Huntington, Ind.— There is no greater testament to the Huntington College mission, “educating men and women to impact the world for Christ,” than students who give of their time and talents to serve others. Therefore, when the Huntington College Student Senate decided to award a fellow student with the first-ever Student Senate Impact Initiative Scholarship, it was only fitting that the recipient have a passion to impact the surrounding community.
With a heart for both ministry and service, Jenna Rodgers, a sophomore cross-cultural ministries major
, was awarded the senate scholarship for the 2004-05 school year.
Rodgers said she was surprised to receive the scholarship and wondered why she was chosen over other “fitting” applicants. But to those around her, the decision was obvious.
A native of Franklin, Pa., Rodgers’ considerable interest in community service and volunteerism began as a high school student. “I didn’t have a job and I wasn’t involved in athletics. I wanted to do something with my time, so as a sophomore, I started working with kids in an after-school program. It allowed me to get to know people in the community, and I realized that building relationships with others is what ministry is all about.”
Rodgers’ desire to connect with her surrounding community continued to grow when she came to Huntington College. She has been involved on campus with Global Vision, a mission-oriented student organization, and as a member of the student-led chapel team, Ekklesia. In the Huntington community, she’s assisted with Campus Life JV and has tutored an older woman in English at the local library.
“I not only wanted to get involved on campus, but I also wanted to serve others within the Huntington community,” Rodgers said. “It allows me to build relationships with people other than college students and allows others in the community to know me as more than a ‘typical college student.’”
During Spring Break, Rodgers took advantage of an opportunity to connect with another community as she served on a Huntington College mission trip to New York City. While there, the HC team ministered to the homeless, delivered food, and participated in prayer walks around the Bronx. During the prayer walks, Rodgers and others met and prayed with many families at the front steps to their homes.
“That trip was doused in prayer,” Rodgers reflected. “We didn’t do anything without first starting and ending with prayer. Some might think it would get tedious or old, but it never does when we can see the power of God right before our eyes!”
The trip to New York City gave Rodgers a short glimpse of how she can use her Christian ministry in a secular world. She said that while studying at Huntington, she has continued to develop this perspective through her ministry education.
“HC has helped me realize that even though I’m in the majority at a Christian college, I’m going to be a minority as a Christian within the secular world,” Rodgers said.
Being a part of that minority is something Rodgers will face and anticipates as early as next fall. She plans to study abroad in Egypt through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities’ Middle East Studies program.
“I have been interested in Islam for some time now,” Rodgers said. “Along with taking classes on Islam and the culture of religion, I hope to work with and reach out to Muslims in the inner city.”
As Huntington College continues to encourage Rodgers to impact her world for Christ, Rodgers encourages other students to get involved with service activities. She said God works in unique ways when individuals serve their surrounding community, as she has been blessed by those she serves.
“Service is not about recognition; it’s about building relationships that can impact the world for Christ,” concluded Rodgers.
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Huntington College Student Senate established the Student Senate Impact Initiative Scholarship (see www.huntington.edu/news/0304/studentsenate.htm) during the 2003-04 school year. The endowed scholarship awards five percent of its earnings annually, enabling the scholarship to last for future years. A minimum of $10,000 was required to begin such a scholarship at Huntington College. Applicants had to meet the requirements of a certain GPA, financial need, community service involvement and on-campus involvement. The first scholarship takes effect for the 2004-05 school year.
Huntington College is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 60 academic concentrations. USNews & World Report ranks Huntington among the top comprehensive colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington College is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in Huntington, Indiana. The College is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).
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