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I'm posing this question to see if we can get a bit of discussion going -- it doesn't look like this region of The Network as been very active.  Just to be fair, I want to be clear that I think some campuses and some campus ministers more naturally lead to one sort of ministry than the other.  Both ministry to Christians AND an evangelical posture can be God's calling.  But do CRC campus ministers prefer one over the other?  Which position dominates?  Why?  Are we being faithful to God's current calling in what we do?  Is there perhaps a third or a fourth and fifth position?  Are CRC campus ministers mostly folks who stand in the gap between high school faith and adult faith for Christian students, encouraging them to articulate a coherent world and life view?  Or are CRC ministers becoming people who are a sign post for a Christian faith that does not reject intellectual challenges -- and as such engaging nonbelievers on campus to start following Jesus?  Have we become so leery of the label "evangelical" that we hesitate to serve as evangelists?  


There was a time when CRC campus chaplains were seen as on-campus babysitters for our tender CRC teens who headed off to college or university. It was quickly discovered that the vast majority of CRC freshmen on the 'secular' campus simply wanted to discover life, perhaps even skip worship, and not become immediately connected to the campus chaplain's office.

Today's campus chaplain is, firstly, a Christian presence on campus for the broadly ecumenical student body. The campus chaplain's office is the place where students (re)discover their spiritual identity and become engaged in meaningful discussions as they try to connect their Sunday faith with their university campus setting.

You pose the question: Are CRC campus chaplains mostly ministers to Christians on campus or mostly evangelists on campus? The answer is Yes!  ;o)

I think that chaplains provide a nurturing environment for Christian students who want to continue to grow in the faith but they also provide a nurturing environment for not-yet Christian students who are searching their own spiritual direction.

Should chaplains be sidewalk evangelists on our university campuses? I certainly hope not. That's not our Reformed style.

Students expect to become engaged in an intellectual discourse ... whether it's their area of academic interest or their own spiritual journey.

I suspect that the campus minister's life is a very lonely one. It is my hope and prayer that he or she has a strong support group within the local church communities and among clergy peers.

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