How much can college ministry really differ from campus to campus when you’re dealing with 18- to 22-year-olds? Quite a bit, actually, depending on your region of the country, the priviate or public nature of the school, and the religious foundation or ongoing commitment of the school.
Jon Nielson and Solomon Rexius (follow on Twitter) minister in two very different campus contexts (see their previous article, “Seven Questions for Two College Pastors”). College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, where Nielson works, stands next to Wheaton College, a private Christian school with about 2,400 undergraduate students. Rexius serves as college pastor at University Fellowship Church in Eugene, Oregon, one of the most liberal and unchurched regions of North America. He graduated from the University of Oregon, and most of the students in his ministry attend this public school of 24,000 students. So these two men lead college ministries in areas that appear to share little in common. But as you’ll hear from them, the gospel unites believers across geography, age, experience, and vocation.
I brought Jon and Solomon together to discuss the privilege of discipling college students in such varied settings. We explored how the gospel of Jesus Christ makes the goals and methods of their respective ministries quite similar. And we dove into the details of evangelism, social media, and retreats, along with the relationship between Christian campus ministries and colleges. Don’t miss their wisdom on how to encourage college students to serve in the local church and put them in contact with adult mentors.
Resources recommended by Solomon and Jon for students or college ministers included:
- ESV Study Bible
- The Reason for God by Timothy Keller
- The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and and Devotions by Arthur Bennett
- Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem
- College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture by Stephen Lutz
- One-to-One Bible Reading by David Helm
- What Is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert
- The Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne
- Knowing God by J. I. Packer
- God’s Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts