#ShorterLOVES showcases university’s Christ-centered mission

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Shorter University Christian Studies faculty members Earl Kellett, left, and Alan Hix, right, attended Jay Chambers’ ordination service. SHORTER/Special

Since its founding in 1873, Shorter University has been a citadel of light and learning to Rome, Georgia and beyond.

Now, the very best of Shorter is being showcased in a positive and powerful emphasis flying under the banner of #ShorterLOVES.

Shorter University President Don Dowless said, “This is an exciting new way we are telling the world about the Shorter family, the great community we are part of, and the ways our students are putting our mission of Transforming Lives through Christ into action as they share the Good News of the Gospel around the corner and around the world.

“We chose #ShorterLOVES as our theme because at Shorter love is more than a marketing slogan. As a Christ-centered university, we work daily to honor our Lord through all facets of campus life. When we show love, we reflect the very nature of God and show His love to those around us. As 1 John 4:19 tells us, ‘We love because God first loved us.’”

The university’s leadership and students believe that this message of love is one that will permeate the city, county, and state. It captures the caring atmosphere that is a hallmark of the Shorter experience. #ShorterLOVES is seeking to exemplify the kind of love that welcomes, befriends, and encourages.

“Shorter has a committed faculty and staff who invest in our students, providing a high-quality education while also praying with the students and becoming lifelong mentors,” Dowless said. “We are also excited that this spirit of love is being spread into the communities where our students live and serve.”

Devin Wallace, a marketing major at Shorter University, is student pastor at Hollywood Baptist Church in Rome. SHORTER/Special

Through an outstanding group of students and recent graduates who are serving in ministry positions, Georgia Baptist churches are feeling the impact of the love Shorter sows.

Devin Wallace, a Shorter marketing major and the student pastor at Holllywood Baptist Church in Rome, is convinced that the University is characterized by love. He avows, “I have felt Shorter’s love for me continually during my three years through the faculty and administration’s unrelenting drive to provide the best education for their students.

“Many at Shorter have made a personal investment in my life. They consistently spread genuine love around the campus. Their love and encouragement opened the door for me to become the student pastor at HBC, and my goal is to follow their example by demonstrating a sincere and unconditional love for the youth to whom I minister,” he said.

Wallace is looking forward to the opportunity of preaching his first sermon to the congregation at HBC-Rome on Sunday, April 28.

Jay Chambers, a Christian Studies major and senior pastor of Parkview Baptist Church in Rome, testified, “My Christian Studies faculty have demonstrated the love of Christ as they have mentored me and guided me through a number of challenging situations that have occurred over the course of the past four months. Dr. Alan Hix and Dr. Earl Kellett have not only mentored me but attended my ordination service in 2016 and continue to listen to me whenever I have concerns or problems that need to be addressed.”

Christian Studies major Jay Chambers serves as lead pastor at Parkview Baptist in Rome. SHORTER/Special

Jack Dodge, student ministry associate at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cartersville and a December 2018 graduate with a major in Youth Ministry, praises the university’s demonstrations of love toward him. He professed, “The students, faculty, and staff have been extremely welcoming, generous, and lots of fun. The friends I made through the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Residence Life, and Greek Life truly made my campus experience all that it could be.”

Dodge also added the faculty and staff to those who have made his Shorter experience incredibly positive. “People [at Shorter] have challenged me to become a servant leader and to seek after Jesus passionately. Ultimately, Shorter demonstrated genuine care, love, and compassion towards me during my time there. I wouldn’t trade the memories and relationships for anything. Shorter and its people have become like a family to me; and that is something every person seeking to further their education should look for in a school.”

Jonathan Hannah, Shorter’s Chapel worship coordinator, explained, “As a graduate and current employee of Shorter University, I have experienced firsthand the kind of loving environment that the faculty facilitates. The professors are clearly engaged and dedicated to the success of their students. I’ve learned many things during my time at Shorter, but one thing that rises above the rest is that a life and career centered around the Gospel is one of fulfillment, joy, and most of all, love.”

Shorter University senior Andrew Wilfong serves as minister of music at Adairsville Baptist Church. SHORTER/Special

Andrew Wilfong, a Music Education and Worship and Music Leadership major who is serving as minister of music at Adairsville Baptist Church, is convinced that Shorter University has equipped him marvelously for his calling as a music ministry. He cited the Christian discernment taught by Gregory Poore in his Christ-centered Critical Thinking class and the music theology and literature classes taught by Dr. Alan Wingard as being extraordinarily helpful.

“These godly professors,” explained Wilfong, “not only teach information, but they work hard to disciple and show love to their students. I am eternally grateful for the love showed to me by Dr. Wingard for spending countless hours mentoring me and praying with me and for me. His love encouraged me to seek God’s will as a candidate for music ministry, and his support through a recommendation to Adairsville Baptist Church was instrumental in me having my current ministry position. “Additionally,” Wilfong reported, “Shorter not only laid the groundwork for my life and ministry but provided the environment for me to meet the wonderful young lady who has become my fiancé. As we prepare to graduate, I am confident that Shorter University was a path carved out by God as His will for our lives.”

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