Texas Wesleyan University

This morning I attended the Board of Trustees meeting at Texas Wesleyan University.  I am grateful that, under the leadership of new President Fred Slabach, TWU is engaged in strengthening its connection with the church. There is a creative openness to learning and intellectual exploring that is exciting. From my perspective, there is openness to church relations, to the Christian faith, and comparative religion that is refreshing! The mission of Texas Wesleyan is clearly stated: “Our mission at Texas Wesleyan University is to develop students to their full potential as individuals and as members of the world community. …The University also strives to develop a sense of civic responsibility and spiritual sensitivity, with a commitment to moral discrimination and action.” President Slabach has articulated a clear vision emphasizing the importance of “critical thinking, analytical reasoning and creative problem-solving” in intellectually, nurturing, small classes. “Texas Wesleyan aspires to be a values- and student-centered university where motivated students prepare for graduate school and leadership in professional careers.”  Recently ranked in the top tier of regional liberal arts universities by US News & World Report, TWU is engaging culture in ways that unite knowledge and vital piety. There was a day when TWU served us a pipeline for clergy leadership development. Looking around the Central Texas Conference, many of our best pastors are TWU graduates. I hope for the day when the pipeline of leadership development for our churches again runs through Texas Wesleyan University. If we as a church are serious about leadership development (as we must be if there is to be a future to The United Methodist Church), then we must re-engage in serious deep Christian dialogue with our church-related colleges and universities.