10 Reasons to Join a Campus Ministry

Easter is right around the corner, and if you’re like me, you might have not been to church since say…. Christmas? Sometimes it’s difficult to find a church that you really like and want to commit to every week. However, there are other ways to be involved with religion outside of church. For example, as a college student, you can join a campus ministry. 

1)  It will broaden your understanding of religion

One of the main goals of ministries is to further advance their participants knowledge of that religion; for Christian ministries, this is done through the study of the bible. This education is valuable to those of that religion, but even to those who do not follow it. I have a good friend who actually considers himself an atheist, but is more knowledgeable about religions than most people I know. 

 

2)  You will feel a part of something bigger than yourself

One of the most wonderful things about a campus ministry is the fact that most work is done for a greater good. It is a humbling feeling to contribute to something that does so much work on a large scale.

 

3)  You can establish accountability for yourself

A campus ministry should be a support system; students encouraging and supporting each other through these years together. Whether these relationships serve to help you get through a stressful academic semester, or help you overcome personal issues, a ministry is there to help and guide, not judge and condemn. Through these relationships, you can find people with similar values as you who can help push you to follow through with commitments and stay true to yourself.

 

4)  It will help keep you grounded.

I remember always being told when I left for college, “You just have to make sure you go to class.” But in actuality, you also have to take care of yourself, look out for your friends, keep in touch with your family, do your laundry, exercise etc. Having a support system helps keep you focused and organized; it’ll make it easier to prioritize everything in your life.

 

5)  You’ll have some humbling experiences

A core aspect of most ministries is volunteer work, also known as “missions.” One of my uncles gave my cousin a piece of valuable advice when she left for college. He told her to get involved in volunteer work. It’s easy to get caught up in your own life and let yourself stress about the small things. Being exposed to what others are dealing with and their needs is an effective way to put your own problems in perspective. Personally, I think every college student should find a way to be involved in some sort of volunteer work, and many students do.

 

6)  You’ll get outside of your comfort zone

That might sound intimidating—to get out of your comfort zone—but frankly, that is what college is all about. This is the time in your life to do things that are not easy, that are not even comfortable. You might have to work with people you barely know, to do a task that you’ve never attempted, all for people who you might not relate to. And you know what happens afterwards? Not only have you gotten to know your fellow peers, but you’ve also learned something new, and you have taken one step further to understanding the community.

 

7)  You’ll get involved in the local community

Although a significant part of ministries’ mission work is organized through trips to areas farther away, there are often many volunteer projects near the city/town. It’s easy to have the attitude that you don’t need to become immersed in the local community, because for most students it isn’t their hometown. However, there are many opportunities that arise through meeting local people, and it is important for you to give back to the place that provides for you.

 

8)  It can improve your self-worth.

Being in college can often become a time full of self-doubt and uncertainty. Am I going to graduate on time? Will I lose my scholarship? Am I even in the right major? Will I graduate at all? Do I even have the money for this? The media has discussed the growing cases of depression and anxiety-related cases in adolescent and college-age students. This is associated with all the added stress of the future in a society where jobs are competitive, and education is obscenely over-priced. College can be a difficult time to feel confident, or even happy.

How can being in a campus ministry help this? If you find a ministry that fits you and your values, you should feel the support of your fellow peers. You should feel valued for the time and work you have put into your faith and your community. You’ll be appreciated for being you, without preconceived expectations.  

 

9)  You’ll learn new things

Going into a new community will provide numerous opportunities for growth. You’ll learn more about that particular religion, but also more about the community, your peers, society, and even yourself.  

 

10)  You’ll deepen your spirituality

Whether or not you invest in the ideals of a certain religion, being involved with a ministry will introduce you to ways of worship and allow you to see other people active in their faith. Even if you don’t end up believing in everything about that religion, you can still grow spiritually. For example, maybe you can’t accept ideas such as immaculate conception, but you have finally found a space and time in your life for prayer and reflection. Maybe you’ve become more appreciative of the small things such as a nice spring day, or a call from your mom. Maybe you’ve become inspired to at least try new things and search for a little bit of faith of some kind.

 

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