It has been four years since the Friends Leadership Program (FLP) began at George Fox University. Do you know what that means?
This spring we graduated our first class of FLP students!
It is difficult to believe that four years ago this program was beginning with a group of students, a new director (me!), support from George Fox and NWYM – but not much else!
And now we are sending out a group of students to live in ways that connect their deepest desires with the world’s great needs.
The final piece of each student’s involvement in the FLP is to create something that tangibly addresses a need they experienced during their time at Fox. As a way of letting NWYM catch of glimpse of what these students have been noticing, I’d like to share with you a few of their projects.
Emily-Grace Cropper (North Valley): One of the lessons Emily-Grace has learned during her time at George Fox is that the language we use to describe God can often limit the fullness of God. Emily-Grace noticed that during our community chapel times, the songs we sang always referred to God with masculine pronouns. And so she created a short study that engages Scripture, theology and human experience for our chapel bands to complete at the beginning of each year.
Luke Pritchard (Cherry Grove): Early on during his time at George Fox, Luke recognized that he received a lot of joy through connecting with non-Friends students about discernment. And so he created an experiential program where students not from the Friends church would meet regularly together to practice open worship, listening, and discernment as a group.
Katie Morse (Star Friends): As Katie reflected on her previous three years, she realized how beneficial relationships with others were to her success as a student and as a follower of Christ. She noticed that within the FLP we could do a better job of creating relationships that strengthen, support and sustain students during their college times. And so she created a mentorship program where older FLP students are paired with younger FLP students to walk alongside each other during these formative years.
This is just a glimpse of the many projects these students dreamed up in response to needs they encountered during their college career. And now we get to send them off to be dreamers and doers in a world with so much potential and yet so much need.
If you get a chance to congratulate them, here is the first graduating class of FLP students: Spencer Ankeny (Newberg), Jessica Burkholder (Sherwood), Rachel Clarkson (Tigard), Emily-Grace Cropper (North Valley), Katie Morse (Star), Luke Pritchard (Cherry Grove) and Alyssa Robert (Reedwood).
Thank you for the ways you have supported these students and the FLP!