partnership via a “sister campus”

In the last post, I pushed us to consider long-term partnership. The post below is one of my more unique suggestions along this line… and very worth exploring for the new semester!

Does your college ministry have a “sister campus”?

This means partnering outside your normal realm – whether it’s across town, across the state, across the country, or even across the world. And like “sister cities,” having a sister campus provides an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship, a relationship that could end up pretty fruitful (and fun) for your own college ministry.

Maybe it’s just quickly “adopting” a college campus (or a collegiate ministry at another campus) across the state or across the country. Or maybe a bond forms through the years.

the how: how you might establish a “sister situation”

  • By proximity. I originally pondered this Fridea after discovering that my pals at the University of Arkansas Baptist Collegiate Ministry had developed a ministry relationship with John Brown University, an interdenominational Christian college about half an hour away. What about your campus? Are there any schools or college ministries nearby that might allow for prayer walking, parties together, ongoing cooperative ministries, one-time service projects, etc.?
  • By encounter through your ministry events. When I last directed a college ministry, I hoped that one day we might connect with another campus on a mission trip powerfully enough that we’d want to continue that relationship. That’s one example of how two college ministries could form a “sister campus” bond. Other ministry activities – of your students, of your church, etc. – could make the way for “adopting” a campus in a different city.
  • By random relationship. You never know, but a sister campus could pop up on you by surprise; it’s your job to make impactful use of the relationship! When I was in Abilene, Texas, for example, we saw several students transfer between Hardin-Simmons and the University of North Texas (a few hours away); that’s a potential chance to form a sister campus relationship. Or maybe your students will “catch” your own passion for your alma mater, and a bond with that campus could form. Or maybe there’s a particular “fan contingent” within your group that cheers for a particular state school. Whatever the case, your sister campus might be sitting right under your nose.

If this is still fuzzy, don’t worry. Tomorrow, I’ll expand on what we can do in this newfound sisterhood, and some final thoughts on how to be especially fruitful!

After first visiting the beautiful Boston College (pictured above) in 2003, I’ve always thought BC would make a cool sister campus for a ministry.

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