Whole Campus 201: Next Steps in Faculty/Whole Campus Ministry
1. Plan a regular faculty/grad student/student prayer time.
Find a time and location that would work for both faculty, grad studentsand students. If appropriate you might bring coffee and donuts. After introductions, take 10 minutes for faculty to pray for the students, 10 minutes for the students to pray for the faculty, and 10 minutes to pray together for the campus and the world.
2. Have a Christian professor share his/her faith story at your weekly meeting or small group.
Ideally you should know the professor pretty well before extending an invitation to give his/her faith story. Ask the professor to take 5 minutes to share how he/she came to Christ, and their journey to this point. Don’t assume that a professor has done this before; it is a big step for many of them.
Even a short presentation at a weekly meeting can be powerful. What often works well is to have a professor come and speak very briefly at the first or second meeting of the fall semester. The content might go something like this:
“The university should be a place where the greatest ideas are examined and discussed. I can’t think of any idea greater than i) there is a God, and ii) this God wants to know you personally. So take 4 years to think on that, and this is a great place to do. I’m so glad I had something like this …If you would ever like to discuss Christ, please contact me.”
3. Ask staff, student leaders or students at your weekly meeting to write the names of possible Christian professors on 3x5 cards. Students often have insight into professors who are interested in spiritual matters, or who are believers. As you challenge them to contribute names of Christian professors, consider the following:
- Share your vision for reaching the whole campus. What passage of scripture motivates you?
- Share something like, “We want to bring the hope of Jesus Christ to the whole campus – students, grad students, and faculty. Students have unique in-roads to reaching faculty as do faculty in reaching students. Christian students and faculty need each other if this whole campus is going to be reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
- Then say something like this: “to help us reach out to faculty, please put the following information on the card you’ve been given:
- The names of professors you know whom you think are Christians
- Your name and email in case we need to get in touch with you
- Finally please write a sentence explaining why you think this professor is a follower of Christ. ( An example might be “she introduced herself as a follower of Christ in our first class.” Or “he mentioned he goes to church when I spoke with him one time”.)
- Write “yes” or “no” to answer, “Do we have permission to mention your name when we contact this professor?”
- Collect the cards and begin to visit these professors during the rest of the semester. “When you visit, mention that (staff or student name) mentioned them to you. You work with Cru at your school, and you are interested in getting to know the faculty better, since they are so influential with students.
- Some questions you could ask are: 1) Are they aware of Cru at your school? 2) Where did they do their undergrad and graduate work? 3) (Student name) thought they might have some spiritual interest or background. Would they be willing to share about that with you? 4) A question about how Cru could resource them, or what they think are some of the greatest needs of students and how Cru could connect with that. 5) If they are Christian, you might ask if they’d like to receive the Missional Moment email, which is sent weekly. You can sign them up at https://www.facultycommons.com/fc-missional-moments/
4. If you have a Christian professor friend, invite them to meet other Cru staff and key student leaders. Some campuses have a pot-luck every semester with Christian professors, staff, and student leadership.
5. Invite a faculty member to come with you to do follow-up with an international student.
International students have great respect for professors. A professor’s presence with you on an appointment adds credibility, and potentially increases the impact on the student’s life. The experience helps call the faculty member into the mission right on their campus, and it gives her ideas of how God might use her in the lives of students. On one campus, a professor’s involvement in a meeting with a student from East Asia had a strong impact because the student was totally startled that the professor believed in a Creator.
6. Get a copy of A Grander Story: An Invitation to Christian Professors and read it for yourself. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
7. As Cru staff, you could subscribe personally to Faculty Commons Missional Moments and encourage other volunteers and students to subscribe as well. We’re trying to offer helpful resources there for building whole campus movements. Here’s the link: https://www.facultycommons.com/.