Cornell College hosts School for Lay Ministry classes that develop leaders for service to the church and world as ambassadors for Christ.
Originally known as the Iowa Conference Seminary, Cornell College was founded in 1853 by George Bryant Bowman, a Methodist minister from North Carolina with a passionate belief in higher education. Its mission today is to offer an innovative and rigorous learning community where faculty and staff collaborate with students to develop the intellectual curiosity, creativity, and moral courage necessary for a lifetime of learning and engaged citizenship.
They express this mission through their core values: (1) a liberal education that celebrates discovery and embraces the integration and application of knowledge; (2) intellectual, moral, and personal growth; (3) civic and social responsibility; and (4) the dignity and worth of each individual in a diverse community.
The Iowa School for Lay Ministry in its 20 year history has trained lay people throughout the state for Christian service in and beyond local churches. The Cornell campus was selected for expansion a few years ago when the demand for lay ministry classes became too great for one location to maintain alone. The partnership between the two organizations has been a fruitful way to support continuous learning among leaders in the church.
The United Methodist connection responded to flooding over the Memorial Day weekend. When Cherokee Rural Water was shut off from the town of Galva, the Northwest District Disaster Response team was in touch the following Tuesday. They learned from the mayor that the city could use “as much drinking water as we could get.”
Kristin Boysen, the pastor of First United Methodist Church in Galva, relayed the message to the district office. She reports that “within minutes e-mails and Facebook messages were sent out that our community needed drinking water.”
“This day being connectional certainly made an impact on our small rural Iowa church.” Leaders in Galva had developed strong relationships with the United Methodist Church in Peterson through their involvement in the Healthy Small Church Initiative, which is supported in part through apportionments.
“Our friends from Peterson delivered a van load of drinking water in just a few hours to our church in Galva. And it was thanks to their generous donation that I as pastor was able to go door to door in the community offering the people all the drinking water they could use.”
“Praise be to God for connections and to the love of Christ being shown in very real ways around our District!”
Every June United Methodist Iowans gather to make decisions about our common ministries.
The Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church exists to encourage communities of faithful people who live out the love of Jesus as instruments of God’s grace, peace, and justice. We are lay people and pastors, churches of all sizes, ministries and programs, all connected by the Holy Spirit into one body – the Iowa Conference – in order to live out our mission: to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Conference apportionment gifts from local churches across the state provided the funding for the Annual Conference session to meet. We believe we are much stronger together than we are alone. When we follow and live out Christ’s example of generous love and compassion, the world will be transformed. Thank you for your support.