CU Students Are Called to Serve

CU Students Are Called to Serve

Feb. 5, 2010
For Immediate Release


By Drew Tucker, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Personal stories of how Campbellsville University students are serving others were highlighted in chapel recently as the entire program, presented by CU’s senior staff, focused on servant leadership.  

    While individual students talked of their mission projects, the Rev. Dave Walters, vice president for admissions and student services, told the students they are called to serve others, just like Christ was called to serve us. 

   “You should ask yourself, ‘How can I serve others?  My family?  My university?  My community?’” he said.   

    “The call for everyone is to be like Christ,” he said. 

Campbellsville University student/athletes who were collecting peanut butter for “Hoops for Haiti” include from left: baseball player Tyler Lambert of Paducah, Ky.; basketball player Kristi Ensminger of Kingston Springs, Tenn.;
baseball player Jordan Cornett of Lexington, Ky.; softball player Alex Jane Clemmons of Smiths Grove, Ky.; basketball player Courtney Danis of Mt. Sterling, Ky., and baseball player Lee Page of Crittenden, Ky. The young women formed the student/athlete Crazy Love Bible study on campus. (Campbellsville University Photo by Richard RoBards)


   Courtney Danis, a junior Lady Tiger basketball player from Mt. Sterling, Ky. discussed an athletic mission program called “Hoops for Haiti,” that asked people to donate peanut butter to send to Haiti.

    “We received 180 jars of peanut butter, and over $400 in donations,” she said. 

   “Hoops for Haiti” is an initiative of student-athletes on campus who are using “Crazy Love,” a book written by Francis Chan, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Calif., for Bible Study groups. 

   Ron Barnard, associate head coach of the football team, explained that Jesus went away after John the Baptist had died, but people still followed him.  Eventually the crowd was getting hungry, and Jesus asked how much food they had.  His apostles said they had five loaves of bread and two fish.  Jesus asked the apostles to hand out the food, and they had just enough for everyone.  

   “This is what we do in football,” Barnard said.

   “We had a game on Thursday in Tennessee, so the guys had a three-day weekend,” he said.  “But some of them stayed to read to kids.  That’s a loaf.” 

     Barnard talked about how the team had helped clean up the city park after an ice storm hit, or helped out the elderly, comparing them to loaves and fish.  

    “God doesn’t ask us to do miracles,” he said.  “We serve what we are with, with what we have.”

     Dr. Jeanette Parker, assistant vice president for academic affairs, associate professor of psychology and title III director, discussed Campbellsville University’s Servant Leadership Project, a program designed for students to develop as Christian servant leaders. 

   Dr. Ted Taylor, professor of Christian studies, director of Leadership/Character Development Institute and lead professor of sports ministry program, discussed FIRST CLASS, a program within the Servant Leadership Project, designed to ease the transition of first-year students to college life, as well as having them volunteer for various activities to help and serve others.
“In fall of 2005, I had to get FIRST CLASS off the ground, and I had no idea what to do,” he said. “I heard a knock on my door from a freshman, who talked about a project he did at his church called ‘Operation Christmas Child.’” 

   Operation Christmas Child is a program designed to put together gift boxes to be sent to less fortunate children across the country and the globe. 

   “Five freshman classes have given 559 shoe boxes,” said Taylor.  “I will never forget these five years.” 

   Taylor, who also serves as pastor of Columbia Baptist Church, and CU worked together this year to obtain 375 boxes of Christmas items for Operation Christmas Child. This was the largest total ever obtained for CU.

   Jon Hansford, direct of First Year Experience, explained how FIRST CLASS students had served over 15 families by building decks and replacing vinyl siding. 

     “There is always a time to serve someone,” he said. 

   Walters thanked Parker, Taylor and Hansford for “showing us that we can serve others.” 

   Walters described the success of a team, and how Campbellsville University is a team. 

   Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs, discussed faculty members’ involved in serving others. He introduced new faculty members for the spring semester and said, “As a faculty member at Campbellsville University, they could be anywhere else, but were called to serve at CU.” 

   Cheatham explained how students and faculty raised over $4,000 for the homeless last year by working in food pantries, and how the School of Education faculty and staff donated to local schools instead of buying Christmas presents for each other.

     He challenged students to think of ways to serve. 

   “It just takes one person to make a difference,” he said.

    Benji Kelly, vice president for development, said, “You get to choose who to serve, how to serve and where to serve.” 

   Kelly said in August 2008, CU completed a $50 million campaign one year early.  CU added 22 new programs, 41 new scholarships and has 35 new full-time faculty members as a result of donations given during the campaign. 

   “For the spring phonathon,” he said, “we had alumni who donated from the class of 2009 all the way back to the class of 1934."

   “Those people, including our faculty members, are using their gifts to serve God,” he said. 

   Dr. Michael Carter, president of Campbellsville University, asked the audience to close their eyes and “Imagine a world where no one thinks of anyone else,” he said.  “What would it be like where everyone served their own needs?” 

   He said his world got darker as he thought of such a world.  

   “Our founders believed in serving others,” he said. He said the founders, in 1906, worried about commitment and education. 

   Carter asked students how to become happy, and told them that what they really want is fulfillment.

     “If you want to find yourself,” he said, “you will lose yourself serving others.”

    The Rev. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, led the opening prayer stressing the importance of graduating Christian servant leaders from CU.
   Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 3,006 students who represent 97 Kentucky counties, 30 states and 37 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South, tied for fifth in “most international students” and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in baccalaureate colleges in the South. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and to G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.    


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