My friend Bill commented on a post last week, noting,
Had an interesting conversation with one of our campus missionaries who was asking me about non-traditional [older-than-normal] students and how should she be willing to incorporate them into her outreach on campus. That is another thorny issue.
No joke, that’s a thorny issue! I tried to answer with my own quick thoughts in the comments there, but this is certainly an area I would want to study more.
The truth is, Dealing with Non-Traditional Students is one of many “special cases” in college ministry.
So, so many special cases…
Which is yet another GREAT reason for pushing to advance the field.
When a ministry field or any profession is in its infancy, it makes sense for the BIG questions to get all the attention. But we should be past that. We should have helpful resources where wise people discuss such things (knowledge base? academic journal? textbooks? article collections?). I am SURE there are college ministers out there who have found creative, God-ordained strategies for working with non-traditional students.
Or God-given strategies for dealing with hostile adminstrations.
And for ministering to students at two-year colleges.
We could definitely use an article or two on connecting with grad students.
Perhaps strategies for impacting seminary students while we’re at it?
Or working with college students when they’re back home?
And thinking about ministry during the school breaks…
Maybe a great book on ministry at Christian colleges, too.
And at least a chapter about working with multiple campuses!
Those examples are still fairly broad categories, actually affecting thousands or millions of students. And some of them probably have been discussed brilliantly.
But without a developed field, connecting those dots and thoughts isn’t easy.