College Ministry in Upper New York
College can be one of the most critical times in a young person's life. The United Methodist Church offers many resources to support college students and to help annual conferences in their ministries to college students, whether the students attend a local college, live on a campus far from home or attend classes on-line.
These pages are an overview of the evolving Upper New York College Ministry resources, including the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry's publication, So What About God Now that You're Off to College.
College Ministry At-A-Glance
College ministry provides one the most important arenas to address the need for young lay and clergy leaders in The United Methodist Church. It is one of the most critical vocational discernment periods in a young adult’s life, so college ministries are one of the best opportunities to raise the possibility of a church-related vocation.
A survey on the spiritual lives of college students found that in 2004, more than two-thirds of 112,000 freshmen surveyed said they prayed, almost 80 percent believed in God, and nearly half said they were seeking opportunities to grow spiritually. The survey was by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.
More than 17 million college students attend more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States. The United Methodist Church serves only about 350 of those campuses through its campus ministry programs.
Public colleges and universities in the U.S. educate more than 14 million students and campus ministry is the only inroad the United Methodist Church has to many of those students.
Professional development for campus ministry personnel is a significant part of this budget. A major initiative is being developed to provide training for the credentialing of campus ministers. The United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) supports the United Methodist Campus Ministry Association (UMCMA), especially through a biennial event which provides opportunities for training and professional development.
GBHEM’s Campus Ministry Section is also working with annual conferences to develop tools to evaluate and review campus ministry programs for their effectiveness.