What does engaging the university look like? A recent IFES ministry evaluation identifies the following six activities.
You can see how each of these is a tangible commitment to the campus. It’s about ‘participation’ — not just ministry on campus, but ministry for and to the campus. It’s about bringing Christian presence into shared spaces rather than only creating and promoting Christian spaces.
Rather than being a distraction, these activities represent additional expressions of and opportunities for witness. As I’ve argued previously, this enhances our presence on campus. Through this thicker interface with the campus, we can start thinking about mission in terms beyond the rate of conversion growth.
- Christian students at both undergraduate and post graduate/research levels are encouraged to think in a Christian way about their academic studies and future work.
- Christian students and university lecturers openly address corruption, discrimination, exploitation and other forms of injustice on campus through dialogue, presentations, or any form of open expression.
- Christian lecturers/professors are practically involved in ministry as “mentors” or role models for Christian students.
- Student groups participate in workshops, seminars or causes on campus together with non-Christian groups to address issues of shared concern.
- Student groups are making the university a better place through practical service and encouragement through avenues such as serving in the department of student affairs, student clubs, committees in university, etc.
- There is a vibrant Christian witness at both undergraduate and research student levels.
Which of these have you been involved in, or seen in action?
Arthur Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.