Students Plan Conference on Faith and Development

Some 400 students from across North America will come to Calvin College later this month to learn about international development and to meet one another at the third annual Faith and International Development conference.

The theme, “Sustainability: Fruit That Lasts,” is based on John 15:5, which says: “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.”

“Doing work that lasts for generations is central to the idea of development,” said Calvin junior Morgan Briggs, the public relations coordinator for the conference. “We have decided to apply that theme to four key development areas: community, ecology, healthcare, and economics.”

Among the speakers will be Ida Mutoigo, Canadian director of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC). Breakout sessions will feature field workers from various organizations as well as workshops on grant writing, community surveys, identifying community resources, handling donor relations, and creating evaluation plans.

Networking time is also built in. Attendees can visit a coffee shop serving Fair Trade coffee and exhibit tables for various development organizations.

Key sponsors for 2008 include CRWRC, International Aid, the Mennonite Central Committee, Partners Worldwide, and World Vision.

The conference, to be held Jan. 31 through Feb. 2, is conceived, organized, and led by students. The registration fee is $40, which includes meals, housing with Calvin students, and access to all sessions. Registration closes on Jan. 18.

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About the Author

Myrna Anderson is a senior writer in Calvin College’s communications and marketing department.