upcoming opportunities for various college ministers

Since the point of this blog is to help the field of college ministry, I’m glad to share other things that will help – especially events and activities that I’ve experienced or will be attending myself.

In today’s case, I want to highlight a few opportunities in April and May that could be a helpful for various college ministers. (And if nothing fits you this time, you can always take a look at the last couple of posts – which have generated some cool conversations!)

Today’s highlighted events? A Missional College Ministry Lab in Brazil, a forum for church-based college ministers, and another forum for church-based college ministers! While each is connected to a denomination, there is definitely room for involvement from others (especially at the two forums).

Sao Paulo Postmodern Church Planting Lab

May 14-22, hosted by the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention; $850 for everything (including travel from the U.S.), sign-up due March 15th

This trip is a combination “Vision Trip” and training trip for college ministers to

  • experience collegiate and young adult church planting in Sao Paulo
  • learn more about transferable, missional campus ministry methods, in order to use them in our own contexts
  • and consider further partnership with these missionaries

A big aspect of this trip is the regular debriefings / training by Michael Frost, missional guru! But as I discussed this trip with its leader, Mike Lopez of the IMB, he emphasized that this is an experience, not just a week-long observation. As he put it in a recent email,

This is a “get up and go” adventure.  You will be on Sao Paulo campuses, at a student church that meets at Starbucks, at a  student church that meets in a pizza restaurant, at a student “house church”… Each day you will experience the work of IMB missionaries as you are challenged to do it yourself. Our guest speaker, author/teacher Michael Frost, will debrief our experience day by day as he teaches us effective strategies to touch the postmodern mindset.

Yes, this is primarily an SBC trip, which makes sense because it’s their mission organization and their funds. But I checked, and other groups might be a potential fit.

More info? You can ask me if you want, but it may be better to contact Mike via email: mlopez at imb dot org. (Or contact me, and I’ll forward his original email – with lots more info – to you.)

College Metro: a forum for church-based college ministers

April 15-17, hosted by The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY; $50, and there are potential scholarships available to help college ministers get there

College Metro is a longstanding annual forum for church-based college ministers – making it one of very few regular opportunities for those in that branch to collaborate and learn together. In fact, collaboration between college ministers is a special focus this year – although they’re also bringing in some cool seminary guys to speak at a couple of “plenary sessions,” too. Metro originated from and still draws mostly ministers from the Southern Baptist Convention, but the primary niche of this conference is church-based college ministry, not the denomination.

The two main speakers are well-known seminary profs and authors Russell Moore and Allen Jackson. But you’ll also get to collaborate with college ministers and college ministry thinkers like Dan Dewitt, Mark Coppenger, Dave Owen, Zach Allen, Brad Jones, Mark Lydecker… and there are other speaker-attendees in the works. (Whether you know these names or not, they include some really successful, long-term college ministers – which isn’t exactly common within church-based ministry!)

For more info, to ask questions, or to sign up, their site is at collegemetro2010.com. Or if you’d rather ask an “objective observer” about it, feel free to contact me. Since it’s something I’ve been to, I can speak from experience.

I have indeed been to College Metro for the past two years, and I know there are some really great people in that circle. This is a really great chance to collaborate with people that have seen real success in the really tricky endeavor called Church-based College Ministry.

Ascent Conference: a forum for church-based college ministers

April 16-17, hosted by the Ascent Network and the Annex college ministry of First Prebyterian Church, Boulder, CO; $35

This is one I already mentioned, but I wanted to throw it out there again, since I was on the subject. I encourage you to read the details right here – this too could be really profitable if you’re involved in church-based campus ministry.

Of College Metro or Ascent, which should you attend? Honestly, it kinda depends – so feel free to contact me, and I’ll shoot straight with you! But they have some key differences that should be obvious enough – everything from key audience to location.

Their web page is here or, like I said, you can read more from my perspective here.

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