Students Who Lack Parental Support Find Christ’s Love at Hardin-Simmons University

Hardin-Simmons University is living up to its founding vision—showing the love of Christ—by instituting a full tuition scholarship program for qualified self-sustaining students who lack parental support.

When James B. Simmons helped found the Abilene school, he recommended it be named Christlieb College—the college of Christ’s love. While the name did not endure, the vision for the school did through the Christlieb Program, providing full tuition for independent students who have no parental support.

‘Serve the fatherless’
“My hope is that we can be these students’ forever family,” President Eric Bruntmyer said. “This is a way for us to stand in the gap. We want to be the hands and feet of Christ as we serve the fatherless.”

Eric Bruntmyer said the inspiration for the Chrislieb Program came to him as he was walking along the Sea of Galilee in Israel and he felt God leading him to pick up some stones.

“I picked up five stones—one for each of my kids, but then I realized I could have picked up 10 stones. I could have picked up hundreds. If each of these stones represented children, God was showing me that he was calling me to help care for the fatherless,” he said.

Bruntmyer soon learned the Abilene Independent School District has more than 1,300 students who are classified as homeless. Many of these students are in foster care or living with a friend or relative. After these students turn 18, they often are without financial or emotional support. According to the National Foster Youth Institute, less than 3 percent of foster students graduate from a 4-year college.

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SOURCE: Baptist Standard, Grace Mitchell