SMC recognized for exemplary affiliation with UMC

SPARTANBURG—Spartanburg Methodist College has been reaffirmed by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church, acknowledging its steadfast commitment to embodying the values and principles of the UMC.

The affirmation marks a significant milestone in SMC’s dedication to its church-related identity and mission. 

Established more than a century ago, the University Senate has been a pivotal advocate for United Methodist-related educational institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico. Rooted in the legacy of John Wesley’s vision for education and the American Methodist tradition of serving society, the Senate sets standards for institutions affiliated with the UMC. The affirmation process meticulously examines how an institution embodies its relationship with the UMC.

While distinct from accreditation, it scrutinizes the institution’s ethos, values and practices in alignment with the seven “marks of church relationship” outlined by the Senate.

The University Senate’s affirmation of Spartanburg Methodist College underscores its commitment to upholding these values, said Dr. Rick Miller, senior education specialist with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and a University Senate review committee member.

Their report noted SMC’s dedication to religious education is evident through its robust curriculum, requiring all degree-seeking students to take a religion course and offering concentrations at both the associate and baccalaureate levels.

“Having benefitted from attending a United Methodist college myself, I know what to look for when I am on campus,” Miller said. “After spending a day on campus and benefiting from the gracious hospitality offered me, talking with administrators and faculty, I was certain the University Senate review would have a good outcome.” 

Integral to SMC’s commitment is the presence of a full-time chaplain and director of church relations, the Rev. Tim Drum. With deep roots in the UMC, Drum is pivotal in fostering religious life on campus. From organizing chapel services and Bible studies to providing spiritual counseling and mentoring students, his presence underscores SMC’s dedication to nurturing faith and spirituality.

Moreover, SMC actively engages with the Spartanburg District and the South Carolina Conference of the UMC, ensuring alignment with the broader church community. Drum’s inclusion in the college’s President’s Cabinet underscores the importance of his voice in shaping the college’s direction and vision.

“Our relationship with the United Methodist Church, supported by the generous contributions and programming from the South Carolina Conference, reflects our commitment to intertwining knowledge with piety, as Charles Wesley envisioned,” Drum said. “I am profoundly grateful for the University Senate’s efforts in our reaffirmation process and for their recognition of SMC’s crucial role in nurturing young minds.

“Through our collaboration, we’re not just educating students but preparing them to be the next generation of leaders who will make a difference in their communities and beyond.”

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