seminary road trip wrap-up #2

Before moving on from my most recent Exploring College Ministry road trip, I wanted to finish recounting some of the main things I learned! (Click here for Part 1.)

Gatherings of our future.

I love collaboration (as you know), and the four college ministry seminary classes I visited were certainly collaborative. But the value of collaboration is magnified because seminary students are the future of our field. Many of the students in these classes were in the early days of their college ministry experiences; others weren’t involved in college ministry yet but plan to be.

For anyone headed for a lifetime of college ministry (whether they realize it or not), all the mutual wisdom-sharing here at the front end has the maximum value possible. It was great for me to have the chance to be a small part of that collaboration, and hopefully I’ll have other chances to sit in on such classes in the future.

The joys of Jan-Term.

While I’ll always be excited about semester-long Collegiate Ministry classes, I can see great value in January-Term, May-Term, and other short-length, high-intensity courses on this subject. More than most ministry areas, ours is certainly seasonal, and January, May, or summertime can be down times for many college ministers.

So if you’re interested in learning more, look around – there’s a chance a seminary near you will offer a brief, powerful opportunity to better your ministry.

Enrollment matters.

I hadn’t mentioned this, but my original trip plan involved one more school visit – to Wheaton College Graduate School, where their semester-long college ministry course (taught by Dr. David Setran) was set to begin on the 12th of January. Alas, the class didn’t have enough students enrolled to “make” this time around.

And that points to a clear need for us. We can complain about the lack of opportunities to grow (through seminary courses, books, blogs, or anything else). But one big question is, Do we use what we’ve got?

Further, what are we going to do to get more people interested in becoming college ministers?

Chances for your education.

For those already attending or contemplating graduate school, I picked up one other important piece of info during all this investigating. Your seminary might just provide you with options.

Think there’s only a Youth Ministry track at your school? You might ask about substituting college ministry courses (even from other schools) for some of those classes. (I know that’s allowed at Dallas Theological Seminary, for example.) I also just found out about someone whose seminary is letting her work out a PhD in Collegiate Ministry, in conjunction with a local secular school.

Those are two examples; you might just find options for YOU if you do a little asking. And every time you ask about such things, you’re helping your seminary understand the need to invest in Collegiate Ministry. So keep it up!

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I’m excited about what I’ve learned the last few weeks… and it’s one key piece in getting to know “the national scene.” I know that seminary training isn’t required for everyone to excell at college ministry. But I do think that the education offers much for practitioners and for the field as a whole!

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