Black colleges engage in recruiting young adult missionaries

Rudy Rasmus and Romal Tune

Rudy Rasmus and Romal Tune

(GBHEM)  This fall and winter, two spiritual leaders from different generations will engage with a younger millennial generation in sharing the mission story through musicology, global hip-hop and community restoration. During the Sankofa Generation Transformation Campus Tour, Rudy Rasmus, a baby boomer pastor at St. John’s United Methodist Church Downtown in Houston, and Romal Tune, a Generation X social entrepreneur and founder of Faith for Change, Inc., in Los Angeles, will visit 10 of the 11 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that are supported by the Black College Fund (BCF). The effort will touch more than 15,000 students across eight states.

The goal of the tour is to share the mission story through intergenerational conversations on matters of social justice and advocacy and invite young adults to serve as short-term missionaries. The tour will also address practical matters relevant to the vocational discernment and preparation process, such as securing a passport and “fun-raising.” The expected outcome is to recruit, train, and deploy at least two missionaries from each school in the next two years and walk with students through a 12-month discernment process of global Christian service.

One of the key collaborators on the tour, The General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, is excited about the positive impact the tour will have on the students. “Sharing their global experiences alongside current and former young adult missionaries will create an intergenerational conversation based on missiology with a different ‘beat,’” says Regina Henderson, associate general secretary for Justice & Relationships at Global Ministries. “Global Ministries’ seeks to recruit, train, and deploy young adults into missionary service around the world with opportunities for service-learning—that is exactly what this collaboration sets out to achieve.”

Cynthia Bond Hopson, executive director for the Black College Fund, shares similar feelings. “Sharing the mission story and promoting Generation Transformation to students in small and large campus venues as they engage in a theological and missiological conversation centered on the hip-hop music genre is exciting,” she says. The BCF provides financial support to participating colleges to help students have a successful college experience. The BCF is under the umbrella of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), the leadership development agency of the United Methodist Church. BCF support helps enable collegiate staff and faculty to serve as strong intellectual, cultural and spiritual mentors, thereby enhancing students’ leadership potential.

The Sankofa Generation Transformation Campus Tour is sponsored by the Global Ministries’ program of Generation Transformation, General Board of Higher Education and Ministries’ Black College Fund Sankofa Initiative, The Voices Project, Faith for Change, Inc., and St. John’s United Methodist Church Downtown in Houston.

The tour schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, September 30 — Paine College, Augusta, Ga., 11 a.m.
Monday, November 2 — Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Ark., lunch hours
Tuesday, November 3 — Wiley College, Marshall, Texas, 11 a.m.
Wednesday, November 4 — Rust College, Holly Springs, Miss., 7 p.m.
Thursday, November 5 — Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Fla., 5 p.m.
Tuesday, November 10 — Claflin University, Orangeburg, S.C., 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, February 10 — Clark-Atlanta University, Atlanta, TBD
Thursday, February 11 — Bennett College, Greensboro, N.C., 11 a.m.
Thursday, February 18 — Dillard University, New Orleans, 11 a.m.
Thursday, February 25 — Huston-Tillotson University, Austin, Texas, 11 a.m.

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