Students gathered in the Howard Performing Arts Center, photo credit Peter Tumangda
The conference is sponsored by the Andrews University Graduate Student Association (AUGSA), the iCanvass Club, the Center for Faith Engagement and the Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The conference is the first of what organizers hope will become an annual event.
The event aims to equip students and young professionals to be EPIC World Changers by living mission-based lives. “[An EPIC World Changer] is someone who demonstrates a commitment to making a positive impact on the world by serving their communities and adding value to people in the areas of enterprise, professionalism, intimacy, and community,” shares Brandon Williams, Andrews University Graduate Student Association president.
“The purpose of this conference is to inspire and empower students to live a life of intentional purpose and mission,” shares Matias Soto, director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. “We see in every student an entrepreneur who can take action for the kingdom of God. Whatever the mission field, stepping out in faith requires innovation and entrepreneurship, and this conference wants to inspire students to do so.”
Worship and prayer-focused events throughout the week will feature guest speakers to inspire students to lead a mission-centered life. On Mar. 9, a prayer meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Center for Faith Engagement. Next, on Mar. 10, Natasha Richards will deliver a message at the 11:30 a.m. chapel service at the Howard Performing Arts Center. At 8 p.m., Boubakar Sanou will speak at Kinetic Worship in University Towers. Then, on Mar. 11, Heather
Day will speak for the 7:30 p.m. Proximity Vespers at the Howard Center. On Mar. 12, the Prayer Room event hosted by the Women’s Clergy Network (WCN), will take place at 8 a.m. in the basement of the Campus Center.
The conference will also feature interactive events. The Mission Exhibit will be held on Mar. 12 at 2:30 p.m. at the Howard Performing Arts Center. “The purpose of the Mission Exhibit is to get more students to become involved in some type of purpose-driven ministry while they're at Andrews University and as they become young professionals,” explains Soto.
Conversation Corners 1 and 2 will also take place at the Howard Performing Arts Center on Mar. 12 at 3:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m., respectively. Experienced ministry leaders will lead out at each corner. Conversation Corner 1 will focus on the topics of mission work and mental health, spiritual gifts and your purpose, and literature evangelism. This discussion will be led by David Sedlacek, the Career Center and Alex Jimenez. Conversation Corner 2, led by Adventist Frontier Missions, Pierre Monice and Ryan Hayes, will focus on missional entrepreneurship, finding purpose in your career, and science and faith.
Finally, teams for Canvassing & GLOW tract distribution, led by the iCanvass Club, will meet Mar. 13 at 10 a.m. in Buller Hall 111 to go out into the community. “Canvassing will allow participants to experience literature evangelism with a group of dynamic Andrews University students and the assistance of experienced literature evangelists,” says Soto.
“I hope that as a result of these events, young professionals will take on the challenge of being EPIC World Changers in their communities, neighborhoods and fields of study,” shares Williams. “I want to see a new generation of purpose-minded people who are dedicated to making a positive impact in their communities, homes and places of employment. The mission is not for someone—it’s for everyone! The mission field isn’t somewhere—it’s everywhere! And the opportunity is for anyone who is willing to take it up.” For a full schedule of events, please visit andrews.edu/innovation/engage.
Founded in 1874, Andrews University is the flagship institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers more than 160 areas of study, including advanced
degrees. Its main campus is in Berrien Springs, Michigan, but the University also provides instruction at colleges and universities in more than 25 countries around the world.
Moriah McDonald, University Communication student writer