college ministry books (by popular acclaim)

In a severely disjointed field, it’s rare for the “cream” in collegiate ministry to rise to the top. Even though a resource, a practice, or an idea might be extremely valuable, organizational and regional lines often keep exposure limited.

While that is quite a bummer, a silver lining is that it produces a pretty handy way to recognize the best of the best: by noticing the very few items that do get praised broadly. When something is known and loved broadly in our diverse and disconnected ministry field, it really must be remarkable. (In fact, I just told somebody recently that I can usually only endorse something if I’ve personally seen its value OR it has received acclaim from a broad array of college ministers.)

So today, I want to present two books that seem to have received that acclaim (although I’d love to hear your opinion, too). And then, a bonus: a brand-new book released by an author who has received that sort of broad acclaim before!

Funding Your Ministry

Scott Morton, a longtime staff member of The Navigators (since 1970!), published Funding Your Ministry in 1999 and revised it in 2007. (It’s been translated into Spanish, too!) It’s the product of his personal development of support-raising theology AND practice, and it’s been honed through sharing his thoughts over and over again.

If you have any involvement in raising money (for budget, for ministry, for trips, whatever), this seems to be a widely respected book on the topic!

Daws: A Man Who Trusted God

I’m not intentionally doubling up on The Navigators today, but Daws is probably the most well known biography of a college minister! This bio of Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, was published by Betty Lee Skinner back in 1974… so the book itself has been impacting for Christ even longer than its subject did. Awesome.

And on a personal note, I started reading this one last night. Finally.

Make College Count: A Faithful Guide to Life and Learning

Derek Melleby received this kind of broad acclaim after co-authoring The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness with Donald Opitz. Now, he’s just released Make College Count, a book that I’m certainly interested in checking out myself. (The book has a whole web page under CPYU here.)

For all of us who are college ministers, this sounds like a potential “win” for our freshmen, for those about to enter college (which we should be striving to help happen well), and even for ourselves – to get ideas for what we teach our students.


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