A Wesleyan college is a kind of Christian college built on a 250-year movement focused on a passionate relationship with Christ, pursuing personal holiness and being a transforming presence in our communities and world.
Search for Christian colleges long enough, and you’ll get dizzy with details.
Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Episcopalians, Catholics … they all have colleges. And while they all have faith in Christ in common, they’re all built on their own unique traditions.
So what about Wesleyan colleges? To understand them, you have to learn a little about The Wesleyan Church, some of its history (which is pretty interesting!), and how that will affect the college experience.
John Wesley Put Faith Into Action
Wesley regarded himself as “a man of one book,” the Bible. It was while studying the Bible that Wesley received assurance of his salvation through faith and felt his heart “strangely warmed.”
Once he embraced the saving grace of Jesus Christ, Wesley was on fire to show others what God-breathed love can do. He developed a school for orphans, job programs and medical assistance for the poor, worked to reform an inhumane prison system and pushed for the abolition of slavery.
His biblical teaching and call for transformed holy lives of love through a vast network of small groups and societies resulted in the emergence of the Methodist church. His influence expanded across the pond to encourage the abolitionist movement in the United States. Wesleyans here also spoke out against child labor atrocities, called for equal rights for women and continued to advance the message of living a holy life of love individually and collectively.
The Wesleyan Church is Keeping Up the Good Work
This commitment to transforming lives, churches and communities through the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ is what drives the Wesleyan Church today. It advances this vision through three key strategies.
Wesleyans see the Church as an essential environment for learning the primary commands of Jesus, to love God and to love our neighbors, and instilling the value of translating love into action. So they strongly believe in the value of planting and growing new churches that share these beliefs and values.
To help followers of Christ be successful in putting love into action, Wesleyans commit to ongoing growth in love and grace through discipleship relationships. Their approach to discipleship is holistic: it’s not just about studying the Bible and teaching others, it’s a whole way of life.
Church multiplication and discipleship are cornerstones of the Wesleyan mission. It’s about becoming a transforming presence throughout the world, bringing to others the same transformative Good News of Jesus Christ that Wesley himself experienced and shared with others. And it is a movement that still spans the globe.
Where Do Christian Colleges Come In?
Imagine building a church, offering hope in Jesus and receiving all kinds of people – and being unprepared to meet their needs. Financial, medical, psychological and social needs. Human needs.
Or imagine a world in which Christ-followers are involved only in one-on-one ministry but not in working to solve problems facing all of humanity. Problems that require scientists, mathematicians, entrepreneurs, engineers and government leaders to address them.
Or a world in which Christians are only involved in solving concrete problems, discounting the necessity of the arts, music education and all the intangible human practices that bind people and cultures together?
To put it a different way, you can’t minister to the world without engaging with the world.
The Wesleyan College Experience: In the World, For the World
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
God the Father’s way to love the world was to enter it through God the Son. When on Earth, Jesus studied. He worked, raised up disciples. And he was part of our sinful and broken world. Yet, his contact with this world didn’t make him any less holy. He shined all the brighter in darkness.
That is the inspiration for the Wesleyan college experience.
Students are encouraged to pursue their God-given talents for use in this world, which God loves so much. And you’re invited to join this movement – that’s been going strong for two centuries – to pursue the holiness of Christ while putting love into action.
So what does that look like? Here’s how to find out.
Discover Christian College the Wesleyan Way: WE5
There are five Wesleyan schools to choose from (WE5 for short):
- Houghton College in Houghton, New York
- Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana
- Kingswood University in Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada
- Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma
- Southern Wesleyan University in Central, South Carolina
From school to school, the campus, the faculty and the community may be different.
But they all have one thing in common. They all can proudly say, “We are Wesleyan.”
It means they share those John Wesley-inspired characteristics. A commitment to transform lives, churches and communities through the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ. To live a life of holy love that desires to be more like Christ every day.
Explore more about each school by clicking on the school links above. Or, to learn more about WE5 schools in general, follow the link below.