if we’re going to be missionaries, we all need a little missiology

I’ve argued time and time again that collegiate ministry is best understood as awfully similar – in practice and theory – to foreign missions. I argued that most fervently in my book, Reaching the Campus Tribes, but the parallels are pretty obvious to a good number of us who actually serve in this field.

But if we Evangelical college ministers are going to keep getting better at this, then learning our field is going to have to be part of that.

Of course, not all of us may be “wired” to be hard-core theorists, to explore deeply the work we do. But I honestly believe that ALL of us should be learners (as I’ve also argued plenty). Some of us may be more devoted to learning, more wired for learning, and more adept at learning. But I think every college minister should make up his or her mind to become better at this task as time goes on.

And we do that – in part – by thinking about our field. By exploring a little “College Ministry Missiology.”

I’ve had some neat chances to present some “missiology” of our field recently, and I’ll be sharing some of those thoughts this week. But this isn’t just an introductory post to that theme. It’s an attempt to ask one simple question:

Are you as faithful in learning about college ministry as you should be?

Hopefully I can offer a little something along those lines this week. But regardless, I hope we’ll see learning as a real part of fulfilling the ministries we’ve received from the Lord. Because if we’re not understanding our work better over time, are we really accomplishing all we were meant to?


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  1. hey benson, thanks for the question. i have been thinking about reviewing campus ministry resources over the years, and then writing a literature review, highlighting themes and then where we need to be researching and writing to fill some of the gaps that we have. I dont’ think there’s a college ministry journal, is there? Have you thought about doing something like this, or do you know anyone who is already working on it (perhaps if someone already is, i can just join in on their efforts).

  2. I couldn’t agree more – it’s definitely needed, and there isn’t one. I have thought about it for years, and that would certainly be high on my list of things that would be helpful to our field… if college ministers would be willing to read one. That’s a big if, for sure.

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