When you hear the phrase Campus Ministries, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think of a pastor sitting you down and forcing Bible verses into your brain that you will not remember? At Hope College, Campus Ministries is more than that. Campus Ministries is a community that allows you to grow into your spiritual and religious identity freely.
Hope is a Christian institution founded in partnership with the Reformed Church of America, but students of all faiths find a place here. It is the goal of Campus Ministries to grow students in their faith by encouraging them to learn and explore their religious identity. The mission of Campus Ministries is simple yet vital: to gather, nurture and send off students to live integrative lives in the world.
Campus Ministries grows students in discipleship, worship and integral missions. They offer students an opportunity to become leaders of small group Bible studies around campus. Campus Ministries gathers these students in training about their faith and helps answer the burning questions they might 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 happen Mondays through Fridays.
Worship also plays a crucial role in Campus Ministries’ mission by gathering students in the spirit of praise. During chapel, students sing and hear sermons to help grow and rejoice in their faith.
Jennifer Ryden, a Chaplain of Discipleship, says that students are in the prime time of their lives. Having a space and community that nurtures their faith and leads them is necessary for finding their religious identity.
Living a life of faith is hard, Ryden often says. We can not do it alone; we need each other. We need encouragement from our peers, leaders and teachers. By worshiping and learning the Bible, we are also growing together and expanding our views.
Many students agree with this idea and say that they chose 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 excited to join a Bible study group because having a place where she can go to read the word of God helps in her day-to-day life. It helps calm her anxieties about the uncertainty that we are all facing at this time.
Aside from small groups, Campus Ministries also organizes different events throughout the school year. Last week, for example, they helped host a panel discussion that examined how Christians should think about race.
Campus Ministries provides students with more than a sermon. It is a community that supports Hope students by reminding them who they are and what God says about them. It is a community that helps students worship and express their faith unapologetically.
How can you get involved in Campus Ministries?
- Come to Chapel on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
- Attend the Gathering, a Sunday night service from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Connect with one of the small student-led Bible study groups
- Be part of a six-week group Bible study for skeptics led by Chaplains Jennifer Ryden and Nancy Smith
- Get involved with the student prayer team
- Meet with Chaplains who are excited to have deep and confidential conversations with students about faith and more
- Become a part of the worship team or tech team for Chapel
- Praise God through American Sign Language (ASL) with the student organization Silent Praise
- Join Sacred Dance and praise God through the movement of your body
For more information and opportunities, visit: https://hope.edu/offices/campus-ministries/