pillars of excellence
What does it take to build and sustain an excellent Catholic campus ministry program? The Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA) lists six pillars:
Building intentional Community
As the college years are more difficult than ever before, campus ministry programs work to build communities where students belong. These take many forms and expressions, ranging from mid-week Mass and dinner to the utilization of small groups. Friendship is a skill that many campuses are (re)teaching in order to counteract the effects of a decade spent using a smartphone.
sharing the catholic faith
As Sherry Weddell says, "God has no grandchildren". In other words, we cannot presume that students entering as freshmen have any foundation of faith. Just because they may have been raised Catholic doesn't guarantee that their faith will be strong as young adults. Campus ministry programs must proactively reach out and engage students in their Catholic faith. The campus is the modern-day mission field.
College students often lack a clear understandings of right and wrong. Campus ministry programs look for ways to invite students to ask tough questions in environments where they can be heard. Conscience may be formed through one-on-one conversations, study, spiritual direction, service opportunities and small group discussions.
serving the poor
As the world is increasingly global in its economic and social makeup, campus ministry programs look for ways to help students become more responsible for their own actions and those of others. This education process takes many forms, often involving a consistent process of connecting students with the poor.
promoting a vocation mindset
The 2018 Synod on Youth reminds us of the importance of vocational dialogue with students. This dialogue encourages them to consider married, single, religious and ordained vocations within the Catholic tradition.
Student leaders take responsibility for their actions and help others be more full participants in the life of the Church. Campus ministry programs know that they are like launch-pads for young adults, propelling them into lifelong discipleship and responsible citizenship.