CMU Reaches Out through Center for Faith & Service


October 01, 2015

Rev. Molly Moore’s new position at Central Methodist University carries multiple responsibilities, but when one boils it down, it’s all about making connections.

Moore joined CMU as director of its Center for Faith and Service in July. She succeeds Rev. Lucas Endicott, the program’s founder, who has accepted an assignment with the Missouri Conference as mission strategist. Moore comes to CMU after more than five years with the Missouri United Methodist Church in Columbia, where she has been Pastor of Church Life and Growth.

Part of Moore’s charge at CMU involves supporting students on the Fayette campus through its Campus Ministries program. It has seen a substantial increase in participation in recent years, including students from multiple denominations.

“The college years provide a unique opportunity for young adults to explore their faith,” Moore said. “Whether coming from a churched or unchurched background, once immersed in a campus community, students often develop a better understanding and experience of faith.”

CMU President Roger Drake said another aspect of the Center for Faith and Service – enhancing CMU connections to the United Methodist Movement – is focused more externally. The third component is a blend of internal and external initiatives: expanding civic engagement opportunities between CMU and the public at large.

“Our students have a great interest in and a great heart for service to others,” Drake said. “Civic engagement is a fantastic opportunity for students to take the knowledge they learn in the classroom and convert that knowledge to wisdom.”

As Central Methodist University develops its new Center for Faith and Service, it has chosen Matt Williams to fill the position of associate director for the Center. The associate director of the Center provides vision, leadership, and programming support for campus ministry and civic engagement on the Fayette campus.

A native of Gilman City, Williams sees a threefold mission for the Center. “First, it highlights for potential students one of the things that makes CMU so special: its faith tradition,” he said.

“Second, it helps current students wrestle with and deepen their faith as they take it ‘out of the church’ and into the world. Third, it strengthens the ties that CMU already enjoys with the larger community by giving back through service,” he added.

Williams coordinates the weekly worship opportunities on campus for a growing number of students interested in exploring and expanding their faith. On a daily basis, he engages students in opportunities for spiritual life and civic engagement, both on and off the campus. His leadership will build new leaders who will help change the world for the better.

Another part of Williams’ job is to visit United Methodist Churches and meet with members, alumni, and interested students, thus strengthening the bond between CMU and the UMC communities. Williams holds a Master of Sacred Theology from The Chicago Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts degree in religious studies from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural science from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.

He has been an adjunct professor at CMU, where he taught “Religion and the Human Experience,” but his background is varied. He has managed four political campaigns and served as a field representative for a United States senator.

Ryan McLouth has been chosen to complete the professional team at Central Methodist University’s new Center for Faith and Service. McLouth will help with the vision, leadership and programming support for music ministry and civic engagement for the Center, established in 2014. You can read more about McLouth on page 20.