August 5-7 saw an exciting new development in the fight against modern-day slavery when an academic track created by Bryan College was highlighted at International Justice Mission’s NorthStar Student Leadership Conference.
Left to right: Amanda Torres, Nathan Johnson, IJM President
and CEO Gary Haugen, Anna Norquist, Ben Norquist
Fired by a shared passion for justice, 250 students flocked to Atlanta, GA, in response to IJM’s very first student-targeted justice movement. This year students were given the option to earn three college credits for attending the conference and digging deeper into the issue of modern slavery via one of two educational tracks, The Dynamics of Human Trafficking and Justice and Action, taught by Ben Norquist, Bryan’s director of faith and mission.
This was a “pilot test” for future academic partnerships between IJM and Bryan, according to Norquist, who designed the academic tracks of the conference with Greg Darley, the organization’s director of college mobilization. Five students were part of the college credit opportunity this year as the program is evaluated. There are plans to hold the conference and offer the academic tracks again next year.
NorthStar featured such powerful speakers and guests as Gary Haugen, CEO of IJM; Mary Frances Bowley, president of Wellspring Living; and Cheryl Deluca-Johnson, CEO of Street Grace, Inc. Students and leaders had the opportunity to attend major sessions and smaller breakout sessions on August 5-6. These ranged in topic from the role church and government should play in seeking justice to students leading on-campus IJM chapters. NorthStar’s final day featured a closing session and five hours to “Serve the City” by working with various ministries in the Atlanta area.
In the past IJM has acted as an on-ground instructional partner to Bryan College when students traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in May as the capstone to the course they had taken on human trafficking worldwide.
“Bryan College is so grateful to IJM for the value they place on educating and equipping students,” Norquist said upon returning from the conference. Empowering the current generation to “seek justice” and “correct oppression” as Isaiah 1:17 instructs will truly enable students to, as the Bryan College mission statement says, become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world.
Written by Chloe Ann Nardone ’13, assistant director of marketing. For more information, contact Chloe at 423.775.7206 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.