Yesterday I had the fun chance to traipse around North Dallas to a few lesser-known schools around these parts. I hadn’t really seen the campuses of any of these schools yet, so it was fun to check ’em out (they all had some definite charm).
But more importantly, it was good to be reminded of beautiful campus tribes like these.
Because these aren’t big schools. They don’t make the news or the ESPN highlight reels. And at least two of the three are attended by students on a “less traditional” path – and by noting that, I’m not in any way saying it’s a lesser experience. It’s just less traditional, especially for most of us who work in college ministry.
It’s easy for us to overlook these campus tribes, in other words, and to think mainly in terms of four-year, secular schools.
[Since most of you are probably unfamiliar with DCC… It’s not a large Christian school – just a few hundred students, apparently, associated with the Independent Christian Churches (which don’t have as major a presence in Texas as they do in some other places). That’s why it fits this list: We may be good about reaching out to larger Christian schools, but what about the many smaller denominational (or otherwise Christian) schools that dot the landscape of the campus tribes?]
They’re not going to be easy to reach well. For many of these tribes, churches may need to step up and fill the gap. In other cases, campus-based ministries may need to intentionally plant new ministries, even sending some of their top-notch staff, volunteers, or student leaders to find ways to impact. In other cases, those newly called to college ministry will need to consider coming here… instead of to that big campus you grew up hearing about.
This is one of the areas I hope we’ll march toward as the whole field of college ministry advances. Because we need to impact the thousands in schools like these around Dallas. (And wherever you live, too.)