a summer opportunity for college ministry training (& a few next week!)

The other day, I wrote about the value of attending college ministry training – especially when it comes from outside our “circles.” (See my 4 tips on enjoying conferences outside your circle.) And sometimes we’re not even aware of the opportunities offered within our circles!

I plan to start letting everyone know about open options for college ministry training. (So if you know of some, PLEASE let me know the details – I’m not always aware of events, nor sure if “outsiders” are welcome. Fill me in!)

I know you might have plans this summer already, or have a zillion other objections. But please at least consider widening your circle of collaboration. I really believe you’ll be VERY glad you did – and that you’ll be a better college minister because of it!

First: Events Next Week!

I recently blogged about two upcoming events (especially for church-based college ministers): College Metro (in Louisville) and the Ascent Conference (in Boulder). Both are at the end of next week, and both could be excellent. You can read my synopsis of Metro in the middle of this post and of the Ascent Conference right here. I’ll be attending Ascent, so maybe I’ll see you there!

But another training opportunity next week – for ALL college ministers – won’t even require leaving the house! I’m honored to be one of the hosts for Campus Crusade’s Blogference, held from the 13th through the 15th. I’ll post more later this week, but I encourage you to check out the details here – and SCHEDULE a little time to participate in this innovative opportunity!

The Biggest Might Be the Best Option: National Collegiate Week
august 8-13, 2010 · near Santa Fe, NM · $58 program fee

In my opinion, there’s nothing better when attending a campus ministry conference, than being virtually assured of learning NEW things and being scratched exactly where you itch.

There are benefits that come with the size of a conference, and National Collegiate Week trains dozens of college ministers AND several hundred students each year. Most importantly for attendees, that means lots of options among various training seminars. (When the newest conference program – listing all the breakout options – is released, I’ll let you know. It’s one of the best advertisements for the value of this conference.)

The size also allows this conference to invest in its session speakers, worship band, and other presentation elements. For one thing, if you’ve never heard David Platt preach… now’s your chance to be stunned.

While my focus here is training for college ministers, NCW is fundamentally designed for students. Besides big-time training, there are powerful morning and evening worship sessions and lots of fun in the afternoons. With the substantial college ministers’ track on top of all this, it’s really a very comprehensive college ministry conference!

This conference is sponsored by the Threads group of the Southern Baptist Convention, but ALL are invited – and the training and activities are quite accessible regardless of your affiliation. (Historically, they’ve given away lots of great freebies, too.) Even if you can’t take students, the college ministers’ track is valuable all on its own – for the chance to LEARN LEARN LEARN and connect with fellow college ministry learners, too. Because the SBC has the most widespread denominational campus ministry in the country, it has lots of solid men and women willing to share their wisdom – from campus-based ministry, church-based ministry, Christian colleges, and collegiate churches.

While I missed last year’s conference and Threads has made some major shifts in how the SBC approaches college ministry, I’ve been in touch with those in charge – and it sounds like Collegiate Week’s general (excellent) format remains intact. Honestly, I’d be surprised if you didn’t feel this conference was valuable.

More at the National Collegiate Week web page. And feel free to ask me any questions directly; I’ll be glad to give you an honest assessment of how much you or your group might get out of this conference.

If you’ve got something to share about National Collegiate Week (positive or negative), let us know in the comments!

And stay tuned for more summer training opportunities, from various groups!


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  1. Jim

    Benson, great PR here dude! This is going to be my 1st time there, and I can’t wait! I hear so much about this event every year, I’m just thankful that I’ll get to be there this year. And you’re right, Threads rocks! I’m bringing 2 vanloads of my students, talk about a roadtrip from up here in Ohio! Let’s make sure we hook up over some coffee while we’re there!

  2. Benson Hines

    Awesome, Jim! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

    I’m not sure if I’ll get to make it to this one this summer or not, but that’ll be neat if it works out money & schedule-wise…

  3. We have always taken our students to National Collegiate Week as it is done very well and never gets stale. Threads is a thriving young adult/college resource that I use all the time (plus they give me free stuff!) and they don’t disappoint with the content. Many of my leaders advertise for me for this conference because of how good it is for networking, learning, growing and meeting other students who are dealing with the same issues. I highly recommend this conference especially if you are new to college ministry (they have a “new college ministers” track that was and still is very helpful to me).

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