Institutions of higher learning that partner with life-affirming organizations are able to offer impactful, empowering educational experience to students.
A significant number of U.S. Christian colleges and universities have partnered with Planned Parenthood (PP), a Students for Life of America report found, whether having PP as a resource for students, for internships, promoting or hosting PP events, or promoting career or volunteer opportunities with the abortion giant.
While some of the schools pulled their partnership after being contacted for the report, the disturbing number of institutions (69 out of 784) that have partnered with the largest abortion provider in the U.S. illustrates the need to have life-affirming opportunities for students.
Pregnancy Help News reached out to various Christian colleges and universities finding that those institutions which do not have ties to PP tended to have strong ties to pregnancy help organizations (PHOs).
Grand Canyon University (GCU) responded that it, “does not have any ties to PP. We refer students to a pregnancy center run by a Christian organization here in Phoenix.”
Bob Romantic, executive director of the Office of Communications and Public Relations at GCU said that the university’s stance on human life is articulated in it Ethical Positions statement:
“Human life is a great good and a precious gift from God who specially created humanity in a way that uniquely reflects His image and likeness. As a Christian institution, GCU affirms that every human being is precious to God and should be treated with the dignity and respect appropriate to creatures who bear the image and likeness of the Creator. The University affirms the sanctity of human life and the intrinsic value of every human being. All humans must be regarded as persons who retain full personhood from the moment of conception until the point of natural death.”
Betty McDowell, VP of Ministry Services at Heartbeat International (HBI), said that having established themselves as a mainstay in their communities, PHOs have also established relationships with colleges and universities to foster educational opportunities available to students.
“Pregnancy help organizations have become a staple of most communities,” McDowell said, “and many have connected with colleges and universities in their communities to offer internship opportunities.”
“When looking for internships, students from any university would benefit from seeking out local pregnancy help organizations for possible opportunities,” she said.
McDowell continued to note the benefits of PHOs’ connection to universities, saying, “Many pregnancy help organizations have expertise to share and can help facilitate educational experiences for students, in areas like non-profit leadership, development, community engagement, volunteer development, direct client services and case management.”
Heartbeat International President Jor-El Godsey weighed in on the issue as well.
"Every Christian university, at the very least, should boldly champion compassionate, life-affirming pregnancy help,” Godsey stated. “After all, when Christ walked the earth teaching His Word, he took time to offer hope, help, and healing."
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In September 2021, Godsey spoke at Cedarville University in Ohio. Godsey discussed the tunnel vision a woman in unplanned pregnancies can suffer from where there is only one choice offered to her.
“Making sure there are alternatives,” Godsey said. “No woman should feel so alone or coerced to think there is no alternative but abortion.”
He went on to challenge the students to understand that as Christians we are ambassadors to bring God’s power into her situation.
“Pregnancy is temporary, abortion is forever,” Godsey said.
“It is always wrong to kill an innocent human being,” he said. “Abortion kills an innocent human being; therefore, abortion is always wrong.”
Cedarville is hosting a whole series of such speakers, offering apt pro-life example for faith-based schools.
Betsy Wetherby, Human Resources Coordinator from HBI, testified to the positive impact PHO’s have on students.
“I can happily attest that students seek us out both from Christian and secular academic settings,” Wetherby said. “Key to their internship experience is being as excited about our ministry as well as the opportunity to gain meaningful job-ready experiences in their field of interest. It is exciting that we can create a pathway for young individuals with a servant's heart.”
“Among additional examples, we had an international intern spend a quarter with Heartbeat International,” Wetherby said, “capitalizing on the opportunity to become immersed in strategic initiatives of our donor development department and take the knowledge gleaned back to her homeland of Germany where her mother oversees a pregnancy center.”
“We have had students with special skills conduct advanced analytics for Heartbeat, and others who became an extension of our PHN writing team,” she continued.
“In the past several months, I received an inquiry from Cedarville University that sponsors ‘Business as a Mission,’ a student-led organization seeking to assist in such areas as marketing, accounting, finance, IT, etc.,” Wetherby added.
McDowell underscored the potential impact for a student who interns for a life-affirming organization.
“For students who hold dear to the value of human life, an internship in a life affirming organization would be empowering,” she said. “For students who have not yet fully formed their world view, an internship in a pregnancy help organization could be life changing.”
Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News.