Ministry center at SWU to prepare new generation of leaders
The Nicholson-Mitchell Christian Ministry Center will be named in the memory of two men who distinguished themselves for their contributions to Southern Wesleyan University and The Wesleyan Church – Dr. Roy Nicholson and Dr. Virgil Mitchell.
Nicholson came to Southern Wesleyan, then known as Wesleyan Methodist College, in 1918 at the age of 15 to study for the ministry, launching him into 75 years of service to God and The Wesleyan Church. He became the first and only full-time president of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, as the denomination was known until 1968. Following his presidency, Nicholson continued his service with nine years of chairing the university’s Religion Department. Nicholson died on March 2, 1993. He was named Alumnus of the Century.
Mitchell, a Six Mile Native and also an alumnus, enrolled as part of a federal work-study program to Wesleyan Methodist College. He went on to serve as general superintendent of The Wesleyan Church and held several key roles in the denomination and at Southern Wesleyan, where he was named Alumnus of the Century. Mitchell continued to serve as general superintendent emeritus until his retirement in 1984 at age 70. He died in October 2006 at age 92.
The goal of the center is to provide relevant and innovative approaches to ministry with the timeless values of the Wesleyans’ spiritual heritage, prepare the next generation of servant-leaders for a breadth of ministry essential in today’s rapidly-changing culture; become the “go-to” institution for academics with practical application; offer two new hybrid programs combining on-site and on-line learning — one a graduate degree in ministry, the other a new non-traditional undergraduate program; and to mobilize 500 new ministers by 2025.
To learn more about the Nicholson Mitchell Christian Ministry Center, visitswu.edu/nmcenter or contact Southern Wesleyan’s Office of Development at 864-644-5004.
Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ.
An initiative to develop the Nicholson Mitchell Christian Ministry Center was presented June 3 during General Conference 2012, an international gathering of The Wesleyan Church, held in Lexington, Ky. The campaign’s goal is to raise $1.4 million for renovations to facilities currently owned by First Wesleyan Church/ALIVE, which is constructing a new church a few miles from the campus.