A Call to College Ministry

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We are the Hunters, and this fall our family will start an Anglican college ministry at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette (pictured above). We are calling the ministry Campus Communion, because we serve the campus, proclaiming union with God and each other through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. You may be wondering why college ministry is necessary and important. How does it serve students? How does it serve the Church?

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College Ministry: Serving Students

Gen Z is growing up in a “post-Christian” nation. Most Christian denominations are shrinking, Christian influence on both politics and culture is waning, and society is becoming increasingly antagonistic toward those who hold to “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

Moreover, Gen Z has grown up with the distinctive challenges of our modern communications technology. By living much of their lives in a digital environment, college students become, as Octavio Esqueda says, “immersed in a web of divergent ideas and morality without the necessary time and maturity to reflect about them and respond appropriately.” This has led to staggering rates of depression and anxiety, as well as increasing confusion, particularly when it comes to the topic of “identity.”

Anglicans are well-positioned to serve Gen Z college students. With Scripture as our ultimate, unchanging rule of faith, we can provide solid ground amid the constantly shifting sands of this cultural moment by pointing to Christ, who “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The Daily Office and the Church Calendar can support this by providing a steady rhythm of prayer in the midst of the surrounding chaos and noise. 

The beauty of our sacramental life can draw eyes away from screens and to the glory of Christ through the tangible signs of his grace. And our emphasis on the communion of saints can woo the hearts of this lonely and isolated generation by bringing them into the life of the local church, where they can find support and wisdom from older Christians. 

College Ministry: Serving the Church

The Church benefits mightily from college ministry as well. Younger people bring with them an energy and zeal that the older generations often lack. Gen Z’ers in particular bring a strong entrepreneurial spirit and have an incredibly strong desire to belong to something that is bigger than them, and their ability to have unhindered time and focus on the life and ministry of the Church can—if guided wisely—do much in the advancement of the Kingdom. 

College ministry helps the church with one of its biggest challenges: attracting young adults. Less than 20% of the membership of most denominations consists of people 35 or younger. Those who are above 20% often have vibrant college ministries that connect students with a specific local church body. An excellent example of this is the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), sitting at 25%. Their college ministry, Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), meets students where they are and invites them into the life of a local PCA church.

Moreover, college ministry can become a training ground for the next generation of pastors and leaders. A solid campus ministry allows the current campus minister to develop his skillset, and it also identifies and empowers leaders within the student body itself. Again, Reformed University Fellowship is a great example; many RUF campus ministers and students go on to become PCA pastors and church planters.

The point is that strong college ministries are vital to the health and missional advance of the Church. We all want to avoid church decline, to resist the slide into a post-Christian culture. More than that, we want the church to thrive and to see the gospel proclaimed to all people. Let us therefore preach the good news of Jesus on the college campus!

Our Journey to Anglican College Ministry

My wife (Holly) and I both grew up in Baptist contexts, in which Jesus met us and transformed our lives. We met through attending the same small missions college and were married in 2010. We continued in the Baptist tradition, where we were blessed with many opportunities to teach and lead young adults toward Christ. Throughout this time, we sensed that I was called to ordained ministry but could not perceive a clear path forward.

In 2016 we began to dig deeper into the history of the Church, trying to understand our faith and why we believe what we believe. By reading the Church Fathers alongside Scripture, we discovered the deep wells of the Reformed Catholic tradition that is Anglicanism. At the same time we discovered Anglican Compass, a wonderful resource that deepened our understanding of this tradition through Rookie Anglican Guides and the Daily Office Booklet. After a move to Louisiana, we baptized our four children, were confirmed by Bp Clark Lowenfield, and I began the ordination process.

Now, with a new college ministry, we seek to combine our passions for young adult discipleship and our Anglican tradition, to share the wonderful news of Christ with a disenchanted generation. Holly and I have a vision for bringing the “harassed and helpless” sheep of Gen Z to the “Good Shepherd” (Matthew 9:36, cf. John 10:11).

Campus Communion

Campus Communion is a new college ministry, serving the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. We are a mission of the Anglican Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast. Our Bishop, Clark Lowenfield, has embedded within the DNA of our diocese a strong passion for mission and discipleship, which we seek to deploy on the campus at UL.

But we can’t do this alone. So I am asking you, dear reader, to consider partnering with us.

First and foremost, we ask you to partner with us in prayer. Please pray for us as we transition into this ministry to which God has called us. And please pray that the Holy Spirit will go before us and soften the hearts of all those at UL whom he is calling to himself.

Second, as I devote my time fully to this work, I ask that you would consider partnering with us financially. You can do so at the Campus Communion website by clicking here. All donations are tax deductible.

If you have any questions about this work God is doing through us, please leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer!

Published on

March 2, 2023

Author

Adam Hunter

The Rev. Adam Hunter is a deacon living in Lafayette, Louisiana, with his wife Holly and their four children. He serves as a campus missionary with Campus Communion at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

View more from Adam Hunter

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