welcome to the new school year! (what?)

Welcome to the new school year! All the students are back (or soon will be), all the ministry plans have been detailed, and you’ve got a fresh canvas on which God wants to paint something amazing in your college ministry this year!

…pardon me?

While most of us see this week in our college ministry as something like Week 4 (a.k.a. We’re Finally in the Groove Week), there are lots of college ministers – including in some very major schools – who are getting underway. Now. They’re many of the schools on the Quarter System, which divides the school year into thirds (with a fourth quarter in the summer). In most cases, that school year starts about now, has a much shorter Winter Break, and ends later than other schools.

So if my opening paragraph seems like a blast from the past to you, don’t forget that for many, it’s apropos indeed.

One of the guys in the college ministry I volunteer in has a cousin on Campus Crusade staff at UCLA. He mentioned that UCLA is getting underway this week – and it’s true. Campuses like UCLA, Stanford, Ohio State, Drexel, and others are starting this week. (And I noticed UW doesn’t start classes until September 29th!)

UCLA’s classes start this Thursday, with a whole host of first-week activities (like tomorrow’s second annual Volunteer Day). If you’re interested in a stroll down Welcome Week lane to see how UCLA pulls of an activities fair, service day, etc., they’ve got a great article with a lot of links.

And the very fact that some of you might have time to surf through the various sites at the UCLA web page reminds us that we happen to be well into our semesters, well past the craziness of those first weeks. But some college ministers out there are just getting started, and NOW is their craziness.

So we can pray for them. We can send some messages of support. We can go visit or even go help (if we’re nearby a Quarter System campus). And we can be reminded that the world of college ministry is a wide, wide world indeed!

Quarter System people, you are a major part of our world. And while we may have been jealous of your enjoyment of several more weeks of summer, we’re behind you heart and soul as you join us in the 2010-2011 school year. We hope it’s absolutely amazing!

Picture: The Anteater tribe of UC Irvine is one of many Quarter System schools getting started this week.


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  1. did a double take reading this morning, benson… uc irvine is where i serve! :0)

    yes, everyone should experience the craziness (and sometimes grind) of welcome week. it is like nothing else.

  2. I bet it’s even crazier knowing you’ve got to do all the welcome week stuff and immediately assimilate – since there’s only 10 or so weeks of ministry!

    Thanks for serving college students – we haven’t forgotten you Quarter System people! :)

  3. Seth

    Ohio State- where I’m at- is moving to semesters in the Fall of 2012, as are many or all of the other universities on Ohio that are on the quarter system. Are quarter system universities in other states changing as well in the next few years?

  4. Seth, as far as I know, the others are holding strong. But I’m not sure I would necessarily hear about it if there was a change. I did know about Ohio – and it’s smart of the whole state to change at the same time.

    After you guys change (if nobody else does), then the Quarter System schools will all be scattered about – except for those on the West Coast. Between most of the UC system, UW, and (I think) some others, they’ve got quite a few on Quarters out there.

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