The Future of Campus Ministry

 

When we ask what the future of campus ministry is, we are really wondering if there should be or will be campus ministry in ten years. But that is like asking if we will have Sunday school or LWML in the future. We wouldn’t have a future without them! The future of campus ministry is to stay on campus no matter what the challenges are. Why? Because campus ministry will always be needed.

Coming to college can be daunting for students, especially for those who are shy. It is reassuring to freshmen when we reach out to them when they first come to college. It was especially satisfying to reach out to Daisy (not her real name), a shy American freshman we had met at one of Slippery Rock University’s summer orientations. When campus ministry called her this semester to invite her to our student meals and to Sunday morning worship, she was really pleased. She told us that she is Lutheran but had attended church infrequently. She added that she had been confirmed, but had learned very little of the Bible. She was not blaming anyone. She just said that for the challenges she now faces at college, she believes she needs to know more of the Bible. How great is that!

Daisy now comes once a week for Bible study. We’re beginning with Luke so she knows exactly who Jesus is. During one class she asked why some people are atheists. She just wondered how this could be since the Bible tells us who God is. She appreciated learning about the free will given to us. We are using the Concordia Bible History and the Book of Luke in The People’s Bible Commentary for our study. The present and the future of campus ministry is teaching the Bible so that students like Daisy will know why they believe what they believe.

Campus ministry at All Saints is trying something new. We are trying a regularly scheduled event on the campus of Grove City College. It is called “Lunch with Luther.” Grove City professor Kelsey Madsen and GCC student Elise Wiggins, both members of All Saints, are working with campus pastor Reverend Larry K. Loree, Jr. to form this group. Reverend Loree is preparing passages from Luther’s writings. He will present this information for discussion to interested students while eating lunch in one of the schools dining facilities. The discussion will target Lutherans, but all students will be welcome. Campus ministry is excited about the opportunity to expand greater knowledge of what Lutherans believe.

The future of campus ministry is not only teaching the foundation of the Christian faith, but also to help students deal with life’s problems. Students need the Christian worldview to confront abortion, financial disaster, enormous guilt for sins, and the epidemic of young people committing suicide.

One student came to All Saints to find out if she could be forgiven for an abortion she’d had; she feared she will go to Hell. She came to All Saints when Rev. Loree was out of town. I assured her that God forgives our sins. I encouraged her to meet with Pastor Loree when he returned. She did. He privately shared God’s grace with her. He “drenched” her in the Gospel. What a difference hearing the Gospel from her campus pastor has meant to her.

Because suicide is such a serious problem on our college campuses, associate pastor Rev. Todd Seaver will meet with interested students after the October student meal. Normally students leave after enjoying delicious Korean food (this month it will include also carving pumpkins). This month we will invite students to hear Rev. Seaver’s presentation if they want to stay for it. In the future campus ministry will offer more such after-dinner talks to give needed answers to life problems.

It is an exciting time for campus ministry to be on campus to share the Good News. This is where campus ministry belongs. This is campus ministry’s future.

Augusta R. Mennell

Campus Ministry Director

All Saints Lutheran Church and Student Center

Slippery Rock 16057