About Center for Compassion
In February 2018, leaders from Evangel University and Convoy of Hope met together to dream and plan for a center devoted to cultivating the theology and practice of compassion in the world. The task force created a vision that continues to be lived out today as Evangel’s Center for Compassion, leading people to embracing a commitment to compassion in relationships, vocation, and ministry. Donna Washburn, PhD, a member of both the task force and Evangel University faculty, was named the Center’s founding director.
The Center for Compassion continues to pursue the founding dream through a focus in three areas: academic exploration, service learning and volunteerism. Examples of the work of the center in its founding years include suicide prevention training for students, local ministers, and licensed clinicians. The Center also facilitated a community-wide conference focused on immigration and corrupt pay-day lending, casting a vision for human flourishing regardless of income-level.
The Center also connects students and organizations to one another in service opportunities and sponsors service trips with Convoy of Hope Field Teams. One such event gave students an opportunity to bend rebar for the building of a trade school in Honduras. The Center takes great pride in connecting students to internships with local and national organizations, including several with our partner, Convoy of Hope.
In January, 2021, Steve McMichael became the new director after Dr. Donna Washburn moved on from Evangel University. Steve brings experience in the practical application of compassion from his experience as a missionary in Africa. There he worked closely with migrants and refugees, helping them find food, clothes, and an introduction to Christ’s love.
Convoy and Hope and Evangel University are proudly partnering to provide a new Bachelor of Science degree in Community Relief and Development. This new degree program will be housed within the Center for Compassion and have integration opportunities with the ongoing work of the center.