Meatier matter from the College Ministers Cohort and the Catalyst Conference will likely come later this week – not only by me (hopefully), but as I point to others’ learnings, too.
But this blog should also report our successes as a field. And I would honestly say I think the College Ministers Cohort at Catalyst was a helpful experience for the field of College Ministry. We can celebrate that! Plus, as God brought it all together, all kinds of great resources rose to the surface – so I’m linking those below!
(If you want to see our official program from the Cohort, you can download it here.)
by the numbers
- 120ish attended Thursday’s college ministers lunch
- 150ish attended Friday’s college ministers lunch
- 30ish stayed an extra day to attend the College Ministers Debriefing
- college ministers from about 15 different states
By the time we actually got to Catalyst, it looked like we might have that sort of response. But until about two weeks ago, I was guessing we’d have 80 or so attend. So it was thrilling to see just how many college ministers cared about coming together during an already pretty FULL conference, to meet each other, eat together, and view Catalyst through “college ministry lenses.”
by the sponsors
Another encouraging factor was the number of sponsors who made a statement that they want to support the field of College Ministry. Look at these lists:
Financial Sponsors of the Cohort
- International Mission Board (IMB Students)
- Focus on the Family (Young Adults)
- Financial Peace University
- Future Marriage University
Additional Sponsors of the Cohort (via giveaways)
- IMB Students / OneLife (gave a giveaway satchel)
- Financial Peace University (gave free trials of their online collegiate curriculum)
- Baker Publishing Group (gave copies of The Outrageous Idea of Christian Faithfulness)
- NavPress (gave copies of a few different books)
- CruPress (gave decks of the Perspective Spiritual Conversation Cards)
- Threads Media (gave several different collegiate / young adult Bible studies)
- Moody Publishers (gave copies of Generation Ex-Christian)
- The Hub (gave various DVD Bible studies)
- Growing Leaders (gave various books)
- Focus Leadership Institute (gave bags)
- Hole in the Roof design company (gave water bottles and pens)
- CCO / Jubilee Conference (gave a major conference discount to attendees)
Hospitality Awesomeness came from…
- Catalyst (who from nearly the very beginning offered their support)
- Georgia Baptist Convention (who hosted our Thursday and Friday lunches)
- 12Stone Church (who hosted – and also provided! – our final lunch)
Do you see those three lists? Look how many! Look how many major organizations! It is no small thing that these groups would get involved with a gathering of college ministers – even while many of them already had booths at the larger Catalyst Conference.
You can click on the links to see these groups and the opportunities / giveaways these sponsors presented. Nothing was frivolous; each sponsor gave things that were truly appreciated and that I’d encourage you to learn about.
And if you want to help our field (and help these groups continue to be involved), please let them know you appreciate the support!
by the by
I know that the Catalyst organizers themselves noticed our little ol’ Cohort – particularly because after all was said and done, it wasn’t little after all! Our turnout was apparently larger than at least several of the other cohort-ish lunches, gatherings, etc., dotted throughout the week. And we “did it big” twice! Our Cohort attracted the attention of other Christian organizations besides Catalyst, too.
From everything I could tell, the sponsors seemed genuinely happy to have been a part of this, too. I felt their presentations to our group were spot-on, with college ministers throughout the room recognizing that these sponsor-speakers understood their needs and had something significant to offer. A couple of sponsors (MJ from Future Marriage University and Ian from NewChapter) also took the opportunity to stay for the Saturday debriefing and contributed wonderfully.
Ultimately, I hoped that this Cohort would add value to the Catalyst experience for those in our field. I know it sure added value to my time, and hopefully it did for everybody else. And as I said above, I honestly feel like these sorts of thing help – in their own way – to advance our field as a whole. Hooray!