Jennifer Copeland, the Executive Director of the North Carolina Council of Churches, is the 2017 Francis Asbury Award recipient for the North Carolina Conference.
A native of South Carolina, Dr. Copeland has spent most of her life in North Carolina. She served as the Executive Director and Campus Ministry for the Wesley Fellowship at Duke University from 1999 -2015, where she also taught undergraduate and divinity school classes. Classes she has taught include Ministry with Millennials, Ministry on the Border, and Communication: Inspiring and Guiding Change.
She was instrumental in the development of the Emerging Campus Ministry at North Carolina Central University in Durham which is partnered with City Well UMC in Durham. Her generous giving of time, wisdom, and support has allowed this thriving emerging ministry to flourish.
Copeland was a board member for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry from 2008-2016. During her tenure, she served on the Executive Committee and the Audit and Review Committee, was chair of the Committee on Loans and Scholarships, and was a task force member for distribution of 7.5 million Young Clergy Initiative Funds.
Among her other awards are the Allen Burry Award from the United Methodist Campus Ministry Association and Campus Minister of the Year from the National Campus Ministry Association.
Francis Asbury Award honorees are nominated by the Annual Conference Boards of Higher Education and Campus Ministry. This annual award is supported by the Division of Higher Education at GBHEM and is one of the ways the agency continually strives to enable and resource leadership within the church. This award recognizes and encourages support of higher education and campus ministries within The United Methodist Church.
The award is named for Bishop Francis Asbury, one of the first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the U.S., and is based on his admonition to the people called Methodist to erect a school in the vicinity of every church. “We must,” he said, “…give the key of knowledge to your children, and those of the poor in the vicinity of your small towns and villages.”
To see more about the award and other recipients, go to General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.