Chowan supports students called to ministry with recent milestones

Published 5:15 pm Friday, August 16, 2019

By Stephanie C. Peede


“When I first arrived on Chowan’s campus, I still had serious doubts about whether or not I was called to serve the church in ministry,” says graduate Sean Timmons, a four-year CCSA Scholar bound for Duke Divinity School on a full scholarship in the fall. “But today, I am more confident than ever before and I have God and CCSA to thank for that. CCSA has helped me come to terms with my impossible: that the Creator has called me to serve in His holy church.”

The Chowan Christian Service Association creates opportunities for students to learn and serve in Jesus’s name. CCSA does this by providing tuition scholarships to students who are preparing for a life in ministry. Campus Ministry assists in this calling by providing mission trip fellowships to engage students in a hands-on application of their faith.

In late April the Chowan Christian Service Association Endowment at Chowan University reached its latest goal of $2 million. The CCSA Endowment is the largest of its kind, funding the greatest number of formal scholarships for the university.

Vice President of Development John Tayloe announced that the Association’s next goal is to increase the Missions Endowment to $1 million so that CCSA may better serve the increasing number of students who feel called to serve on missions.

Created by the vision of Dr. Christopher White, now Chancellor of Chowan University, the organization quickly became the focal point of his presidency.

“This is really a people’s organization. Hundreds of individual gifts have been made over the years — most of them small, a few of some substance — by dozens of churches, some businesses, and even the sale of CDs. Our dream has become a reality,” said Dr. White.

CCSA began in December 2004 with the modest goal of a $100,000 endowment. With the determination of charter members such as Rev. Ron McSwain, Dr. Burke Holland, Dr. Julian Mills Sr., Elaine Myers, Rev. Robbie Parker, Charles Pond III, Jesse Vaughan Jr., Jewell Glover (deceased), Dr. Hargus Taylor (deceased), and many others, nearly 15 years later, that endowment has grown to just beyond $2 million. In 2011, the CCSA Missions Endowment was created to sponsor students on life-changing mission trips, both at home and abroad. Thirteen Mission Fellows have recently returned from South Africa where they partnered with Door of Hope Ministry to provide living space and necessities to abandoned children.

“The strength of the CCSA is that donors take their Christian faith seriously and choose to pass on the Good News of Jesus Christ,” said University President Dr. Kirk Peterson.

Since CCSA’s inception, 99 students have been awarded scholarships for tuition or books and over 70 mission trip fellowships have been granted. CCSA currently holds 72 tuition scholarships and 23 mission endowments. Recently achieving the minimum endowment level are the Cashie Baptist Church Scholarship, the Robbie and Malinda Parker Scholarship, the Rev. George and Luvenia Rouson Scholarship, the Earlys Baptist Church Mission Endowment, and the Juanita Kelly Pond Mission Endowment.

CCSA Scholars have a 75 percent retention rate, considerably higher than the national average for universities. Many of these graduates serve their home communities through various ministries, while others have used their experience as Missions Fellows to serve with international organizations. Almost all CCSA graduates have achieved or are in the process of completing graduate degrees in their chosen fields.

The 2018-19 school year also produced CCSA’s largest graduating class with eight seniors. Together, these students have been awarded top university honors like Best All-Around Student, the Vera Parker Womble Christian Service Award, and many departmental awards. Two of these graduates will go on to attend divinity school in the fall on full scholarships.

“We’re not celebrating what we have done,” said Dr. White. “We celebrate what the Lord has chosen to do through us.”

For more information on CCSA, please contact Director of Church and Community Relations Lou Ann Gilliam at or 252-398-6317.

STEPHANIE C. PEEDE is with the Office of University Relations at Chowan Univesity. Contact her