Campus ministry rescued my faith

By on April 24, 2013

This column first appeared in the April issue of the Anglican Journal.

I was a recovering evangelical. I grew up in a denominational context where answers were black or white, right or wrong. There was little room for doubt or questions. Trouble was, I had a lot of questions.

If you were to ask me why I went to seminary, I couldn’t tell you. A feeling, an intuition, a call. I thought about quitting but stayed because of the supportive campus ministry community I found there.

The community was called Wine Before Breakfast, and weekly we shared a eucharistic feast at 7:22 a.m. The sense of connectedness started at the table, then rippled forth into coffee-soaked conversations in the chaplain’s office and into the rest of the week. Here I met my best friends. Here I was able to wrestle with questions of faith and doubt, and how Christian faith might inform the way I live.

This eucharistic community was a part of the Christian Reformed campus ministry. Alongside my seminary education, it was my entry point into ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada.There, in the Wycliffe College chapel amongst men and women from many different backgrounds, I was formed and reformed in the liturgy of our church. I began to more deeply understand my vocation, and started my path toward confirmation and serving the church.

We tend to undervalue campus ministry. Just like camp ministry, it’s often seen as incidental to the life of faith. And yet, nothing could be more integral than creating a community of learners, of apprentices, of disciples who are seeking to live lives in response to Jesus Christ.

Campus ministers are given the unique opportunity to accompany young adults as they discover their God-given vocation. Whether as priests, atmospheric physicists, historians, business-people or those who serve those pushed to the margins, so many young people are asking the question: if Christian faith means anything at all, how will it inform the way I live my life?

ANDREW STEPHENS-RENNIE is a member of the national youth initiatives team of the Anglican Church of Canada

 

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  • Andrew Stephens-Rennie

    Andrew Stephens-Rennie is a member of the national youth initiatives team of the Anglican Church of Canada.

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