Southwestern College Amp It Up camp scholarships

Proposed and reported by Martin Rude
Southwestern College, Winfield, Kansas

Project Summary

Did the project go as expected?
The project went as expected for the three minority students who were funded and attended Amp It Up.  The expectation for six total minority students were not met.  The budget allowed for $300/student.  $900 (for the three students who did not attend) will be returned to the Culture of the Call grant fund. Three students were being recruited from St. Marks United Methodist Church in Wichita.  The adult contact that we needed to work through could not find the energy or focus for this recruitment effort.  The change in pastoral leadership at St. Marks UMC during this time seems to have been a contributing factor. 

How were people impacted through the project?
Talented students placed with other talented high school students, transformed their vision of what God is doing in their lives. The other powerful component is to place talented high school students with practicing professionals in music ministry.  This mentorship experience affirms the power of God at work through diverse people within a community.  The funded minority students had the addition of the powerful affirmation that they were chosen for this opportunity.

How did you tell the story of your project?
The plan for the video interview part of the project is being carried out at the One Event in January 2018.  Amp It Up camp alums have been chosen to be one of the specials for the small stage. The video footage will be collected there and the funded students will have the opportunity to share their story on that stage.  The edited video version will be used through social media to help recruit for Amp it Up 2018.

Which of the 5 earmarks of Culture of Call did this project address?
The project addressed the earmarks which were described as providing opportunities for children, youth, and adults to discern God’s voice, explore their gifts, connect with a mentor, nurture their spirits and find community support.  The camp provided opportunity to address all five: Discernment event experiences- the camp was a five-day event experience, mentoring- relationships with church professionals and college student guides throughout the camp, personal exploration-break out times to learn gift development, spiritual nurture- daily personal devotional time and daily worship, community expression- all of the above were in the context of an intense five-day intimate camp community.

What could you share about this project with others?
Camp projects are difficult particularly in terms of recruiting students.  There are many opportunities and demands on high school students in their summer context.  It takes momentum and relationship development at the local church level to build a foundation for sustainable success. Start small, be faithful, and believe that high-schoolers need sacred space to hear God’s calling.


Final Report Survey

Which of the 5 Culture of Call earmarks did your project include?
Discernment events/experiences
Personal exploration
Spiritual nurture
Community expression of supporting individual calls

How did you use the funds?
The funds were used to help 6 African American youth participate in Amp It Up youth praise Band camp. Only 3 were actually served. half of the funds (900.00) is being returned.

Will the project that you undertook be continued? How?
Yes, We have additional United Methodist music professionals who will join our Amp It Up community this next year and we are working to create greater synergy and shared vision with the new Summit camp on calling which happens seven weeks later at Southwestern College.

How did this project cultivate a culture of call in your church or district?
By focusing our vision last year on the call of Christ in our hearts and our talents, Amp It Up campers and staff were able to experience a stronger biblical framework in which to discuss and share their own stories of seeking God's purpose and direction. One high school student at the last evening open sharing, expressed that through their sharing with peers at the camp, they were able to realize a new joy in knowing that God was using and developing their talent. Their usual feeling of being called to a task (in this case music practice) had been transformed from a duty to an opportunity to share their gifts. Several church professionals expressed that Amp It Up helped them remember why they are called into music ministry.

Who was the primary audience of your project?

Is there anything else you would like for us to know about your project?
What we would do different when working with primarily African American congregations is to enlist the vision sharing with the senior pastor and not just with the music ministry leadership. Other priorities pushed out the space for collaboration and follow through.

Amp It Up youth praise band web page:

View the Director job description here.

View other job descriptions here.

You can contact Martin via e-mail: