When the PC(U.S.A.) was formed in 1983, both of the uniting denominations had recently completed higher education mission papers: the UPC in the U.S.A. in 1981, and the PC(US) in 1982. In 1986, a new study was commissioned for the united church. That report, "On Being Faithful: The Continuing Mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Higher Education was adopted in 1994.
Because of concerns that the success of parachurch campus ministries was reducing the impact of PC(U.S.A.), the 1998 General Assembly directed a church-wide mission strategy "for ministry to higher education". That strategy was adopted by the 213th General Assembly in 2001 as "Renewing the Commitment".
Our history has been to think anew about collegiate ministry every ten years or so. That means the 2010 General Assembly needs to direct a new study.
That got me to thinking about what has changed in the last ten years in college ministry.
2000. Before Facebook and texting. Back when only student's parents had cell phones. Before 9/11. Before the cultural awareness of other religions. Back when the denomination had a logo which said "Campus Ministry Touched Me" and we didn't think that might be icky. Back when going off to college probably meant that your faith practice declined. Back when the only wars we were fighting were the War on Drugs and the Culture Wars. Before Helicopter Parents. Before the denomination got out of ecumenical student ministries.
Yes somethings remain the same, but what a culture shift! In 2010 students still bitch about the food- but now they coplain becuse there aren't more than just one vegan and gluten free and organic and stir fry option.
So let's get on with thinking how ministry is changing, and how we can support and empower those who minister on our behalf with, for, and to college students.
2018 Conference - Creating Many Ripples Best Practices in Campus Ministry featuring workshops from the Campus Ministry Theological Exploration of Vocation Initiative* June 8...
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