the weirder models: a growth sector in collegiate ministry?

This week, I’ve been finalizing my lectures for a Dallas Theological Seminary class I’ll be teaching this week; it’s forced me to think through (and organize) some things I haven’t pondered in awhile.

One thing I noticed was the growth of my outline in the area of “Additional Types of Collegiate Ministry.” After I talk about the four branches of college ministry (campus-based, church-based, institutional, and collegiate churches), there’s a surprisingly large section on Additional Types:

  • Hybrid
    • Overseen like campus-based, but “housed” in churches
      • Campus Outreach
      • Some Coalition for Christian Outreach ministries
    • Church ministries that act campus-based
  • Individuals ministering independently
    • Local adults, professors / staff, outside speakers, outside evangelists
  • Niche-based
    • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
    • International Student ministries
    • Ethnic-specific ministries
    • Dorm-specific ministries
    • Major-specific ministries
      • Christian Medical & Dental Association is a national example
  • Complementary
    • City-wide (Campus-wide) Bible Studies
      • Breakaway at Texas A&M
    • Christian Study Centers
    • Senior Preparation
    • Dorm Bible studies
    • International Missions mobilizers
    • Veritas Forum

This is a teaching outline, so there will be plenty of room for “et ceteras” in there – these aren’t all the examples I could mention under each heading, I mean. (But feel free to remind me of some more types OR good examples!)

But what hits me here is how much room we have for growth here. I think groups like CCO and Campus Outreach have too unique a model to ignore, even if most of the country hasn’t heard of them (and, like other ministries, Campus Outreach has its detractors). I’ve been trumpeting niche-based opportunities for a long time; those approaches – or complementary styles – are options that probably aren’t considered enough as we start up collegiate ministries.

Just something I’m pondering – I’m sure the standard branches will continue to grow, and collegiate churches have their own “growth sector thing” happening. But it will be interesting to see where we are in ten years with some of these “alternative” models.

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