The eighteenth century theologian John Wesley founded the movement that gave birth to the Wesleyan Church, the sponsoring denomination of Houghton College. Sometimes overlooked, however, is his commitment to social reform. Wesley worked tirelessly to improve the lot of the poor, giving attention to education, prison reform, health care, employment, and the abolition of slavery.
For well over a century, Houghton College has been preparing its graduates to pursue lives of service all over the globe. In the Spring of 2010 Houghton College, in collaboration with The Service Collaborative of Western New York, established Wesley ServiceCorps to encourage and enable a select group of Houghton College graduates to serve for a year with organizations in Buffalo committed to education and anti-poverty initiatives.
In the fall 2010, 14 recent graduates of Houghton College, representing various majors and interests, launched into a year of service. They served at after school programs, community centers, medical offices, and in the Public School System. They served domestic violence victims, taught English to members of the refugee population, and guided refugees through the complex systems of education, healthcare, social services, and more. In August 2011, the initial group of 14 WSC members concluded their term of service, some moving on to new areas and new ministries while others are stayed on in Buffalo serving in new capacities. Meanwhile, 18 new Corps members moved into Buffalo’s West Side to serve, learn, and live.
Serving and Learning
Wesley ServiceCorps takes full advantage of the opportunities offered in the city of Buffalo to maximize the venues through which the talents and interests of Corps members might be incorporated and utilized. Corps members are not only given the chance to serve, but also are encouraged to grow and learn through their own experiences and their responsibilities.
- Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon completion of service term
- Modest living allowance
- Student loan forbearance or deferment with accrued interest paid upon completion
Houghton seniors and graduates interested in WSC are encouraged to prayerfully consider the opportunities and sacrifices inherent with living and serving as a WSC member in Buffalo. Cover letters, applications, and 3 references should be directed to the Office for Urban Connections by February 2012 for WSC 2012, beginning August 30. For more information, please contact the Office of Urban Connections and keep an eye out for our recruiting fair in January.