JACKSON, Tenn. – Aug. 21, 2013– For years, Union University has valued its relationship to churches and its ministry to the campus.
Now those two areas are being combined into one office – the Office of University Ministries.
Todd Brady, Union’s vice president for university ministries, will lead the new office, which includes two main emphases – ministry to the campus and ministry on behalf of the campus.
The ministry to the campus will include Union’s chapel program, Life Groups, discipleship programs and student mobilization efforts, among other activities. The ministry on behalf of the campus will be Union’s resourcing ministry to churches.
“In a day where we see more and more institutions disconnecting from churches, Union wants to do the very opposite,” Brady said. “Union wants to strengthen its connections with the churches.”
The structural change came about after Greg Thornbury, Union’s former vice president for spiritual life, left his position to assume the presidency of The King’s College in New York. Brady previously served as vice president for church relations before taking on this new role.
Taylor Worley, as assistant vice president for university ministries, will be heavily involved in ministry to the campus, while Josh Moore, director of church relations, will help with ministry on behalf of the campus to the churches.
Brady said that ministry to the churches includes providing students and faculty members to preach in churches. In addition, Union offers experts to speak at conferences or special events that churches host on a variety of topics, including religious liberty, faith and science, pastoral ministry, marriage and family, church leadership, evangelism, Christian apologetics, biblical interpretation and many others.
The Office of University Ministries will also resume publication of The Union Pulpit, a printed booklet that will contain sermons preached in Union’s chapel services and other Union-related events.
“It was our desire to enhance our relationship with churches while strengthening and expanding opportunities to serve Union University students, staff and faculty,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “We are grateful for Todd Brady, Taylor Worley, and those who provide such capable leadership for these ministries.”
Brady said the change communicates not only Union’s commitment to churches now, but it emphasizes to students the importance of them being committed and faithful church members while they attend Union and after they leave.
Richard Bray, pastor of First Baptist Church in Waverly, Tenn., cited the R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies as a valuable resource to help area pastors and churches. He also expressed appreciation for Union’s efforts in providing opportunities for fellowship through the West Tennessee Ministers Conference, which he serves as vice president this year.
“The thing I’ve always liked about Union is they’ve worked to maintain contact and maintain relationships with pastors,” Bray said. “Union is firmly committed to supporting churches in the area.”