Campus Ministries that Stick

By: Chris McCain
October 28, 2014

... which ideas bear potential for sustained, positive impact?

I’ve been thinking a lot about stickiness lately. Now I’m not talking about chewing gum; I’m talking about ideas. Why do some ideas stick while others fall by the wayside? That is, which ideas bear potential for sustained, positive impact?

I’ve been thinking about this question particularly in relation to FTE’s recent gathering of the Lilly Endowment’s Campus Ministry Theological Exploration of Vocation (CMTEV) initiative. Representing 26 Roman Catholic, Evangelical and Mainline Protestant campus ministries serving public universities, 49 leaders spent three days together discussing the variety of ways that their ministries help young adults discern their sense of call.

Throughout this gathering, leaders shared a lot of “sticky ideas,” but I’d like to lift up two ideas that resonated deeply with many participants:

  1. Campus ministries can be fertile grounds for incubating innovative solutions to community challenges. Since college is an especially formative time in young adults’ lives, campus ministries often serve as spaces for exploring ideas and seeing where those ideas may lead. An example of how one campus ministry doing just that is GreyMob, an initiative of the Purdue Christian Campus House, which supports students with creative ideas by providing them resources to seed projects inspired by their faith and concern for social change.
  2. Campus ministries are eager to learn from intentional communities about practices that help students build and sustain covenantal lives. As many universities consider nontraditional models of student housing, many campus ministries are considering ways to establish living options for college students interested in living in covenant with their peers. In a blog post that Dori Baker, FTE’s research fellow, wrote recently about FTE’s consultation with collegiate intentional communities, she highlights some of the ways that college students are living out their commitments to faith and communal living.

As this community of practice continues to grow with and learn from one another in the coming years, I look forward to seeing which ideas really do stick!

Tags: Innovation in Ministry, Thinking Out Loud, Shaping the Future


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