For Immediate Release
(Madison, WI) --- Charlene Brown has been appointed National Director of Black Campus Ministries for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She will begin her duties in July 2016.
Charlene’s passion is Black student ministry; her involvement began during her freshman year at the University of Virginia. Charlene believes InterVarsity is well positioned to be an influential part of the Black student experience. “InterVarsity has an opportunity to shape a generation of Black leaders who are faithful followers of Jesus, agents of change, renewal and reconciliation, and who live a vision of multiethnicity that also proclaims the value of Black lives.”
Charlene also feels a strong call to reconciliation. As a student, Charlene planted a Bible study around racial reconciliation, inviting non-Christians and Christians to hear what God has to say about true reconciliation between races and ethnicities. Over 100 students came to the small group. That community experience led her to Duke Divinity School, where she received a Master of Divinity degree with a focus on race, theology, and ethics.
Charlene has been a catalytic influence in the regional vision for Black Campus Ministries in the Blue Ridge. Appointed to serve as Co-Director of the BCM conference, she helped to build momentum for Black student work through the Regional BCM conference, doubling attendance from 40 to over 100 students. Working in collaborative partnerships with her Regional Director, Jimmy Long, the Regional BCM Coordinator, Fred Williams, other staff directors, and Co-Director Thurston Benns, Charlene has also been able to craft and implement strategies for Black staff recruitment, supervision, and pastoral care, including the creation of a Black Staff Summit.
In November 2015, Charlene completed The BCM Daniel Project, InterVarsity’s 18-month leadership development cohort program for high-potential leaders, and she has a desire to see our Black staff community thrive.
Charlene succeeds Phil Bowling-Dyer, who will go on sabbatical February 1, 2016. “I am grateful to God for Charlene’s appointment,” Phil said. “I believe that she will bring thoughtful and passionate leadership to this generation of BCM’s staff, students, and faculty and to InterVarsity’s overall work.”
Charlene holds degrees from the University of Virginia (B.A., Religious Studies) and Duke Divinity School (MDiv, emphasis on race, ethnicity, and reconciliation).She currently resides in Durham, North Carolina.
Black student and faculty participation comprises nearly 12% of InterVarsity’s chapter participation. In 2014, there were approximately 4,900 participants, an increase of 16% growth from the previous year and five year growth of 57%.