About Benson Hines and his college ministry explorations

After sixteen years in the field of College Ministry, I’m focused on serving college ministers and advancing our work in every way I can.

I had worked with college students directly for eight years before I took a yearlong road trip to examine college ministry – in its various forms – throughout the U.S.. Since then, I’ve taken several other major trips, published a free ebook about what I’ve learned called Reaching the Campus Tribes, been used by various ministries in speaking and consulting roles, and otherwise invested in helping College Ministry thrive.

Since 2007, I’ve visited 300+ campuses and discussed college ministry with several hundred individual leaders.

Step by step, exploration by exploration, project by project, I’m serving those in our field and helping advance what we do.

If you’re new to this site…

  • For a brief bio of Benson Hines, keep reading this page.
  • To find out more, check out the row of links under the header.
  • To dive in to the 2,000ish blog posts, try the Blog Topics on the side.
  • Or just start reading the newest blog posts here!

You can also contact me here.

about Benson Hines

I’ve already had my share of ministry adventures. If what I’ve learned can serve others, then that’s what I’m aiming for.

After growing up in Dallas and coming to Christ at an early age, I made my way to Texas A&M University. Little did I know, but in that amazing ministry “incubator” of college, God was preparing me. The first adventure meant early graduation from college to head to West Texas for college ministry there. I ended up enjoying several years of college ministry out there and a stint as a full-time college minister at a big church in Dallas.

(From a ministry nerd perspective, it would come in really handy that I’d seen college ministry at a big state school, in a town with small Christian schools, and in a big metro setting.)

All the while, I was voraciously learning. (I’m a learner.) I went to seminary and got a theology degree there, but I also spent a lot of time mulling over all I was learning in practice, in conferences, and from my ministry peers. I even started road tripping – taking extensive trips across the country to further explore college ministry outside my own region and circles. On those trips, I attended college ministry conferences, found the joy of exploring college campuses, started meeting with campus ministers I might never have met otherwise, and even attended a revival in process at Asbury College.

Little did I know those college ministry-exploring road trips were simply God’s practice for what was coming.

Like many churches like it, that big church in Dallas was struggling to figure out its college ministry efforts. I had been the fourth college minister in four years, and my reign lasted a whole year – when they defunded the position entirely. So I sought the Lord about what came next.

And what came next was the yearlong road trip, and a wild experience that forever shaped me. On that trip, I observed college ministry throughout the United States – visiting 181 campuses and sitting down with 300+ leaders to learn from them and about their work. (I also spent weekends visiting churches – 165 weekend worship services, actually.)

After that yearlong trip, eight additional big road trips rounded things out – and now I’ve seen college campuses in every state but Alaska.

Throughout those years and adventures, I’ve learned a lot about trusting God. I’m not very entrepreneurial by personality, but I tried to keep saying Yes to whatever God showed me.

I’ve now blogged regularly about college ministry since July 2007, published that Reaching the Campus Tribes ebook (which I’d really encourage you to check out!), and was commissioned to write a book highlighting the work of one major college ministry, Chi Alpha on Campus. Among a variety of conference talks and consultations, I was also honored to be invited to lecture about collegiate ministry at Beeson School of Divinity and Dallas Theological Seminary.

When I was back home (between road trips) in Dallas, I started attending Watermark Church. And I actually now serve on staff as the Director of External Mobilization. It’s a great job, especially for a ministry processes nerd, and what it teaches me often applies to college ministry, too. I still care deeply about serving the field of college ministry – like I said, any way God allows. (If you want to see what I’ve been up to recently or how you can use me for your organization, click here.)

It was also through my church that I reconnected with a college buddy, Catherine…who became my wife in 2013. We have one daughter, Sophie!

education

B.A. in Psychology, Texas A&M University (Summa Cum Laude)

M.A. in Theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, with majors in Biblical and Theological Studies and the completion of a thesis.