Collegiate Adventist women in the Southern Union Conference make a significant, positive impact within their peer groups and communities through their outreach activities and initiatives. In recognition of this, the Southern Union Women’s Ministries Department has created the Emerging Women Leadership Scholarship.
The mission of the Union’s Women’s Ministries Department is to support and encourage women in their Christian leadership journey. This mission is exemplified throughout the Scriptures in the stories of Deborah and Jael, Ruth and Naomi, and Mary and Elizabeth. The purpose of the Emerging Women Leadership Scholarship is to support the work of outstanding collegiate women leaders in a tangible way.
On an annual basis, a collegiate woman from each of the three Southern Union universities — AdventHealth, Oakwood, and Southern Adventist, who has aspired to provide Christlike leadership in student and civic activities, will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship. This scholarship may be used toward tuition, books, and/or meals. In addition to the $1,000, the recipients will receive leadership training and mentoring as they journey to discover and fulfill the “thoughts” and “plans” the Lord has for them. Lastly, the three annual recipients of the scholarship will be featured at Union events, and in publications of their respective universities, the Southern Union, and beyond.
In research published by the Barna Group on how to engage millennials and keep them connected to the Church, five ingredients were identified: (1) develop meaningful relationships, (2) teach them cultural discernment, (3) make mentoring a priority, (4) assist them in matching their skills, abilities, and talents with God’s call on their lives, and (5) serve as facilitators of their connection with Jesus. By God’s grace and power, the SUC Women’s Ministries Department is desirous and committed to meeting this mandate among the 25 percent of the 18- to 29-year-olds who have chosen to stay connected to the Church.
Several emerging women leaders, ranging in age from 17 to 28 years old, were interviewed during the SUC Women’s Spring Advisory meeting in April of this year. Ellieny Farelas is a first-generation Spanish American born in the U.S. and attending one of the academies. Kristina Huskey is 18 years old and a senior academy student. Ashley Saint-Fleur is a 26-year-old who is a full-time student with a full-time job. Nailah Baker is a university freshman who is active in her church as a member of the audio visual team, and newsletter and health ministries. Janelle Howell, 28, has earned her doctorate, and is a traveling physical therapist and speaker who still has time to mentor and motivate young women because she wants to pay it forward. Tori-Ann Holness, a college senior majoring in finance, is an international traveler and women’s ministries coordinator in one of the SUC conferences. These young, inspiring women come from five of the eight conferences in the Southern Union, and they are just a small sampling of the tremendous emerging leaders the Southern Union is blessed to have in its midst.
It is young women such as these who will be assisted each year by awarding three scholarships to support them in their academic and leadership pursuits. Further information about the scholarship and application instructions can be found on the Union website at www.southernunion.com/wmscholarship. Applications are sent to the conference where membership is held. A list of the conferences and directors’ addresses can be found on the website as well.
is the women’s ministries director at the Southern Union Conference in Peachtree Corners, Georgia.
Southern Union | August 2019