Bethune-Cookman University’s connection to The United Methodist Church dates back to 1872, when the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Florida, was established and named for the Reverend Alfred Cookman, a well-known Methodist minister. Following the merger of the Cookman Institute with Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s school in Daytona Beach, the school that became known as Bethune-Cookman College affiliated with The United Methodist Church in 1924. It is a rich relationship that informs the values of the institution.
What it means to be a United Methodist-related University
As a United Methodist-related institution, Bethune-Cookman University shares a common set of values and educational principles with The United Methodist Church and its other church-related colleges and universities. Among these are:
- Emphasis on special quality of care for students, realized through residence-hall life, faculty commitment to students, special programs and performances, counseling services and an active chaplain’s office and religious life council on campus.
- A commitment to academic excellence, with resources dedicated to support student achievement including learning labs, programs for students with special needs, and faculty devoted to teaching and helping students to learn.
- A demonstrated relationship with the church, shown through the quality of academic and community life; a sensitivity to the religious life concerns of students; scholarships for United Methodist students; hosting church events on campus; making faculty and staff available to local churches; and, doing community or international service projects.
- A focus on the University as a community, understanding that this community will produce many of the leaders in our churches, cities, nation, and world.
All United Methodist-related colleges and universities are required to maintain full accreditation. They also must demonstrate to The United Methodist Church’s governing bodies that they maintain institutional integrity, well-structured programs, sound management, and clearly defined Church relationships.