BUIES CREEK, North Carolina– Dr. Brian Foreman, a 1993 graduate of Campbell University and an expert in youth and adult education ministry, will be the founding director of Campbell University’s new youth theology institute Fides: Exploring Faith & Vocation.
Campbell received its largest humanities-related grant in history—$593,000—from Lilly Endowment Inc. in December to establish the institute and provide high school students with the opportunity to think theologically about their vocational choices and combine faith and vocation in social action.
Foreman will begin his duties as Fides’ director May 2. In addition, he will serve as an associate campus minister.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Foreman to lead Fides,” said the Rev. Faithe Beam, Campbell’s campus minister and dean for spiritual life. “Having experienced a powerful moment of transformation and call of his own during college, he is committed to challenging students to think about their own vocation through eyes of faith. He brings great energy and experience to our theology institute.”
Housed in the Campus Ministry office, Fides is part of Lilly Endowment’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative, which seeks to encourage young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues, and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service. Fides’ first program for youth is expected to start in July 2017.
“To help students explore God’s presence and call in their lives is an exciting part of both the Fides program and Campus Ministry at Campbell,” Foreman said. “I am excited to be joining Campbell’s community of faith leaders that seeks to do that through collaboration within the university and our partners nationally, walking alongside congregations and their students to consider what God is calling them to do and to be as they seek to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world.”
Foreman is president and founder of B4Man Consulting, an adjunct professor with the Campbell Divinity School, and a curriculum writer for a consortium of young ministers who have worked in the full-time ministry for less than two years. The author of “#Connect: Reaching Youth Across the Digital Divide” and “How to be #SocialMediaParents,” he writes, speaks and teaches congregations and families about responsible social media use and smart communication. He also writes Sunday school curricula and leads Sunday school trainings for the Center for Christian Education and develops summer Bibles studies for Passport Camps.
Before starting his own consulting firm in 2008, he served as minister of students and families for about 10 years at Providence Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Dr. Foreman is well-qualified to serve as the new director of Fides,” said Glenn Jonas, associate dean for the College of Arts & Sciences who chaired the committee that developed the Fides grant proposal. “He has dedicated his career to working with youth in a variety of ways. That experience with helping youth experience their faith in deeper ways, coupled with his extensive contacts in churches and denominational leadership, makes him a perfect choice for this new position.”
Foreman received his Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry from Campbell University, a Master of Religion Education from the Duke University Divinity School, and a Doctor of Education in Leadership and Community Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
“The special role that Campbell played in my life only adds to my excitement,” Foreman said. “I look forward to building relationships with the many who love, lead and serve with students throughout our state.”
The cornerstone of Fides will be a two-week residential program held on Campbell’s main campus for about 60 high school students that will combine theological study and Christian worship with project-based learning experiences. To be developed in collaboration with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the curriculum will emphasize personal worship, corporate worship, small group seminars that engage Scripture and selected theological writings on faith and vocation, and formal and informal group recreational activities. Fides participants will read case studies, take field trips, complete group presentations, and participate in service projects, among other activities.
Participants will also explore the moral and ethical dimensions of their faith through elective study in four areas that will be developed in collaboration with academic divisions across Campbell and other partners: public health (Campbell’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences); social entrepreneurship (Campbell Business); restorative justice (Campbell Law); and religious leadership (Campbell Divinity, the College of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Religion & Philosophy, and Wake Forest University’s Center for Congregational Health).