“The purpose of the missions fair is for agencies to have the opportunity to share with students about internships, service, placement, and job opportunity,” said Dr. Fred Shively, professor of religion and director of ministry education. “We do everything we can to help students.”
Shively wanted to start a program to educate students on how to become engaged in ministry. In 1982, AUCME was created. The program organizes students into different mission teams specific to their individual spiritual gifts. “The purpose of AUCME is to teach students how to serve,” said Shively.
Students have the opportunity to be a part of worship teams, chapel services, and urban emergence experiences. This ministry has even supported students in their own mission endeavors. AUCME continues to teach and has impacted many different students over the past 28 years.
[Photo: Anderson University senior Tyler Nussbaum talks with representatives from Student Venture and Athletes in Action.]
Many students have found their summer jobs, internships, or post-graduation jobs due to the organizations attending the missions fair each year. Senior Bradley Schnepp worked with Athletes in Action (AIA).
“As soon as I heard who they were and what they were about I was sold and put my application in for the summer league the next day,” said Schnepp. AIA is a branch of Campus Crusade for Christ and was founded on society’s great love of sports. Its mission is to utilize the platform given to athletes to reach the world for Jesus Christ.
“The main thing I got out of the summer was realizing that I wasn't alone on my walk with Christ,” Schnepp said. “Guys just like myself loved God and wanted Him to play a role in each of their lives.”
Another ministry at the fair was Hope Hill Children’s Home, located in Kentucky. It serves as a residential treatment facility focusing on the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of neglected and abused teenage girls in crisis. Kathy Hedge, a 2005 AU grad, went on three Tri-S trips to Hope Hill during her time as a student. After graduation Hedge and her husband continued to have a heart for these girls.
“We both had no job, no kids, and things just really fell into place,” said Hedge. “It’s been really enjoyable. I never thought a work camp would open the door to where we started our family just five years later.” [Photo: Ryan Ernst represented Inner City Impact, one of 18 ministry organizations at Anderson University's 28th annual missions fair in February.]
Many students’ most memorable summers are at camp, whether they are the camper or the counselor. Spring Hill Camp is a Christ-centered church camp located in both Indiana and Michigan. “AU has a big turnout for us every summer,” said Carey Edgren, Inpursuit Camp Director. Spring Hill focuses on creating life-impacting experiences that enable young people to know and to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Spring Hill has extreme sports and many outdoor adventures all integrated with a faith-filled experience.
“My favorite part of camp was ‘Wacky Wednesdays’ because everyone would dress crazy and go to a fun evening program. Afterwards we would have our serious campfire where tons of kids would give their lives to Christ,” said Adrienne Willacker, an AU senior. “Every Wednesday was a humbling experience where God showed his love and grace.”
Ryan Ernst, of Inner City Impact in Chicago, is looking for interns to love and disciple the youth of the Logan Square Neighborhood. “We present the living Christ to primarily unchurched urban youth. Our goals are to disciple and integrate them into the Church. We live with them, mourn with them and try to be the hands and feet of Jesus,” said Ernst. Inner City Impact does Bible studies, camping trips, and leadership development to integrate youth that benefit from this program back into the mission once they grow up. It is a family cycle they hope for.
— Lydia Smith is a junior from Indianapolis, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in peace and conflict transformation. Smith is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.