Making disciples, creating leaders, transforming lives at OSU
The ministry of the Wesley Foundation at Oklahoma State University is focused on five fundamental pillars: Hospitality, Worship, Healing and Wholeness, Leadership Development, and Shared Community.
At the start of the Fall 2015 semester, we highlight here a few of the names and faces representing the seeds of leadership that are planted, cultivated, and harvested at this United Methodist campus ministry in Stillwater.
The OSU Wesley facilitates paid and unpaid internships for students and recent graduates
Kelsey, of Inola UMC, is a senior studying Elementary Education. She first became involved at the Wesley through volunteering for special events such as United Methodist Game Days and tailgate events. Later, she discovered opportunities including Open Mic Nights and "Exposed: Worship for Women."
This year, Kelsey is serving a year-long ministry position with financial support from her home church.
She said, "As an intern at the Wesley, I hope to give students encouragement and comfort for whatever is going on in their lives. I hope to build relationships. I have the opportunity now to do for others what the Wesley has done and continues to do for me — ultimately being a part of a staff who works to make the Wesley a home for all those who enter."
The OSU Wesley cultivates leaders who continue in various forms of ministry after graduation
Mallory got involved at the Wesley through a women’s book study, then weekly worship and the Greek Faith Council. She later served as a ministry intern in 2013-’14, with support from Woodward-First UMC.
Now in her second year of service with the PeaceCorps in Senegal, Mallory recently wrote Janina Graves, the Wesley’s coordinator of Student Ministry. "It truly is amazing how often I pull encouragement from my time at the Wesley to get me through tough days," her letter stated.
"I learned so much from the staff and community of the Wesley in the time I was involved there, and I am beyond thankful for that! Please be encouraged by the work you do because it has made a huge impact on my experiences here and my life!"
Michael Bartley, executive director of the Wesley, received a letter from Sterling, a recent OSU alumnus from Tulsa. Sterling began participating at the Wesley through weekly meals and the program "In the Professor’s Corner."
He shared, "The Wesley ministry laid some of the most fruitful seeds in my life at a time when they were landing on some pretty dry, barren ground. I think they have started to take root, and I appreciate how the people and environment of the Wesley led me closer to Jesus, invited me to explore who he really is, and gave me the courage to let Him break into my heart."
Sterling and his wife created and currently lead several small group studies and fellowship meals for university students in Switzerland. They have plans to move to Burkina Faso, to live and serve in Christian community.
With the ongoing support of local churches and private donations, the Wesley Foundation at OSU continues to provide meaningful, challenging opportunities for leadership development of the young adults at the university.
To learn more about how you can support OSU students, contact Rev. Bartley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-880-7194. Go Pokes!
Jon Swanfeld of Tulsa and Sophie Gibson of Edmond have been OSU Wesley’s student leaders of the PB&J Project, which challenges students weekly to buy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in order to raise funds for an orphanage.