Lindsey Wilson Celebrates its Methodist Heritage

COLUMBIA, KY - Bishop Leonard Fairley of the KY United Methodist Annual Conference spent the Church College Celebration Day on campus and saw firsthand the benefits of church-related higher education.

Fairley said Wednesday at the college's annual Church College Day Celebration that because of students like those at LWC, he has nothing but hope for the future leaders of tomorrow.

"Throughout this day on the campus of Lindsey Wilson College my eyes have done nothing but dance and my heart has rejoiced," Fairley said. “Something in my spirit tells me that after being on this campus that I need not fear about leadership for tomorrow. Here in this place you are developing leaders. In this very room there are men and women that push against the darkness of the world. I’ve seen it in the eyes of the young people I’ve interacted with today. You don’t get that just anywhere.”

An annual event, Church College Celebration Day was started more than 20 years ago by then-LWC Provost and Dean of the Faculty Walter S. Reuling as an expression of the college's relationship with The United Methodist Church. LWC was founded in 1903 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South to prepare students for Vanderbilt University. Today, the college is affiliated with the Kentucky Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.

The service, which was held September 27 in V.P. Henry Auditorium, included performances from the Lindsey Wilson College Singers, the Commonwealth Musicians, and a message from Bishop Leonard Fairley.

At Wednesday afternoon's service, Fairley encouraged students to not only enjoy their college experience, but use it as a tool to become better societal leaders.

“Enjoy your time here,” Fairley said. “Renew your character, build your emotional intelligence, because the world is going to need you. You can begin that right here on this campus. Together as a church and institution, we have the power to change the world.”

LWC President William T. Luckey Jr., said during the service that “we pledge to strive be the model United Methodist College in the 21st century”.

“We commit to being a church-related college that recognizes the social principles of the United Methodist Church and seeks to create a community of scholarship and learning which facilitates social justice.” Luckey said. “We commit to being an institution that respects and honors religious practice and specifically worship and service for students and faculty who choose to participate in the Christian tradition and the total life of the college.”

Although many church-related colleges have loosened their denominational ties, LWC Dean of the Chapel Terry Swan said LWC's ties to The United Methodist Church "instead have dramatically become more intentional by both highlighting and cultivating our church relationship."

“I don’t know that you could ever fully understand Lindsey Wilson College without including its deep commitment to church related higher education," Swan said. "There is a subtlety, there is a beauty, there is an unassuming nature to our faith here. It is not presumptuous; our faith is not highly prescriptive."

"We do not require our staff nor our students to sign a credo or a faith statement. We welcome everyone to the table. But to all who do sign on, all agree to be respectful and to be receptive to faith, because that is our very mission here."