weekly review, merry new year edition

Happy 2010! I’m presently writing this during the break time at Campus Crusade’s annual Dallas / Fort Worth Winter Conference, my second major college ministry conference this week! For all those attending, returning, or returned from any of the Cru Winter Conferences, Urbana, Passion, OneThing, or Life Impact, I hope it was/is absolutely phenomenal for you and your students!

Below you’ll find a sample of the best college ministry discussions or other resources from around the interwebs during the last couple of weeks! Enjoy!

Great books for undergrads, from people who should know: Emerging Scholars Network received suggestions (abundantly) from their readers of “best books for undergrads.” And since (presumably) their readership skews heavily toward professors, grad students, and other academic-types, they should have a particular wisdom on this. See the full list (in helpful catagories) here.

Vocational integration for college students: Professor RJS (who blogs at Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog) has embarked on another college ministry-related series! In this series, she’s been looking at IVP’s new book series “designed to help college students in a variety of disciplines integrate a Christian worldview into their approach to their discipline.” I’m highly intrigued by this series… especially because the second volume is purportedly about Psychology, my own undergrad major. To see RJS’s thoughts so far – not only about the book but about vocational integration in general, check out the first and second posts.

Leveraging technology for campus ministry: Brian Barela (who may be unmatched in using technology within college ministry) answers a simple Q about how exactly they do that at Campus Crusade Chico State.

Generation Y and mentorship from Tim Elmore: Tim Elmore posts a great couple of posts: a cool post on 8 things that have especially shaped this generation, and another on the scary potential downside of the incredibly large Millennial generation. He also has a unique mentorship opportunity in the New Year, perfect for the likes of us! Check it out here.

Resources for small group / missional group excellence: Kent Shaffer discusses learning about small group leadership from a 1874 book for Methodist small group leaders, The Class Leader: His Work and How to Do It. (You gotta appreciate a straightforward title like that!) Kent offers a couple of strong quotes but also links to online and PDF versions of the book! That’s a helpful reminder of something we (or at least, I) often forget: There are resources to be found on leading small groups, even if they’re not specifically written with college student leaders in mind. Meanwhile, college minister Heather Lodovico gives a big list of resources for particularly “missional” ministry (which her church practices heavily with University of Texas college students). And finally, Chad Logan offers some basic small group leadership tips here and here – helpful for new college ministers or any student leaders!

The Hybrid Student: Mark Warrington discusses a unique aspect of church-based college ministry: home-grown students who attend college locally (and thus are part of the ministry year-round) – as Mark calls them, “Hybrid Students.” As a former church college minister, I know how interesting this dynamic can be!

Good fodder for sharing the importance of college ministry: Russ Martin recaps Claude Hickman’s conference talk from Campus for Christ’s Eastern (Canada) Winter Conference – about collegians’ involvement in starting major missions movements! (LOTS of great links for further study here.) Meanwhile, Jon Nitta also highlights the connection between college students, young adults, and college ministry to many great Christian movements. Finally, Michael Armstrong offers a post in praise of Oak Manor Christian Church in Fayetteville, which has chosen to invest in ministering to college students. Good to point pastors, etc., to – whether they oversee your work, support your work, or should get involved!

Best of the blog & out-of-the-blue: Here at Exploring College Ministry, I’ve mostly been posting some “best” posts from 2009; you can see those here. But I did get to make a surprise visit to the Urbana conference in St. Louis, which gave me the opportunity to introduce readers to Urbana and InterVarsity: see those three posts here, here, and here.


[Click to comment / see any comments on this post!]


  1. Benson, you are doing a great job trying to get your head and heart around the macro issues facing campus ministry — there have been a ton of cultural change these past 10 years — it’s time to humble ourselves and get to know college students all over again — this can only be accomplished by direct contact, good connections, and great networks. My question as we head into 2010 is where are America’s most transformational college ministries breaking out? On campus? Off-campus? Online? — and who is doing the best job of leadership development and discipleship formation for the long-haul? Jesus lead on…

  2. thanks as always for the encouraging write-up!

    had a great time at the San Diego Winter Conference; am now headed to Denver to check out another region’s conference.

    read your tweets on urbana; sounded really enjoyable.

  3. Thanks, guys! Brian, I’m glad you get to go see another one. It’s been a blast hanging out at the DFW WC – I’m back for the last main day tomorrow!

    Daniel, those are great questions. One of the problems our field seems to have right now is answering them – since “transformation” is best evaluated by examining the long-term effects of our work. We don’t do much long-term evaluation at all, but anything less may lack in validity.

Leave a Reply