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Ethics, Values To Be Emphasized, New President Pledges

For immediate release:
 Released by: Lisa J. Bowling
September 26, 2002
 (540) 365-4307/

           Ferrum College’s 10th President, Dr. Jennifer L. Braaten, believes the country’s current moral crises, permeating environments as diverse as corporate America to the Church, has emerged in part from the lack of ethical and values training of leaders. Braaten asserts that every entity with a role in developing young people should lay a foundation upon which sound, honest, and just decisions may be made. This message, to be shared with area clergy on October 8, 2002, as part of Braaten’s inauguration week events, reflects a renewed emphasis on faith-based education at this Methodist school.

           Clergy from Roanoke to Martinsville will join the College for a look at its historical role with the church and its vision for future collaboration. Denominations to be represented include Baptist, Assembly of God, Brethren, Pentecostal, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian, and Methodist.

          The day will begin with a presentation of the play, “The World is My Parish: The Life of the Wesleys,” (additional photos below) which documents the earliest roots of Methodism. Following the play, Braaten will outline her goal for enhanced relationships with local churches, and she will discuss ways of creating ministry partnerships. The discussion will be followed by a 12:15 p.m. luncheon in the Panther’s Den.

           Braaten, who often preaches in area churches, readily shares her desire to shape the generation of leaders through religious values. “Faith must be a foundation of education today. More than ever, there is a dearth of values, ethics, consequences, and expectations. As educators vested with the responsibility of teaching young people to think creatively and act wisely, we fail young people if we do not instill a strong spiritual foundation upon which life decisions may be solidly made,” asserts Braaten.

           The Rev. Susie Brack, minister of Maple Grove United Methodist Church, responded to the school’s call for partners in ministry, saying, “I’m hoping [churches] can work together with Ferrum to keep young adults in the Church and to encourage students to tell us how to keep their faith growing and blossoming. We sometimes lose our young adults when they go to college. The faith is the faith for all seasons of your life, and I want to know how I can help make that happen.”

           “It is such a joy to reach out to fellow ministers as Ferrum College seeks ways to partner in ministry and service, especially for young, impressionable college students. Many youth are seeking a moral compass. I encourage my fellow clergy to see this school and others like it as mission fields,” says College Chaplain Wes Astin ’74.

           The event is free and open to area ministers. Clergy who wish to register may contact the Office of Church Relations at (540) 365-4286 by October 3. Limited seating remains. # # #



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