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Submitted by
Kelly Thompson, President
Culver Stockton College
Chair, Council of Colleges and Universities

 Members of the Council: The presidents of the fourteen colleges and universities in Covenant with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are members of the Council that meets annually in conjunction with the Council of Independent Colleges. The president of Higher Education and Leadership Ministries also serves as an ex-officio member of the Council.

Mission Statement: The Colleges and Universities of the Christian Church advocate for the 14 colleges and universities in covenant with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to all our constituents by working together on common goals that provide students with an exceptional liberal arts education, that integrate both reason and faith, and that lead to a humane and fulfilling personal and public life.

In 2015 Chris Dorsey, President of Higher Education and Leadership ministries, worked with Guy Waldrup, then director of the Council, and Ken Garren, chair of the Council to develop a transition plan that would restore the close working relationship between HELM and the Council of Colleges and Universities. The plan was accepted by the Council and Guy Waldrop retired from his role as director in July of 2015. Since that time, HELM has resumed much of the responsibility previously carried out by the director.

The collective work of the Council and HELM has been focused on four key areas:

  • Interpretation & Communication
    • HELM has integrated the website for Disciples Colleges and Universities into the HELM website and greatly enhanced its look and functionality.
    • The quarterly newsletter for the Disciples colleges and universities, has been redesigned
    • HELM has worked with the Council to produce a full-color brochure that highlights all 14 of the Disciples Colleges and Universities
  • Recruiting and Admissions
    • The Council continues to seek ways to work more closely with HELM and with other expression of the church to present Disciples students with opportunities for a high quality Christian liberal arts education.
    • In the near future HELM will work more closely with regions and camps to better represent Disciples schools to young people considering college.
  • Funding
    • The Council and HELM continue to work closely together to promote the Disciples Mission Fund and the Thanksgiving offering that benefit higher education.
    • The Council and HELM are committed to working together to raise funds that will go toward scholarship to Disciples students who attend Disciples colleges and universities.
  • Chaplains & Church Relations
    • In the summer of 2017, HELM will convene a group of Disciples chaplains and ecumenical campus ministry staff for a consultation on ministry in higher education.

In April of 2017 HELM will host a Higher Education Summit for leaders of the various schools. The primary goals of the gathering would be:

  • Better understand what it means to be a Disciples related school
  • Discuss ways Disciples schools can better engage with their proximate regions in ways that are mutually beneficial
  • Identify opportunities for strategically working with the national church and the various general ministries in ways that may be mutually beneficial

Attending the summit will be presidents, chief academic officers, development officers, chaplains, and church relations staff from the colleges and universities.

There is considerable excitement around the renewed commitment to Disciples higher education!


The General Assembly receives the report from the

Council of Colleges and Universities.