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The Black College Fund: Celebrating 50 years of Excellence in Leadership

Photo by Felipe Gregate @Unsplash
Photo by Felipe Gregate @Unsplash

The Black College Fund Prepares the Way

One of the most significant ways The United Methodist Church helps make quality education accessible to all is through The Black College Fund. In 1972, The UMC established The Black College Fund to provide a constant, reliable approach to support United Methodist historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) related to the church. The fund supports eleven HBCUs—the largest number of Black colleges and universities receiving funding from any church body in the United States. United Methodist churches support The Black College Fund through apportionments or by individual donations.

These eleven institutions play an essential role in shaping diverse young leaders for the church and the world. UM-related HBCUs offer a chance to everyone with a dream and a commitment to excel—regardless of race, class, gender or ethnic heritage.

A Legacy of Leadership
The UM-related HBCUs are responsible for educating some of the world’s most effective and recognized leaders. That impressive cadre includes preachers, district superintendents, bishops, college professors and presidents, general agency staff, legislators and community leaders.

Among the well-known graduates of the eleven United Methodist HBCUs are Dr. Joycelyn Elders, a 1952 graduate of Philander Smith College and the first African American and the second woman to serve as the U.S. surgeon general, and James L. Farmer Jr., a 1938 Wiley College graduate and civil rights leader who helped found the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

These schools and their graduates have a rich legacy of service and are a source of great pride in their communities.

Continuing a Rich Tradition
Colleges supported by The Black College Fund are able to keep tuition relatively low so students with modest incomes may attend. The fund gives the participating colleges and universities the finances they need to support college staff and faculty who can serve as strong intellectual, cultural and spiritual mentors. The fund also supports intern programs to enrich communication skills. Through The Black College Fund, we’re working together to ensure that the institutions that have equipped our nation’s finest leaders continue for years to come.

Make a Difference Today 
On average, United Methodist congregations provide between 87 and 89 percent of the funds apportioned for The Black College Fund. This is achieved through the UMC’s special giving structure, which ensures your generosity blesses as many people as possible in sustainable, strategic ways. More than 95 percent of all proceeds of the fund flow directly to HBCU campuses, where they help to strengthen programs, provide vital infrastructure and keep tuition costs low. These colleges are and always have been open to all. Read stories about the impact your gift makes when you support The Black College Fund.

Encourage your local church to give faithfully to The Black College Fund through your apportionments, or for individual donations give here. For more details on the Black College Fund visit

Help us increase awareness by sharing this Black College Fund video and pew card in your circle and help us continue to raise up the leaders who are impacting lives and shaping communities.

Find out more about the schools The Black College Fund supports:


Bennett College
Greensboro, NC

Bethune-Cookman University
Daytona Beach, FL


Claflin University
Orangeburg, SC

Clark Atlanta University
Atlanta, GA


Dillard University
New Orleans, LA

Huston-Tillotson University
Austin, TX


Meharry Medical College
Nashville, TN

Paine College
Augusta, GA


Philander Smith College
Little Rock, AR

Rust College
Holly Springs, MS


Wiley College
Marshall, TX

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