In a 2014 survey of 2,000 United Methodist church pastors and leaders, more than half had little or no knowledge about the Black College Fund (BCF). Answering this need for information, a new video, produced by The Black College Fund Office at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, details the fund’s vitality and its continued need for support. Local congregations are invited to share the video in worship services, gatherings and social media posts so that all United Methodists can appreciate the fund’s mission and history.
Since 1972, The United Methodist Church’s Black College Fund has offered support to eleven United Methodist-related Black colleges and universities, allowing the schools to nurture deep traditions and rise to new opportunities in today’s competitive, tech-savvy collegiate landscape.
“The Black College Fund is a precious gift and I am thankful for the church’s continued investment and commitment to empowerment, leadership, service and transformation,” said Cynthia Bond Hopson, assistant general secretary of The Black College Fund.
The apportionments paid by local United Methodist Churches help to fund these institutions, where many of the 16,000 students struggle with the financial challenges that secondary education can bring. “The Black College Fund is a precious gift and I am thankful for the church’s continued investment and commitment to empowerment, leadership, service and transformation,” said Cynthia Bond-Hopson, Ph.D., assistant general secretary, The Black College Fund. The students in the BCF-supported schools represent a wide-variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, and they are training to be the next generation of leaders, both inside and outside of the church.
“Without the church, we would not have existed. We have had 138 plus years of being connected to the church. Our service is making sure that we focus on the underserved. Without the church it would be very difficult to succeed in our mission,” said Dr. A. Dexter Samuels, executive director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College.
The Black College Fund, a ministry of the United Methodist Church, is the largest supporter of Black colleges and universities of any church body in the United States. The 11 BCF-supported colleges enroll approximately 16,000 students, with 90% of them qualifying for financial aid. BCF funding to the 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which is administered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, comes from Black College Fund apportionments paid by local United Methodist churches.