The United Methodist Church is affiliated with countless organizations and educational facilities throughout the United States. The Bethune-Cookman University is one of the renowned institutions that have been directly affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1924. The university’s history can be traced to two founding colleges: the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville which was established by Reverend Alfred Cookman, a well-known and profound Methodist minister, and the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls which was established by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. In 1923, these two institutions merged and formed the Bethune-Cookman High School (Pogue 2-5). A year later, the institution was officially unveiled as an affiliation of the United Methodist Church. This rich relationship has been vital in the development and expansion of the institution into a respectable, fully-fledged university offering a wide variety of courses (Bethune-Cookman University 1).
As an affiliate of the United Methodist Church, the university shares a common set of rules, norms, culture and educational principles with other institutions affiliated with the church. First, the university is fully committed to projects that enhance academic excellence. Its vast resources have been dedicated towards programs that are targeted at students with special needs as well as learning disabilities. Secondly, the university places great emphasis on the quality of their students’ lives. This has been enhanced through the rich faculty-student relationship, counseling services, a thriving religious verve on the university campus and an active university chaplain’s office. Finally, the university continually demonstrates its link to the United Methodist Church by offering scholarships to United Methodist scholars, availing staff and other faculty members to nearby local churches, hosting various church-related activities and functions on campus and a dedication towards community projects (Bethune-Cookman University and BC-U 2). In conclusion, the Bethune-Cookman University must continually maintain its affiliation and full accreditation status. This entails an illustration of the existence of well-structured student-geared programs, institutional integrity, transparency and clearly defined church-institution relationships.