COLLEGE MINISTRY PHILOSOPHY

COLLEGE MINISTRY PHILOSOPHY

BASIC STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

To address and meet the real needs of college-age adults in the

church and community, and to challenge them with the relevance

of the Christian gospel to 20th Century living. Additionally

to train and equip young people in order that they might be Christ's

ambassadors in the world.

THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATION

*Universality of God's love

*Mandate to make disciples of all people

*Emerging adults are searching for meaning and purpose

CHARACTERISTICS OF COLLEGE MINISTRY

*0ne of the most difficult groups to reach and involve

*Very little payback from ministry (i.e., money, attendance)

*Generally this age group (18-25) are not in church

CURRENT TRENDS IN YOUNG ADULTS (18-25)

1. Emphasis on self as opposed to others

*contrast to 60's/early 70's

*attempting to intensify experience of self

* focus on inward reality, i.e., psychoanalysis, astrology

2. Questioning of authority

*natural time of rebellion

*result of Watergate and other institutional failure

3. Lack of absolute values

*"anything goes" from sexual relationships to drug culture

* emphasis on exploration
*cafeteria style values

4. Collapse of commitment

*reflected in the decline of marriage
*50% live with partner before marriage
*open door policy in relationships

 

EARLY ADULT DEVELOPMENT (Levinson)

 

1. Time of transition (physically/emotionally)

*20-24 most mobile group in society
*46% move yearly

2. Time of high expectations

*in recent Gallup Poll, people stated that 18-29 were "best years of life"

3. Time of tension

*between dependency and independency

  1. few are economically independent, but they want total independence

  2. ambiguous situation with authority especially parents

*between security and adventure

  1.  have a need to develop stable life structure (responsible adults) but are encouraged to explore all options

*between traditional religion and personal faith

  1. looking for certainties

  2. feelings of rebellion towards traditional religious institutions (associated with rebellion against parents)

*between disillusionment and hope

  1. dreams of youth being subjected to reality

 

DEVELOPMENTAL TASKS OF EARLY ADULTS (Erickson)

1. Identity: Who am I?

  • begins in high school

  • critical task of self-identity

  • What do I believe? What are my values?

2. Intimacy: To whom am I significant?

  • establishing friendships – love relationships

  • high school friendships breakdown because of identity changes

  • forming new peer group

  • expectations of dating – marriage

 

3. Generativity: To what can I give myself?

  • transformation from concern for self to concern for others

  • biologically – procreating

  • What is worth giving to? What is important?

    • Finding career to "make life count"

  • dependent—>independent—>interdependent

 

FAITH DEVELOPMENT (Westerkoff)

1. Experienced Faith

  • learn to trust only through parents

  • learn to experience faith through parents

2. Affiliative Faith

  • learn to identify values of community

  • being a Christian is through affiliation

  • unquestioned authority given to church

3. Searching Faith

  • often begins in teenage years

  • exploration of theories of life

  • oriented around doubt-questioning

  • need to commit ourselves to people/causes

4. Owned Faith

  • conversion (brief or extended)

  • major change in perspective

 

IMPLICATIONS FOR MINISTRY

The needs of college-age people are both spiritual and emotional
and within the parameters as outlined above, this ministry should:

*help people to feel needed

*provide an atmosphere where question-asking is encouraged

*provide role models and mentors

*help people discover their identity as God's children

*provide for relationship building

*assist people in learning to serve others

*challenge them with relevance of the Gospel

 

PROGRAM AREAS

This ministry is naturally divided into two segments: the school
year (from September-May) and the summer months (from June-August).
Consequently, the emphasis of the following program areas may shift
depending upon the time of the year as well as the needs expressed by
the group.

College-Age Fellowship: A weekly gathering of young adults which
focuses on providing fellowship, sharing of needs, discussion of
current issues, small group interaction and Biblical input.

Small Group Discipleship: An opportunity for those who want to
learn about Christianity in-depth through the study of Scripture
and sharing with others. This program will seek to be present
on area campuses and within homes, and be led by college-age
individuals. These leaders will be instructed weekly by the
Pastor of College Ministry and will recruit participants within
their sphere of influence.

Special Events: This program is designed to provide opportunities
for new friendships and to expand the outreach of the ministry.
These functions include a variety of events ranging from social
gatherings to weekend retreats to community sponsored programs.

Mission: The college-age ministry seeks to provide young adults
with the opportunity to participate in various service and outreach
projects. These include world hunger programs as well
as local needs within the congregation and community.

Counselling: As college-age adults seek to understand their faith
and search for answers, the ministry emphasizes an open door policy
for those who want special assistance. This is accomplished through
not only the Pastoral staff, but also the adult leaders within the
college ministry.

Visitation: In order to maintain contact with students who go to
school outside of the area, the Pastor of College. Ministry
will visit various college campuses yearly.

College Leadership Team: A cadre of adults and college-age individuals
will serve as the leaders of this ministry area. This group will
meet monthly for training and planning, and will report to the
Christian Education Ministry.