Suggestions for Support of Students
Students studying at Eastern Mennonite University benefit greatly from personal, financial and prayer support of family and friends from their home congregation.
To help you stay connected with students from your congregation, we offer the following suggestions for ways that you or your congregation might support your students while attending the university.
Give a Service of Blessing
Give the students an opportunity to share their plans for study and special activities for the coming year with the congregation.
Give personal affirmation
Students especially appreciate your personal expressions of support. For example, you may want to send a card or an email message. Or, you may want to send a gift or care package that serves as a reminder of your friendship and support.
Offer prayer support
Daily prayer support is a tremendous encouragement to students. Let them know you are praying for them.
Visit or write letters to them
Some members come to visit students. Others help sponsor their pastor or youth minister to visit the students on campus.
School for Leadership Training is a good time for pastors to visit students. Pastors should plan to take their students out for dinner or meet them for a meal on campus. Some congregations send weekly copies of their church bulletins and/or newsletters. Others make phone calls or send email messages once per week.
These personal touches can be a great encouragement to students away from home. (Also: Don’t forget about bringing the entire youth group for a campus visit on the designated campus visit weekends.)
Pay part of their tuition
Some congregations pick up part or all of the tuition expenses for their students.
Provide matching funds
If your congregation gives $1,000 towards the student’s expenses, the university will match this with $1,000. For each dollar contributed in addition to the $1,000, the university will provide an additional 25¢ per dollar in matching funds.
Develop your own creative ideas
Think of creative ways to demonstrate your own support or advocacy for the students. We may even pass them along for others to consider.