By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
Emmanuel College’s Athletic Department is entering a new chapter in its history.
College president Michael Stewart announced the college’s athletic department is now approved as a provisional member of the National College Athletic Association Division 2.
Emmanuel will become part of the Conference Carolinas, which is made up of 10 schools.
Division 2 consists of some 300 schools in 24 conferences nationwide.
Stewart told the crowd of students, teachers, and coaches the move signifies a commitment to Christian education through sports.
“At Emmanuel, we are privileged to provide an athletic philosophy that intentionally fosters faith and character development, academic excellence, and a competitive athletic experience,” Stewart said. “Our model closely reflects the NCAA D-2 philosophy of “life in the Balance,” which emphasizes a comprehensive program of learning and development in a personal setting.”
Stewart said the Division 2 approach provides growth opportunities through academic achievement and learning in high-level athletics competition.
Dr. Allen Patterson is the Commissioner of Conference Carolinas.
Patterson said the Conference goal of helping students achieve their best has not changed since it began in the 1930s.
“We believe that athletics is an educational endeavor; that it is a unique opportunity for our student athletes to put into place the types of things that you learn only on an athletic field or during an athletic event,” Patterson said. “And it has to be intentional. It cannot just happen, it must be intentional. It takes coaches who are teacher coaches.”
Dr. Stewart said the Emmanuel College application team has been working on getting the school into the NCAA for the past three years.