The UMC Supports HBCUs Through Higher Education Ministry

Huston-TilltosonThe Black College Fund, one of the seven apportioned funds, was established by the 1972 General Conference

Report compiled by Shirley Ison-Newsome, retired DISD educator and former DISD chief of staff and area superintendent.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have become a mainstay of the higher education scene in America. These institutions were founded before 1964, during the height of Jim Crowism and segregation in America, to afford students of African American descent the opportunity for higher education. Today, HBCUs remain critical places for students who thrive in smaller college settings and who prefer to go to schools with strong heritages and traditions.

The Black College Fund is one of the seven apportioned funds of The United Methodist Church. Established by the 1972 General Conference, the fund provides financial support to maintain solid and challenging academic programs, strong faculties and well-equipped facilities at 11 United Methodist-related HBCUs.

These 11 institutions are:

  • Bennett College – Greensboro, N.C.
  • Bethune-Cookman University – Daytona Beach, Fla.
  • Claflin University – Orangeburg, S.C.
  • Clark Atlanta University – Atlanta, Ga.
  • Dillard University – New Orleans, La.
  • Huston-Tillotson University – Austin, Texas
  • Meharry Medical College – Nashville, Tenn.
  • Paine College – Augusta, Ga.
  • Philander Smith College – Little Rock, Ark.
  • Rust College – Holly Springs, Miss.
  • Wiley College – Marshall, Texas

In addition to these 11 institutions, the United Methodist Church also supports Gammon Theological Seminary, which provided the seminary education for many Black pastors who were not allowed to attend other mainstream seminaries. Gammon Theological Seminary continues to provide the seminary experience for many pastors today.

Beyond support for traditional African American higher education institutions, the church also provides support for Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe.

As we celebrate Black History Month, we lift up the HBCUs and other traditional African American and African institutions which we, the church, support.

Individuals or churches who wish to make personal contributions may give directly to the institutions or provide support to the Black College Fund through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2023