Archive for June, 2013

College Students and Faith Trends

Posted 19 Jun 2013 — by nick
Category Blogs, Friends, GCM, Illini Life, Jesus, Ministry, News, Spirituality

A good friend and co-laborer of mine, Alan shared this article with me. I found it interesting – not surprisingly because it’s a topic near to my heart and calling – college students and their faith journey. The article claims that college isn’t quite the “faith shredder” it’s been made out to be; claiming students are 2.7 times more likely to say their beliefs were strengthened in college rather than weakened. A researcher speculates why this might be:

kid-prayingProfessor Smith observes three primary and very interesting reasons why the university is not the faith-shredder we imagine it to be:

1)    The increase in presence and effectiveness of campus-based ministries like Campus Crusade, InterVarsity, and Young Life.

2)    The increase of relativism and the decline of strict scientism, which allows for discussion of faith and spiritual speculation, similar to what Paul experienced at the Aeropagus.

3)    An increase in committed evangelical and Catholic faculty at secular universities in America who can serve as an encouragement and balance for Christian students.

Point number one is the most affirming to Amy and I. The work we’re called to do and giving our lives to is making an impact. Campus ministry is to blame for strengthening the faith of those that come to college. Now we just need to see numbers on students coming to faith in college. We have our own experience to measure against but would love to see wider stats on what is happening on college campuses.

Jesus Loves Campaign

Posted 10 Jun 2013 — by nick
Category GCM, Illini Life, Jesus, Ministry



Just before the semester ended a few of the other missionaries I work with and myself helped our students pull together an outreach project we called “The Jesus Loves Campaign.” It was the capstone project for a core group of students we had been working with throughout the Spring Semester in a Monday night class we called Learning Lab. Each week we’d gather and talk about ways to be intentional in building relationships, ways to be authentic in sharing our faith and how we might better bring Jesus to campus.


The Jesus Loves Campaign came out of a brainstorming night we facilitated in an attempt to empower our students to think about how to reach campus. We created a website, a promo video, social media blitz, t-shirts and finally a giant board that we assembled on the main quad. As students came and went to class on Friday we asked them to stop and share “who or what they thought Jesus Loved.” Our intention was to flip the conversation we often hear on the Quad that “God Hates…” and ask “Who does God love?” It was also intriguing to see how students enjoyed sharing their thoughts and how for some that opened a door for their curiosity to ask what we thought about the question.


Have a look at the website we created and watch the video. We’re trying to fine tune this way of engaging campus and hope to be doing more of this kind of thing in the Fall when students return.