Wiley College, a United Methodist school in Marshall, Texas, hosted its first annual Ethical Student Leadership Conference this past Thursday through Saturday. While the speakers were good (I was a speaker), the high point for me was getting to know the student participants and hearing what they had to say.
The students were not only from Wiley College, but also from Huston Tillotson, Jarvis Christian, Paul Quinn, Texas College, and Birmingham Southern. If you didn’t know, all of these but Birmingham Southern are historically black colleges. I’ve sometimes heard white folks in my congregations gripe about having to pay an apportionment for black colleges. What I think they miss is that these are Christian schools. While most – not all – of the students may be black, the ethos of these schools, from what I’ve seen, is more distinctly Christian than most of the other United Methodist colleges out there. What I saw in the lives of these students gave me solid evidence that when we give to these schools we are making a sound investment.