Church Matching is a program that works with the local church to develop a scholarship that assists their local students attending Indiana Wesleyan University. It was developed and managed by Church Relations and has enabled thousands of students to attend a Christian Higher Education through IWU. The program works in partnership with the local church by matching their contributions, which then gives scholarships to students.
At Westview Wesleyan Church, Tom Sloan has been the champion to promote the program locally for over twenty-five years. Every year they work to raise funds. “Since the church gave its first scholarship, over $350,000 has been raised locally by people within the church to help students” Tom Sloan said. “This year our goal is $12,000 of additional scholarship funds,” he added.
More than 65 students have been assisted, which truly illustrates how churches are helping through the scholarship. “Recently I attended Westview during their fundraising efforts and was impressed by the intentional efforts in promoting this program,” said Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement. “Each church should take one Church service to promote and inform the congregation.”
The value of a Christian Higher Education is impacted in many ways, but when you compare how much time is invested you begin to realize the impact. “If a student attends church from 1st grade through 12th grade, they will average 3 hours a week in spiritual formation compared to 5 hours a week at IWU from attending Chapel,” said Carder, citing the recent publication of Wesleyan Life Magazine. “Students spend more than 230 days a year on average in their college Christian Community, compared to 8 days on average through just the local church.”
The church had several speakers during their Education Sunday. Lorne Oke provided a parent perspective, explaining that his three daughters have been impacted by an IWU education. Oke reminded the congregation that, “It is a financial challenge to attend a private Christian college. The world view (IWU) promotes is truth… This is why your investment matters.”
Nick Armes, the church Youth Pastor, provided a student perspective: “My wife graduates in December. Going to a private Christian college is expensive,” he said. When he compared the costs with other private Christian colleges he shared that “IWU was just as expensive as other schools (but) IWU and Westview offered a scholarship package of $900. IWU matched and we didn’t have to take out loans! That was $1,800 of support.” It was because of the Church Matching Scholarship he was able to afford a Christian college experience. “It is a great opportunity to support students like me,” Armes said.
Chris Huffman, a member of the church and member of the local Church Matching Scholarship Fund Committee stood before the church and said, “Why I stand before you is because I believe in our students! I believe in IWU. It is the closest to fish and loaves we have today. IWU will match 100% of your contribution.” According to Carder, “The scholarship program will provide needed financial assistance. It gives you the opportunity to help students reduce the debt from their college education.”
Church Matching will match 100% of all contributions given and matches up to $1,500 annually for Wesleyan Churches and $1,000 for all other Christian Denominations. Read more about Church Matching.