News & Resources


Messiah and Roberts Wesleyan Join ASI as Sustaining Partner and Participating College

Jan 28, 2013

Au Sable is pleased and honored to announce the completion of Sustaining Partner and Participating College agreements with two institutions, Messiah College (Pennsylvania) and Roberts Wesleyan College (New York). A long-time member of Au Sable’s family of Participating Colleges, Messiah College, located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, has now joined another important group of Au Sable’s supporting institutions, the Sustaining Partners. Sustaining Partner colleges and universities make direct financial contributions to the operation of Au Sable’s academic program, and in return receive discounted tuition, reserved course slots and reserved research opportunities for their students. 

With the new partnership agreement, Messiah joins Bethel College, Bethel University, Calvin College, Cedarville University, Cornerstone University, Covenant College and Geneva College to bring the total number of current Sustaining Partners to eight.

Fred Van Dyke, Au Sable’s Executive Director, noted, “It is both a delight and distinction to welcome Messiah to the Sustaining Partner family. Nearly 400 Au Sable alumni, about 10% of our alumni community, are Messiah graduates, making Messiah the largest single contributor to Au Sable’s alumni community. It’s fitting for us to enter into this new relationship with Messiah that will bring additional benefits to its current and future students in their interactions with Au Sable. And it is an honor for us to partner with an institution so thoroughly committed to creation care, not only in its curriculum, but in all its institutional operations.” 

In addition to having a faculty with both depth and breadth of expertise in environmental study, Messiah has long been committed to sustainability in its college operation. Boasting the second largest solar water heating unit in the United States (which supplies water to all its residential student housing), Messiah also features a community garden in the center of its campus, an ongoing aquaculture operation (currently raising tilapia) and a full time Director of Sustainability on its staff.

Dr. Ray Norman, Dean of Messiah’s School of Science, Engineering and Health, noted, "As a Sustaining Partner, we are pleased to not only continue Messiah College’s long-standing relationship with Au Sable, but also to re-affirm the important role and mission of the Institute as a leader in the global conversation on Creation and stewardship."

Au Sable looks forward to an outstanding partnering relationship with Messiah!

Au Sable is equally pleased and honored to announce the addition of its newest Participating College, Roberts Wesleyan College of Rochester, New York. A Christian liberal arts college of over 1800 students from 27 states and 19 countries, Roberts Wesleyan College (RWC) was originally founded in 1869 as a seminary of the Free Methodist Church. Growing since then into a comprehensive Christian liberal arts institution, RWC today offers Associate and Bachelor’s degrees in over 40 undergraduate majors as well as graduate degrees in programs in business, education, health, social work, psychology, nursing and music education. RWC is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and, for 2013, has been named among the Best in the Northeast colleges by Princeton Review and Best Regional Colleges by US News and World Report. 

Discussions which began in October 2012 between Au Sable’s Executive Director, Fred Van Dyke, RWC Provost Robert Zwier, Chair of the RWC Biological and Chemical Sciences Department Jason Taylor, and Rachel Graham, a member of the Biological and Chemical Sciences faculty, sparked interest in the mutual benefits of forming a participating agreement between the two institutions.

Van Dyke noted, “All the elements needed for a productive participating relationship, including strong administrative support, enthusiasm from key departments, and a faculty member willing to be an active and committed Au Sable Representative, were in place at RWC. That’s why, from Au Sable’s perspective, this was something worth pursuing.”

Rachel Graham, herself a former intern in Au Sable’s Environmental Education Internship Program, was enthusiastic about taking on the role of Au Sable Faculty Representative at RWC.

Reflecting on her own experience at Au Sable, Rachel said, “Au Sable was a great growing experience for me as I interacted with students from kindergarten to 8th grade… It was a beautiful place to learn more about Creation and teaching and grow in my teaching skills. I look forward to Roberts students having wonderful experiences at Au Sable as well!”

With the Participating Agreement in place, Roberts Wesleyan College becomes the 62nd member of Au Sable’s Participating Colleges. Au Sable courses will now be treated as RWC courses, greatly expanding RWC’s offering in environmental study and conservation science. RWC students will be eligible for financial aid from Au Sable, including awards like Au Sable Fellowships, Au Sable Grants,. Missionary Earthkeeping Fellowships, and the prestigious Calvin B. DeWitt Leadership Fellowship. Through the Participating Agreement, RWC students are also eligible to apply for positions in Au Sable’s undergraduate research program and to pursue any of Au Sable’s five certification programs in more systematic study of particular phases of environmental conservation. Au Sable celebrates this newest addition to it Participating College family. Welcome Roberts Wesleyan College!

Read a blog post by recent Messiah graduate Will Miller on how Au Sable's 'Molecular Tools for the Field Biologist' course turned him into a molecular ecologist apologist and opened doors for him in research, graduate school, and stewardship.