a bachelor’s degree in Christian ministries or a related degree, the graduate program can be completed in 30 hours – “one intensive year,” Swan said.
“The program is built on the model that social work and business graduate programs have used – if you already have a substantial amount of training on the undergraduate level, the hours are reduced on the graduate level,” Swan said.
Students who enter the program with bachelor’s degree in another field will be required to take six hours of introductory classes.
‘Logical Next Step’
Swan said creating the new graduate program was “the next logical step for us.”
LWC’s undergraduate Christian ministries major is almost a decade old, and in the last four years the college built the Sumner Campus Ministry Center and Norma & Glen Hodge Center for Discipleship.
Swan said the Christian leadership graduate program is designed for individuals who want to serve their church but do not want a traditional seminary education.
“This is an ideal program for students in a variety of occupations who want to prepare to lead a church or church organization,” he said. “This program might also attract individuals who seek a second career or want to lead a parachurch organization.”
Another reason Swan said he started the program is because Lindsey Wilson is located in “an underserved area for theological education.”
“You have to go almost two hours in either direction to find a program like this,” he said.
Regional Student Body
Ironically, the weekend-Monday format of Lindsey Wilson’s Christian leadership graduate program has attracted students from Louisville, Ky., Lexington, Ky., and Nashville, Tenn.
One of those students making a two-hour to Lindsey Wilson is Sydney Smith of Nashville. A 2002 LWC alumna, Smith said the Christian leadership was started at “the perfect time for me.”
“I looked at graduate programs at several different colleges, but none of them appealed to me like this one did,” she said. “This program will open a lot of doors with all of the Christian organizations in the Nashville area. And a graduate program in leadership itself looks good to prospective employers.”
When LWC graduate Ray Moore heard the program had been approved, he decided to relocate from Grayson, Ky., where he had been serving churches, to Columbia. But it took the 2008 LWC graduate almost 16 hours to get back to the A.P. White Campus because he was in Long Island, N.Y., when he heard it had been approved.
“The fact that it’s a brand new program and there is a small community of learners will give us a lot of opportunities,” Moore said.
Swan also expects the program to become a “fifth year” for some of LWC’s 150 Christian ministries students.
“A lot of our undergraduate students have expressed interest in staying on for a fifth year, which will allow them to earn a master’s degree while they begin their careers,” he said.
Julie Walker of Columbia is one of the undergraduates who stayed on for an extra year. In May, Walker received a bachelor of arts degree in Christian ministries and communication from LWC.
“The ability to get a master’s in a year’s time when I already have a bachelor’s degree was too good for me to pass up,” she said.
For more information about the program, contact Swan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (270) 384-8148.
Click on the icon to hear Terry Swan talk about the new graduate program.