Crucial Calling Endowing the Future of Presbyterian Campus Ministry at Clemson

In 1895, the Presbyterian Church recognized that students attending the new college in Clemson, South Carolina, were at a crucial time in their lives. The local Presbytery identified a need to minister and provide support to those students as they navigated the journey into adulthood. To address that challenge, the Presbytery founded Fort Hill Presbyterian Church for the stated purpose of ministering to the Clemson community — particularly her students.

Numerous campus ministers have served, and thousands of students have passed through the doors of the Presbyterian Student Association since that beginning in 1895. The Clemson Presbyterian Student Association has continued to be integral to the ministry of Fort Hill.

You could say it’s very much a part of Fort Hill’s DNA.

Clemson has now grown to 25,000 students, and it continues to be a crucial mission field. But Presbyterian (PCUSA) campus ministry at Clemson finds itself at a crossroads: Until recently, Foothills Presbytery provided a significant majority of the mission budget as part of a covenant relationship. Fort Hill has always provided additional financial support, as well as providing the building, maintenance and upkeep.

Because of budget cuts, Presbytery support has decreased from $94,000 in 2014 to $0 in 2019.

It is now our responsibility — as members of a church founded to minister to college students, as alumni of a ministry that was formative in our lives, as parents who have witnessed the life-affirming affects in our children’s lives, as fellow Presbyterians who support the mission of campus ministry — to step up and ensure the future of the Clemson Presbyterian Student Association.

It is a crucial calling.

A Crucial Ministry

College is a formative time — a time when students are shifting from youth to adulthood. It’s a time of claiming a faith of our own, and not just of our parents, of asking questions about who we are and where we’re headed. It’s a time when it’s crucial to have a safe space in which to explore those things and a supportive community in which to belong.

The Presbyterian Student Association at Clemson has been that for thousands of students over the years. It’s provided a forum for questioning and affirming faith, of testing out skills and gifts, of determining God’s call on our lives to make a difference in the world. It’s provided a connection with a church home in which to learn and grow. It’s provided a haven — a home away from home — for students from down the road and across the globe.

We are called to respond to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and serve in mission with young adults at this crucial time in their faith development.

A Crucial Challenge

Our goal is to provide a long-term sustainable funding source for PC(USA) campus ministry at Clemson. We believe that our campus minister is called to minister to students, not to focus time and energy on raising the funds to keep the ministry afloat.

Fort Hill Church is establishing a University Ministry Endowment to provide long-term sustainable funding for Clemson campus ministry. Our goal is $1.8 million: A $1.6 million endowment will generate funds to provide for staff leadership (currently $66,500 of a $98,000 budget).

The first $200,000 raised will support annual operating expenses for the next five years ($40,000 per year). The annual program budget will continue to be supported through Fort Hill, partner churches and PSA alumni.

We cannot do this alone, but with God’s help, we believe this can be accomplished. This is a campaign which extends beyond the walls of a single church to PSA alumni and parents, as well as to other PCUSA churches in South Carolina.

A Crucial Calling

Equipping young adults to live out their faith — through their vocations, in communities and churches they will impact, and in their own families and personal lives — is a crucial mission of the Presbyterian Student Association.

An investment in the Crucial Calling campaign is an investment in the future — it’s an investment in the lives of young men and women who are the present and the future of the church.

Will you partner with us in this significant act of faith?

Fort Hill Presbyterian Church • 101 Edgewood Avenue • Clemson, SC 29631 864.654.2061 www.forthillchurch.org

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