Loan to VSU Wesley Foundation Impacts Students' Lives
In 2015, a loan from the Georgia United Methodist Foundation enabled the Valdosta State University Wesley Foundation to construct the Discipleship House, which features four three-bedroom apartments, as well as spaces for hosting small and large gatherings. We caught up with Rev. C.J. Harp, VSU Wesley Foundation Executive Director and Campus Minister, to find out the impact of this new facility.
GUMF: What impact is the Discipleship House having on its residents’ lives?
REV. C.J. HARP: The students who live in the Discipleship House are committed student leaders for our ministry. Their commitment is a conduit for spiritual growth, which includes attending our weekly worship service, being discipled in a 1-1 and small group setting, and serving on a student ministry team.
Between our two buildings, we offer a Christian residential community for 15 students. There is simply nothing else quite like it at VSU. The residential community helps to grow our culture of discipleship, while offering them a unique home filled with mutual support and accountability.
GUMF: What impact is the Wesley Foundation having on VSU’s campus?
REV. C.J. HARP: The Wesley Foundation is a healthy and well-respected student organization at VSU. Our aim is to raise up servant leaders for the Church and society who have a growing understanding of the heart of the Heavenly Father, the identity of Jesus, and are experiencing a Spirit-filled life.
GUMF: How many students does the VSU Wesley Foundation impact each week?
REV. C.J. HARP: Between the combination of our weekly worship service on campus, small groups and lunch, we reach around 150 college students each week. Over the course of the year, with all of our events such as freshmen ministry and coffee house nights, we touch the lives of several hundred students.
GUMF: How does the Discipleship House enable the VSU Wesley Foundation to foster a culture of leadership?
REV. C.J. HARP: The most challenging aspect in college ministry is its transitional nature. The Discipleship House brings stability to an otherwise unstable ministry setting. By continually providing a home for 12 committed students to the ministry, as well as rental revenue, the Discipleship House brings relational and financial stability.
GUMF: Is there anything else you would like to add?
REV. C.J. HARP: The construction of the Discipleship House has not only brought sustainability to the Wesley ministry, it has also served as a catalyst for future growth. Because of the Discipleship House, we are able to prayerfully explore other nearby properties that could help grow our culture of discipleship at VSU.