"We are in this together with you," said Dr. Lallene Rector, President of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.
Rector encouraged all churches to help young people discerning their call to ministry.
"This is what we're working on. Helping our students become effective leaders, working for the well-being of all persons and for a sustainable environment, and people who are committed to helping the least of these.
Rector has been president of Garrett-Evangelical since 2014, and attended her first Iowa Annual Conference in the same year. She is the first layperson to have been elected as president in the college's 160 year history.
She also participated in Monday morning's Peace Walk.
"It gives us all good hope to keep persevering," Rector said.
"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world," said Markus McKinney, a student of Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi.
Rust is a historically black, fully accredited liberal arts college in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Marcus said he enjoys attending Rust because of the small classes and individual attention that the professors provide students.
Many students who attend Rust College are either fully or partially funded by HBCU's (?) (I don't know what that stands for), and would not be able to continue their education past high school without money from the Iowa Annual Conference's help.
Rust College President
Dr. David Beckley, President of Rust College, thanked the conference for investing so deeply in young people, and also for sharing some of Iowa's leadership with the college's board of trustees.
Marcus is the third generation of his family to attend Rust. The first being his grandmother who began college after a professor visited her home.
"It was my first, only and best choice," he said.
"Thank you for keeping hope alive for some of these young people," Beckley said.