University introduces new service-oriented program

Emily London, News Writer

A new honors program will join Samford’s current University Fellows Program in the fall semester of 2016.

The Micah Fellows Program for Christian Service and Community Engagement will focus on learning through service in the Birmingham community and abroad, and will include discussion cadres and coursework centered around the words of Micah 6:8, “To do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly.”MicahFellows

“The program was started because there are a lot of students who come into the University Fellows in particular and Samford students in general who have a high service interest,” University and Micah Fellows Director Bryan Johnson said.

“We wanted to create a kind of honors experience that would be very different from the University Fellows,” he said. As the process for creating the program began, Johnson worked with staff from Samford’s Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership to structure it to be less academically focused than University Fellows, with freater freedom of coursework and provision for community service.

“I think Micah Fellows is really going to bring service in the community to the forefront of a lot of our students’ minds,” program coordinator Caroline Janeway said.

“We already have a campus full of students who are interested in service and are interested in helping people, but we really needed to help with that infrastructure of their service out in Birmingham.”

Janeway said that there are some opportunities for service such as alternative spring break and Samford Gives Back, but none of them were sustainable solutions.

She hopes this will connect the student body with the Birmingham community in a long-term way.

Freshman University Fellow and Micah Fellows Recruitment Team member Sarah Spivey is excited about the new honors program. She says it’s a path she would have pursued had it been available last year.

“I think it will give academically inclined students a great advantage to also pursue service,” Spivey said. “Birmingham has so many places of need that they’re going to be able to help.”

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