Commitment to Service, Mission, and Outreach Statement
Emmanuel College strives to prepare students who are both globally aware and locally active. The official purpose statement for the office of service learning and outreach states, “Service learning and outreach programs exist to prepare students to be actively engaged Christ-followers who are knowledgeable about the many local and global issues facing our world, the possible solutions to these problems, and the opportunities they have to be actively involved in the solutions. This is accomplished by local outreach opportunities, service learning, social justice education programming, and short term service trips.”
Each year Emmanuel devotes significant resources to (1) employ a full-time staff person to organize and supervise service learning, local outreach, student service organizations, and short term service trips, (2) community service work study positions, (3) student organizations committed to ongoing community service projects, (4) short-term service trips, and much more. The total spent on service learning and community service efforts is approximately $150,000 each year.
The two largest schools, the School of Education, and the School of Christian Ministries, require all students to serve in the local community through practicum. Additionally, our Communication and English departments regularly offer courses that include service learning components. This means that every semester over 30% of our full-time student body is serving the local community on a weekly basis. Our largest service organization, Koinonia, has over 30 student leaders and active participants. Koinonia largely serves the children who live in the government housing areas in the city of Royston. Adopt-a-Grandparent is our effort to invest in the lives in the elderly and sick. A number of our students participate in Franklin County mentoring. This year we have approximately 60 students traveling to Tennessee, Florida, Costa Rica, Bolivia, and the Philippines on Emmanuel sponsored or endorsed mission trips. We also partner with Royston Baptist Church to serve children with special needs and their families. This program is a branch of Nathaniel’s Hope, based in Orlando, Florida. Our students help with programs such as Buddy Break, Connections for Special Parents, and Family Fun Day. We have hopes of soon doing a summer program specifically for the children in our area with autism.
Our institution is dedicated to making service learning a priority. We continue to require a service learning component for both our Freshman Seminar course (required for all true freshmen) and for Senior Seminar (required for all graduating seniors). Our brand new honors program also includes a traditional service learning component in the classroom, as well as a set number of required volunteer hours.
Our newly created strategic plan reflects our commitment to service as many of our strategic diversity plan and departmental core outcomes pertain to service. Some of the mentioned goals of the strategic plan are to (1) collaborate with the deans and create (service learning) degree specific initiatives in the areas of fairs, workshops, and internships; (2) provide opportunities for faculty to lead service-learning projects; (3) provide service-learning opportunities to our local diverse community at large (community service); and (4) create a campus culture of service, mission, civic engagement and social justice.
Emmanuel utilizes financial resources, class time, and extracurricular opportunities to aid our local community and serve the greater community all over the world. We are dedicated to service-centered students as stated in our mission, “Emmanuel College is a Christ-centered, liberal arts institution which strives to prepare students to become Christ-like disciples who integrate faith, learning, and living for effective careers, scholarship, and service.”
Emmanuel College Athletes Reach Out to Royston Housing Authority
On Wednesday, September 13, the men and women’s cross country and track teams had the privilege of working with the children of the Royston Housing Authority. The team played freeze tag, basketball, football, and even jumped rope in an afternoon of fun and fellowship. Some of the team members spent time with individual children to help them with their homework.
“I think our college athletes enjoyed playing these games as much as the children did,” said Coach Larios. “Serving and giving back to our community, especially children, is a major priority for our team. We look forward to going back and building better relationships with the children.”
The Emmanuel College women’s soccer team also visited the Royston Housing Authority on Tuesday, September 20 to conduct a soccer clinic and program outreach to the residents. Twenty-three soccer players participated in a variety of events during the visit.
Junior forward Megan Ream (Lavonia, GA) tells us about the experience: “Visiting the housing authority was such a humbling experience for the EC women’s soccer team. When we arrived, there were kids playing basketball, football, jumping rope, and playing all kinds of games. We joined right in with them and they completely loved it. We got out some soccer balls and pop up goals and they went crazy! The kids loved learning how to take shots at the goals. Time went by so fast that we stayed longer than we had planned. It meant so much to come take just an hour out of our day to play with kids we didn’t even know. Just giving a hug and loving on them meant so much. It makes you think more about what you have and how thankful we should be,” said Ream.
Megan played soccer right here at Franklin County High School and was the 2010-11 Southern States Athletic Conference Champion of Character Award representative for the EC women’s soccer program. Servant leadership is one of the core values of this award and one of the pillars of our program’s success.
The Lady Lions are currently 5-3 this season with 10 regular season games left. Go Lady Lions!