January 5, 2011 (Jackson) - For over a decade Belhaven University students have participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day. This year on January 16, 2012, around 400 Belhaven students are volunteering at charitable organizations around the Jackson metro area to serve the community.

Jo Beth Petty, Director of Student Leadership, said, “The purpose of the campus-wide Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day is to give our students a chance to serve and emulate the work and spirit of Dr. King. Serving is also a valuable tool for life-change because it models what Christ did for us! The university's motto is 'to serve, not to be served' and this day is dedicated to living that out in tangible ways.“

Places like the Mustard Seed, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Stewpot, Goodwill and others will expect a helping hand from students. Belhaven faculty and staff also participate in this day of giving. Volunteer work ranges from cleaning, painting, raking and serving food to gardening, building and organizing.

The Belhaven Leadership Council (BLC) is the driving force behind this service project and is made up of current students that serve the Belhaven student body by giving distinctive Christian leadership in all areas.

Katie Rowan, Community Outreach Coordinator for the BLC, said, “As a Christian University, Belhaven should be ministering in our surrounding community. MLK Service Day is a great day when Belhaven can do just that.”

Last year's MLK Service Day for Belhaven saw 360 students volunteering time at charitable organizations such as Stewpot, Goodwill, Gateway Rescue Mission and others. See the video below for a look into Belhaven's 2010 MLK Service Day.

Belhaven stands among the select Christian colleges and universities that offer a unique general core curriculum encouraging the development of a personal worldview. The university believes a Christian worldview is a key to preparing men and women academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus in their careers, in human relationships, and in the world of ideas.

Founded in 1883, Belhaven University now serves over 3,000 students from campuses in Jackson, Memphis, Orlando, Houston, Chattanooga, Atlanta and online, offering traditional undergraduate degrees, graduate and adult degree programs, and online degree programs.