Talking with other campus ministers, we want to share the importance of this type of ministry. It is our prayer that college students will grow in faith and have a church family that will support them in that journey. Here is some insight from Boo Scott, campus minister for University of Oklahoma at Westside Church of Christ.
Why do you think campus ministry is important?
Aw man, I could go on and on about this one. I believe it’s important because college students are searching for truth and purpose in life like no other age group. They have an intense desire to learn deeper spiritual truths and need to be fed the meat of the Word to grow and mature in their faith.
My experience has been that those students who don’t know Christ are essentially trying to be their own savior through success in their careers and their academic achievements. They quickly realize that success in this world doesn’t lead to peace and happiness, so they are searching for something more. I believe whole-heartedly that it is our duty to show them the One who can bring them true peace and happiness through His love for them.
The college mission field needs laborers. Unfortunately, the laborers are few and this ministry is neglected within the church. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:14
I believe that college students who are faithful disciples on state campuses are the key to a successful ministry. They are the ones with the relationships and connections on campus. These Christian students need more resources and leadership within the church to help them be successful in reaching out to lost students.
Of all the obstacles that college students deal with, what do you see as being the most prevalent?
There are three that are prevalent. Sex, pornography, and alcohol.
There are also other things besides sinful activities that hinder college student’s spiritual growth. I believe that Fraternities and Sororities on state campuses are hindering and preventing these students from becoming involved in church groups and forming relationships with like-minded disciples. The appeal and pull of these organizations often outweighs the appeal and pull of campus ministries. Well-meaning and faithful students have often been pulled away from the church because of the experiences that they have in the Greek system.
Any resources you recommend for students at the university level?
Most universities have some sort of “Faith-Fair” or something similar to help students find organizations and ministries that will help them grow and stay faithful in college. Students can also look up a list of student organizations on the campus website and find groups that are associated with the church. Besides that, I would recommend that students start reading an abundance of religious books to help strengthen their faith while they are pursuing their degree.
Advice to youth ministers and parents as they prepare their child for college?
Go visit a church near campus. Get information about the college ministry in that area. If there isn’t one, start thinking about starting one. If there is a college ministry in that area, get plugged in, work hard, and help to make it stronger and better. You won’t regret your time in the ministry and you will form relationships that last a lifetime.
Boo Scott is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University. He has been working in campus ministry for 9 years, all with the Westside Church of Christ.
Join us as we continue to pray for college students and their faith!