The goal for this year’s Bible Conference is to raise $150,000 toward the building of a Center for Global Opportunities that will connect the BJU community to global outreaches—near and far.
The Center for Global Opportunities, which will be located in the Alumni Building across from the Bellis Copy Center, will be available to students in the fall semester of 2016. The CGO will combine all of the outreach resources currently on campus into one location. Students can go to the CGO for local church outreaches, student outreach activities, international activities, mission teams and internships.
Mark Vowels, the director of missions at BJU, said President Steve Pettit is the driving force behind this project.
“He wants Bob Jones University to be known not just as a great academic institution but as a great outreach institution,” Vowels said.
The center will also serve as a hub where all of those resources come together and focus on campus activities that highlight and promote any type of outreach. Workshops and global opportunities-themed chapel messages will be held to help emphasize outreach opportunities for students. What is currently known as Missions Emphasis Week will be called Global Opportunities Week in 2016.
Once the CGO opens, Vowels will be the director. “Our real aspiration is that with all of the ideas and innovative ways of thinking about outreach and ministry that students have, whether it’s locally or abroad, that we just kind of be a place that helps that,” Vowels said.
The CGO will be an information and resource center for international students.
“Part of the goal there is not only to better serve the internationals, but to utilize their presence on campus to help all of us have a better vision for how God is working around the world,” Vowels said.
Dr. Neal Cushman, a professor in the Seminary and the planning coordinator for the CGO, expressed his vision for the center.
“We hope that it will connect the whole Bob Jones campus…and that it will connect everybody to the Great Commission in some way,” Cushman said.
Each of the academic schools on campus, such as the School of Education and the School of Business, will have a liaison for the CGO. Students can go to that person within their school for help with finding ways to use their degrees for missions.
“This is not going to be a School of Religion thing or a missions thing,” Vowels said. “This is on the same level as something like Student Life in that it’s meant to be for everybody.”
Whether students are looking for local outreaches, such as food drives and humanitarian efforts, or international outreaches, such as teaching in China or being on a mission team, the Center for Global Opportunities will be the place on campus to connect students to those ministries.
Cushman explained the choice of location for the center. “This spot on campus is symbolic of the importance of the Center for Global Opportunities,” Cushman said. The Alumni building is a very high traffic area on campus.