Campus Ministries Cater to Student Interests

( [email protected] ) May 01, 2004 03:23 PM EDT

College students nowadays have so many campus ministries to choose from. Whether they are into sports, singing or dancing, campuses usually have an extensive list of ministries that cater to many of their interests.

"Our students come from every kind of background - Catholic, Methodist and everything in between," said the Rev. Benjamin Wells, chaplain of Methodist College in Fayetteville, N.C., and coordinator of church relations. "We try to make sure there is a variety of offerings and that students have a place to go to find something to connect with their hearts."

Wells explained the importance of having a “support network - emotional and spiritual - for the student”. The Campus Ministry can provide “an outlet for the student to grow in their faith and grow in their relationship to God and the scripture,” according to Wells.

One of the largest campus ministries at Methodist is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a fellowship created for but not limited to athletes that meets Tuesday nights.

Mike Ippolito, president of the FCA chapter for two years at Methodist College, described FCA as being a place people can come to be accepted. Music at the FCA meetings is provided by a band and message by guest speakers.

"It's a laid-back time where people can have fun and learn about God,” said Ippolito.

Students in the college’s Professional Golf Management Program can join the In His Grip Bible study group or if they like singing the gospel choir is always an option.

There is also services on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. or on Thursdays at 7:17 p.m., which was chosen randomly by the school to help students remember the time.

Methodist College is not the only campus that allows for spiritual growth. Weekly study groups for are available at all the colleges in the region, including Fayetteville State University.

Chosen Generation Campus Ministries, the lead organization of several affiliate groups at FSU, schedules “an event or activity fellowship or ministry-wise that would impact the whole community or university”, according to the founder, Judson “Bishopp” Fraley.

Like any other campus group, Chosen Generation Campus Ministries is where students can study the Bible and have fellowship. Wednesdays are reserved for Bible study while on Sunday nights the students meet for “Sunday Night Live” fellowship. There are also weekly Bible discussions called ''Basic Training''.

The 63-member fellowship also gives students the opportunity to share their faith through a variety of artistic expressions such as step team, modeling troupe, vocal ensemble, drama troupe and dance team. All those talents fused together to produce the ministry’s biggest projects, “And They Call Themselves Saved”, a play that Fraley said “was a comical look at the older generation through the new-age Christian life”.

"Ministry is a service to others," said Frayley, who wants his group to become a refuge for all people.

"People are away from home,” said Ippolito of college students, “And to have other friends and just to fellowship with other people is important.''