Tyler Junior College will be re-opening an old dorm, but with a slightly different purpose.
On Tuesday, TJC announced a new partnership with the Methodist Wesley Foundation, making the West Hall off of Lake Street near the Rogers Student Center into college's first faith-based dorm.
"It is a history-making day for Tyler Junior College," TJC President Mike Metke, said.
The Methodist Wesley Foundation announced today that they will be taking over West Hall, which closed in the fall, and will be re-opening it as the first faith-based dorm on campus.
"We plan on living together in a Christian community and eating together, worshipping together, Bible studies. Just a support group for one another as these students make their way though college," Wesley Foundation Director Reverend Sunny Farley said.
Because TJC is a public school, they had to tread lightly with having a Christian living situation with students.
"We've actually gone through attorney general opinions to make sure we can do this at a public college. As far as I know, it is the first in the nation. I don't know of any two year colleges that are doing this," Metke said.
He explained that since Wesley Foundation pays for the space, and they are not using state or federal education funding, they are able to bring religion into a public college.
"They are renting a dorm and taking management of a dorm. So it is a landlord tenant relationship. They would be able to do what they are doing at their current facility," Metke said
The main reason for the faith-based dorm, Reverend Farley says, is to provide support for the students.
"This is a tough time. Going to college is hard. They have their studies to think about and they have a lot of question marks in their lives as far as where they will live, who they will marry, what are they going to major in. So, to just be there for them and give them that support system is crucial," Reverend Farley said.