the upcoming College Ministry 101

The College Leader Regional yesterday morning was a really good time. For one thing, I got to reconnect with 5 ministers I had met during the big trip, and that’s always such a joy. Good, good people. I also got to meet several more guys and gals for the first time, and that, too, is one of my favorite things in the whole world.

(Hopefully I’ll see many of them when I speak at this October’s College Leader DRINK conference, too.)

Meanwhile, it turns out the content of yesterday’s sessions was a semi-preview of Chuck Bomar’s upcoming book, College Ministry 101. Zondervan is publishing the book later on this year.

Based on what I saw yesterday, I’m really excited about this book being published. Here’s some of what you can expect. (This is based on the content he shared with us; I do know there are several chapters in the book that weren’t touched on in the sessions.)

  • Chuck’s material has a strong focus on understanding the development of college students – in identity, spiritually, socially, etc. Chuck talks a lot about how college-age people progress through various phases in forming who they will be, and he has wise words about helping them do that AND letting them do that.
  • So Chuck has lots to say about possible teaching topics for college students, and he puts an emphasis on helping students go deep in basic things.
  • The book definitely comes from a church-based perspective. But it sounds like a good amount of the content will be useful for anyone who works with college students.
  • Along those lines, another major focus is connecting college-age people with adult mentors.
  • When Chuck talks about college ministry, his focus is really the 18-25 “age stage” – basically, anyone who is transitioning from adolescence to adulthood, whether in college or not.
  • One of the key themes, then, is assimilation to adulthood (including local church life). Chuck sees college ministry as primarily an “assimilation ministry,” and that’s a helpful key to understanding his approach.

As you can tell, some of Chuck’s focuses are pretty specific, and it’s clear that he takes stances on certain issues. That’s a very good thing. Our field won’t be developed simply by having lots of generic, introductory, overly broad materials.

We need books and arguments and theories about both the general and specific, and it seems like College Ministry 101 will have solid contents in both categories.

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