There is plenty of information available to collegiate ministry leaders about how to start a college ministry, how to reach freshmen and how to encourage college students to share the gospel. But it can be difficult – if not impossible – to find these types of resources in one specific place to provide consistent, practical help to collegiate ministry leaders, until now.
The Collegiate Collective website launched in August with the goal of becoming a one-stop shop for the best practices in collegiate ministry.
“Our whole goal with Collegiate Collective is to elevate and advance the gospel on campus,” said Rahul Agarwal, the director of Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) in the Tampa, Fla., area. “We’ve found that there hasn’t been one place to go to for best practices for high impact people. So our goal is to create a resource that helps a lot of people go to one place to learn how to do college ministry and reach their campuses with the gospel.”
NAMB Photo by Susan Whitley
A coalition of collegiate leaders, including Brian Frye (center), bring direction to the national Collegiate Collective, a website launched in August 2014 with the goal of becoming a one-stop shop for the best practices in collegiate ministry. Frye, National Collegiate Strategist for the North American Mission Board, is among several leaders who contribute content and collaborate on strategy.
Agarwal works with a team of collegiate ministry leaders to contribute to and collect content for Collegiate Collective. Some of these leaders include Brian Frye, national collegiate strategist for the North American Mission Board; Paul Worcester, director of Christian Challenge at Chico State University; and Chase Abner, collegiate evangelism strategist for the Illinois Baptist State Association.
“This really is a team effort,” Abner said. “No one person is in charge of Collegiate Collective. It’s a team of people who are contributing out of their own passions and strengths. We are laboring to represent a variety of collegiate-reaching ministries from BCMs to church-based ministries, to church plants.”
Since the website’s launch, the Collegiate Collective team has released two written articles and a podcast each week, as well as a video every other week. The team has also posted free Bible studies for collegiate ministry leaders to use, as well as a free ebook written by Worcester entitled “Tips for Starting a College Ministry.”
The website content also includes practical tools for leaders and students to use, such as gospel Appointments, a relational model for sharing the gospel.
“Once we trained our students at Chico State on how to use gospel Appointments, we saw 58 students come to know Christ in the first four weeks,” Worcester said. “It’s just been fun to see something simple and reproducible that students can take and use to lead their friends to Christ.”
These reproducible resources like gospel appointments, along with many others, have been distributed to more than 7,000 Collegiate Collective users in just three months. In addition, the page has had more than 50,000 views tracing from Florida to Illinois to California.
“There’s no one owning the market for collegiate ministry quite like we are,” Abner said. “Time and time again I’ve thought to myself ‘I wish this would have existed when I started out in campus ministry nine years ago!’”
Just like a team effort is required to collect and produce the content for Collegiate Collective, an even larger group has come together to fund the website extending these ministry resources throughout North America.
“Collegiate Collective has benefited financially from investments by NAMB’s collegiate team,” Abner said. “Additionally, LifeWay and several state conventions have supported Collegiate Collective by allowing staff members time to devote to the work. The same goes for the local churches and campus ministries represented on our own team.”
The Collegiate Collective team continues to encourage people from across the country to get involved with their efforts to grow and improve collegiate ministry across the country.
If you have an idea in regards to content, visit www.collegiatecollective.com to submit content or email the Collegiate Collective team at [email protected] Join the conversation on collegiate ministry by commenting on the website’s content or following Collegiate Collective on Twitter at @CollegiateColl.
“The Collegiate Collective team includes those who are the ‘About’ page on our website, but it is much broader than that,” Abner said. “It includes the individuals who have written articles, were guests on the podcast or appeared in the videos. It includes leaders who have commented on our posts or shared them on social media. All of that plays a part in how we are elevating and advancing the gospel on campuses around North America.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Kristen Camp writes for the North American Mission Board.)