As I explore Collegiate Ministry grad courses this week and next, first up is a 2-week January Term course at Beeson Divinity School. Some key facts:
- Dr. Matt Kerlin, the professor, has an impressive history of ministering within all three college ministry branches: campus-based ministry, church-based ministry, and in spiritual life at Christian colleges. He is presently the University Minister at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. (Beeson is the seminary at Samford.)
- This is Beeson’s first course in Collegiate Ministry. As Dr. Kerlin explained, he had broached the idea for a course a few years ago, and since that time they’ve noticed plenty of students coming to Beeson with thoughts of future college ministry involvement. So they were able to institute a course, and that (to me) is really good news.
- The course, simply entitled “Campus Ministry,” is an introduction to the subject – but it’s certainly handled in a strong, academic way. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion yesterday, most of which concerned the vital topic of the college ministry branches – including strengths and weaknesses of each.
- There are around ten students in the class. As students intro’d themselves yesterday, they described their experiences with college ministry as undergraduates, experiences as college ministers, and thoughts about college ministry involvement in the future. There’s variety among the students in each area, which is great.
Meanwhile, I will teach one lecture (60 to 90 minutes or so) in today’s class. I have been asked to discuss the “national scene” in college ministry, including…
- National aspects & trends that excite me
- National aspects & trends that concern me
- Characteristics of healthy ministries, including…
- Emphasizing viewing college ministry as missions
If you have the chance, please pray for me and for the students. (I’ll start teaching around 1:45 Central Time.) While I am extremely excited, it’s a pretty weighty task to speak at Beeson seminary to about a dozen present and future college ministers.
Written from the Kerlin household, Vestavia, Alabama