When you hear the expression Campus Ministries, what comes to your mind? Maybe you think of a pastor who makes you sit down and force Bible verses into your brain that you won’t remember? At Hope College, Campus Ministries is more than that. Campus Ministries is a community that allows you to freely develop your spiritual and religious identity.
Hope is a Christian institution founded in partnership with the Reformed Church in America, but students of all faiths find their place. The goal of campus ministries is to develop students’ faith by encouraging them to learn and explore their religious identity. The mission of Campus Ministries is simple but vital: to bring together, nourish and send students to live an inclusive life in the world.
Campus Ministries develops students in discipleship, worship and integral missions. They offer students the opportunity to become leaders in small group Bible studies on campus. Campus Ministries brings these students together in training on their faith and helps answer any burning questions they may have. After participating in these programs, students can become leaders of their peers in Bible study groups, guiding them through reflective discussions. These small groups take place Monday through Friday.
Worship also plays a crucial role in the mission of Campus Ministries by bringing students together in a spirit of praise. During chapel, students sing and hear sermons to help them grow and rejoice in their faith.
Jennifer Ryden, a discipleship training chaplain, says students are in the prime hours of their lives. Having a space and a community that nourishes their faith and leads them is necessary to find their religious identity.
Living a life of faith is difficult, Ryden often says. We cannot do it alone; we need each other. We need encouragement from our peers, leaders and teachers. As we worship and learn the Bible, we also grow together and expand our perspectives.
Many students agree with this idea and say that they have chosen Hope because of its opportunities for spiritual growth. For these students, having a place that allows them to be themselves and express their faith is crucial to who they are.
As a result, many students join Bible study groups and are eager to learn. Abigail Musherure, a freshman at Hope, says she is thrilled to join a Bible study group because having a place she can go to read God’s word helps her every life. days. It helps to calm her anxieties in the face of the uncertainty we are all facing right now.
Besides small groups, Campus Ministries also organizes different events throughout the school year. Last week, for example, they helped organize a panel discussion that looked at how Christians should think about race.
Campus Ministries offers students more than a sermon. It is a community that supports Hope’s students by reminding them of who they are and what God says about them. It is a community that helps students worship and unabashedly express their faith.
How can you get involved in campus ministries?
- Meet at the Chapel on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
- Attend the Gathering, a Sunday evening service from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Connect with one of the small student-led Bible study groups
- Take part in a six-week group Bible study for skeptics led by Chaplains Jennifer Ryden and Nancy Smith
- Get involved with the student prayer team
- Meet chaplains who are excited to have in-depth, confidential conversations with students about faith and more
- Become a member of Chapel’s worship team or tech team
- Praise God Through American Sign Language (ASL) with Student Organization Silent Praise
- Join the sacred dance and praise God through the movement of your body
For more information and opportunities visit: https://hope.edu/offices/campus-ministries/