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    Beyond the Classroom

    Extracurricular activities shape students' character and careers.

    Randall Frame

    What goes on in the classrooms of Christian colleges and universities makes a major contribution to the formation of character and values among men and women who will go on to become salt and light in the world. However, the classroom experience is just one component of the Christian college experience.

    Values and character are inculcated also through schools' various extracurricular (some call them "co-curricular") activities. Below is a sampling of how co-curricular activities are shaping students' character.

    Boyce College (Louisville, Kentucky)

    Boyce College is dedicated to the task of preparing ministers. Thus a Boyce education is both academically challenging and centered on a classical biblical and theological program of study.

    A Boyce College education, however, does more than fill students heads. It also changes their hearts. In addition to studying for ministry, students are enabled in many ways to pursue spiritual growth, healthy relationships, and service to the church. These emphases are part of Boyce College's commitment to training well-rounded Christian leaders for the churches of the world.

    Co-curricular activities play an important part in achieving these goals. A one-hour evening worship service is a weekly highlight for Boyce students; hundreds gather for one purpose: to praise the true and living God. Since Boyce College is a school of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, students may also attend the twice weekly seminary chapel services, featuring some of the nation's best pastors and preachers in addition to faculty from both the college and the seminary.

    Boyce provides various other opportunities for students to develop the Christian leadership skills needed to serve faithfully and with excellence. These opportunities come in a variety of forms. Whether it is in the dorms serving as a resident leader; facilitating spiritual growth and connectedness through the Student Council; or leading worship with the school's praise team, Aletheia, or the Boyce College Chorale; Boyce College trains future leaders by equipping them for present service.

    California Baptist University (Riverside, California)

    Many of CBU's co-curricular activities are built around the university's commitment to Christ's Great Commission— a vision carried out in meaningful ways and that students experience from day one. "We show students that their Christian life can be relevant, whether here or globally," says John Montgomery, CBU's dean of spiritual life.

    At CBU, local service begins in the students' backyard with community ministries that include mentoring at-risk youth, adopting senior adults near the campus as surrogate grandparents, and raising awareness of social issues by, for example, participating in activities associated with World AIDS Day. The university is actively recruiting students for its "Active Compassion" club, where student leaders engage their peers and help fuel new ministries.

    Last year marked the tenth anniversary of CBU's signature "International Service Project" (ISP), which each year sends students, faculty, and staff to various locations around the world. ISP team members from CBU have served in every continent except Antarctica.

    The milestone ISP anniversary saw the number of participants in a single year top 150 for the first time. Of that number, more than 80 took part in projects designed to begin a lasting partnership in the African nation of Rwanda, featuring the P.E.A.C.E. program created by Pastor Rick Warren, CBU alumnus and founding pastor of Orange County's renowned Saddleback Church. This year, over 20 will travel to 14 countries seeking to "make disciples of all the nations."

    Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan)