University/Campus Ministries?

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Casey

Puritan Board Junior
I came to know the Lord through the ministry of a para-church Christian campus organization. Since then, I have come to the conclusion that para-church organizations (such as the one I was previously a member of) often attempt to do what the church is supposed to do.

Basically, they fill the shoes of the church, and without accountability to the church, and within the unity of radically short doctrinal statements, conduct their business as though they were a church! (i.e., sometimes baptizing new converts, administering the Lord's Supper, conducting elaborate evangelism programs, and hiring "evangelists," etc.)

While I pray for the group I was a part of (and get their prayer letters, etc.), I am still nevertheless somewhat unhappy with their lack of church-connection. When I first joined, I was never instructed to join a church (and didn't for at least a year). When I did join, it was under my own initiative. So, something as basic as instructing new converts to join churches . . well, that apparently wasn't important enough to stress. Beyond that, these organizations often conduct their business with little or no interest in the visible church.

I am not surprised that a majority of college-age Christians who participated in such an organization wants to join a church with "praise & worship music" style singing -- and far value this "aesthetic" and subjective aspect of the church as more important than basic doctrine. Women-led coed Bible studies (in fact, the organization I was a part of greatly encouraged women leadership) are often very common . . even when "able-bodied" and willing men would liked to have lead. Well, you get my idea here.

Anyway, I wanted to ask about something. Certainly the largest campus ministries are not church-oriented. I know about the PCA's Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), and while I don't know too much about it, it seems to be so much more attractive to me -- seeing as how campus staff are trained and ordained (yes?) ministers of the Gospel. But now, the question: How many of you are members of churches that have some form of ministry on a university campus, and of what sort? A Bible study lead by your pastor or an elder? A car-pooling service just to help students attend your church?

Lord willing, when I graduate, I hope to be called to a church near a university (of course, I will go wherever he calls me!) so that I could minister on the campus . . I'd like to hear some ideas of how the church is ministering on campuses.

(I couldn't decide between placing this here or in the Ecclesiology thread.)
 

Casey

Puritan Board Junior
Note: I don't mean for this to be a discussion about parachurch organizations -- I mean it more to be a discussion about how churches are ministering on campuses (which then would not be parachurch). :bigsmile:
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
There is a church near where I live which is a mission work of the RPCNA which has a strong connection to Patrick Henry College (a college geared towards homeschoolers). The ministry reaches out to students quite a bit; the pastor -- who is one of my best friends -- does a lot with and for the students, including Bible study, prayer meetings, and regular visits with the students to a local nursing home.
 

Puddleglum

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm currently part of RUF. It definately is much better than the previous campus ministry I was part of (Campus Crusade)!

Yes, the ministers are ordained. They have to go through the whole process like any other minister would do at a church (except that the call is extended by the Presbytery - or at least the committee that's responsible for RUF, I'm not quite sure which).

There definately is a strong emphasis on the need to get involved with a local church. I don't know of any churches that have a "official" outreach to college students - though I do know that more than one has been invovled with RUF.

But if you've got any questions about RUF, etc. I'd be happy to try to answer them! :)
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
The OPC church I'm soon to join (5/14, d.v.) has a periodic outreach to a Baptist liberal arts college nearby. I think this consists mainly of setting up a booktable during orientation for the last several years, and maybe a few other things. There have been several (most if not all former Baptist) students who have joined over the past several years, two of whom (DraughtHorse and ExNihilo) have been active on the PB in the past, and of course Draught Horse is now at RTS instead of NOBTS. Whether their joining was a direct result of the church's "outreach", I don't know, since they joined before I started attending there regularly.

If nothing else, the outreach helps to raise awareness of Pineville Presbyterian and to emphasize that Presbyterian doesn't necessarily mean PCUSA, which is what most Baptists and others probably think of when they think Presbyterian.
 
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