My time here in Rolla, Missouri, has been great but short. I had hoped to spend more chatting time with these guys and gals from across the state, but my trip yesterday was… adventurous. But God was good, His people were good, and I made it in time to eat dinner, hang out a little, and speak.
After my talk, we got to have a really healthy time of Q&A. But the funny thing was, that time started out with 2 or 3 questions back-to-back-to-back about which I had very little to “report” from my travels around the country.
Because these college ministers were asking about certain college ministry issues – what we might call “mid-major” issues – that affect hundreds of ministries but don’t get discussed, thought about, dealt with, creatively addressed, or debated nearly enough. Here are some of these “mid-major” issues that came up in that Q&A time or in one-on-one discussions last night:
- Dealing with commuter campuses (and I brought up the fact that the “flow” of students actually differs among these campuses, too)
- 2-year schools (with only freshmen and sophomores)
- 2-year schools (with only juniors and seniors – yes, these schools exist)
- Students transferring out of our schools
- Students transferring into our schools
- Grad student ministry (I was able to point to InterVarsity as one org that has built a developed niche ministry for these students)
- Working with high school students in our college ministries (like those getting dual credit)
- Transitioning freshmen into college ministries (This one comes up pretty regularly, but we have yet to see any approach actually take a lot of ground in this area)
- Integrating well into the Campus community (This is somewhat prevalent – and some, like RUF, have made this a pillar. But this still receives little discussion by most, it seems.)
And that’s just what came up tonight. All around the country, there are campus ministries facing “weird” issues like these – issues that plenty of other college ministries might be oblivious to. (The campus tribes are diverse. The campus tribes are diverse. The campus tribes are diverse.)
Of course, I recognize that there may be national organizations and/or local ministries that have dealt with these things strongly and wisely. I’d love to know what they’ve found! But where can we read about their successes? Where are such vital-but-less-prevalent issues discussed and even debated? The College Ministry Journal we all subscribe to? (There isn’t one, just in case you didn’t catch the sarcasm.)
This is one more big reason I believe in helping the entire field of college ministry lurch forward – so that some of this very important issues can be collaborated on and addressed more and more brilliantly. Giddy-up!