With summer winding down, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming semester. Are you ready for a fresh start? A new opportunity? Getting involved during college is essential to making the most of your time on campus. With all the changes and new experiences, you need a group of people that you can connect with and learn from. If you’re getting ready to start college this fall or if you’re already here and just want to find somewhere to get plugged in, consider looking into some campus ministries. Though there are many choices, we’re passing along a few to get you started in your search. Even if your campus doesn’t have a branch of the particular ministry you’d like to join, don’t get discouraged. Consider starting a branch on your campus yourself; most campuses offer easy ways to create new Student Organizations, and most campus ministries offer ideas on their websites about how to partner with them and get started on your campus. Many of these campus ministries also offer internship opportunities as well as yearly conferences and weekly Bible studies on campus. A campus ministry is a great way to connect, grow, and lead, but remember that the group is relatively homogenous (a bunch of college students). If you’ll go a step further by staying involved with a local church, you’ll stay balanced and have the chance to learn from people of wisdom and experience as well. You’ll also find that most churches will go out of their way to help you and to help you use your spiritual gifts and talents if you’re willing to get involved.
Chi Alpha Campus Ministries (XA) was begun on the campus of Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. It’s an outreach of the Assemblies of God and is located on over 200 campuses throughout the United States and the world. Chi Alpha hosts various informal gatherings on campus with music and studies as well as ministries to connect with international students, mission opportunities, and community outreach. They also host an annual SALT conference over Christmas break and an annual Reach the U training session for mission teams of new staff and student leaders.
Student Mobilization (STUMO) in a nonprofit ministry begun by Steve and Carol Shadrach to reach and mobilize college students to action. STUMO is supported by a number of different denominations, but it is not affiliated with any one particular church or denomination. STUMO targets campuses in the South Central United States to engage students at the spiritual level. They hold an annual Kaleo Summer Project, a 9-week discipleship experience, and a Christmas Conference to love and challenge students to become laborers for Christ.
International Students, Inc. (ISI) is a ministry devoted to sharing Christ’s love with international students and equipping them for effective service in cooperation with local churches and others. ISI offers volunteer opportunities for college students (and families and individuals) to become Friendship Partners with international students, including them in typical American experiences. They also network prayer intercessors to pray for international student ministries.
BCMLife is a network of Baptist collegiate ministries from across North America, and Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) is the Southern Baptist program of campus-based collegiate ministry. Some states use different names: Baptist Student Union (BSU), Baptist Student Ministries (BSM), and Christian Challenge. BCM is currently on 389 campuses. BCM hosts group studies and gathering places on campus, provide resources for students, and offer mission opportunities from local to international.
Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) was first founded on the UCLA campus by Dr. Bill Bright. Today it is a network of movements on 1,029 campuses in the United States and in the world. Cru works to increase evangelistic exposure on campuses, equip students to share their faith and disciple others on campus and in their communities, and plant new ministries to reach lost students. Cru is known for its campus gatherings, winter conferences, spring break outreaches, summer training projects, and resources, such as Dr. Bright’s The Four Spiritual Laws, their many websites (www.everystudent.com), and their “Freshman Survival Kits.” Cru also has specific ministries for international students, Greek students, ethnic students, and student athletes.
Campus Outreach (CO) is a ministry that began on the Samford campus in Birmingham, Alabama; today it is active on 65 campuses worldwide. Staff work in partnership with local churches but maintain a non-denominational profile on campus. Campus Outreach is committed to living out the Great Commission by building relationships on campus and discipling students to mature in their relationship with Christ. Campus Outreach also hosts campus meetings and offers retreats, an annual Christmas conference, and summer beach projects to teach students how to study the Bible and share the Gospel.
Great Commission Ministries (GCM) was founded to mobilize staff to plant churches on college campuses in the U.S. It has now expanded to include urban, mission, and international churches as well. GCM is currently on 44 campuses and in 23 countries, creating church communities, promoting grass roots evangelism, and seeking to incorporate students into the starting of a church-based campus ministry. GCM holds IGNITE conferences around the country as well as a summer Leadership Training program.
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (IV) is an evangelical campus mission serving on more than 550 college and university campuses worldwide. IV has a rich tradition of campus witness, thoughtful discipleship, and a concern for world missions. Capping off its missions emphasis, IV hosts the Urbana missions conference every third year which focuses on critical global issues and missions opportunities. IV is also well known for its publications (Intervarsity Press).
Navigators (Navs) is an interdenominational nonprofit that is dedicated to helping people navigate their lives spiritually. Navigators is known for its spiritual depth, Scripture study and memorization, and one-on-one student interaction and small groups on campus. Their publication branch (Navpress) produces Bible study materials, and they hold yearly conferences and retreats to build lifelong laborers for Christ.
Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) is the collegiate ministry arm of the Presbyterian Church of America, found on 90 campuses nationwide. Their staff is seminary trained to effectively teach the great doctrines of the Bible to students, and they work to build a community on the college campus that reaches students of divergent beliefs and doubts to equip them to serve Christ. RUF also offers large group meetings on campus, small group bible studies, one-on-one meetings, and fall, winter, and summer conference, many of which include mission trips.
Blog re-posted from http://tryhigher.com/?p=366