Dr. Piper meets with a group of OKWU students during the 2016 Values Voter Summit

As Americans across the United States head to the polls today, a few of the OKWU family are reflecting on their time at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. on the weekend of September 11th.

This spring, Oklahoma Wesleyan partnered with the Family Research Council (FRC), and the month of September brought the first major partnership event—FRC’s Values Voter Summit. As student sponsors at VVS, Oklahoma Wesleyan had an opportunity to take 34 students, two faculty members, and a small leadership team to what CNN called one of the “premiere conservative events” in the country.

The OKWU students and team had the opportunity to attend sessions led by a number of top conservative voices: from faith leaders, to entertainment icons, to politicians. The VVS team invited presidential candidates from both major political parties, and for the first time in the history of the event, both the Republican Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees attended.

Matt Walsh speaks during a breakout session with Dr. PiperDr. Piper was also a speaker at the event, as well as the co-host of a packed breakout session with blogger Matt Walsh, on the subject of Intellectual Freedom and Ideological Fascism. The entire event can be watched online at valuesvotersummit.org.

Dr. Gentry Sutton and Dr. Dalene Fisher accompanied the students to VVS and on returning, Dr. Sutton shared that OKWU students were outstanding representatives of Christ and the University. “When Fox News analyst Todd Starnes, when professors from other colleges, and when leaders of several reputable ministries, think tanks, and political action organizations go out of their way to comment about how wonderful your students are…you know you have something special…” he shared. “They were articulate, poised, fair, knowledgeable, and just plain outstanding in every way.”

One of those students, Cheyenne Been, shared in her reflection that she had always been told how important voting was, but for her, VVS was an important reminder that just casting a vote is not enough:

“I finally realized that my vote really matters and that I need to be educated about what is going on in order to form my own opinions in voting.”

After returning home, OKWU students, staff, and faculty, brought the message of values voting back to campus, first by hosting FRC’s Values Voter Bus, and then by hosting a student-led VVS recap night. During the recap, the students shared with nearly 200 of their peers about not just the values issues discussed at VVS, but about the importance of being engaged in the cultural discourse from the national to the local level.

Oklahoma Wesleyan looks forward to the future of the FRC partnership as we seek to educate students to impact every aspect of culture with the Lordship of Jesus Christ.