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UF campus ministries 101: who's on campus?

The answer to a student's social and spiritual needs, campus ministries can give that extra edge to help in graduating, as well as assistance in that post-graduation scramble for a career.

The University of Florida is blessed with many creative, God-focused campus ministries to meet any student's needs. Campus ministries (CM) are great for spiritual education and for meeting Christians of the opposite sex (often a primary incentive). But an often over-looked aspect of the CM is the chance to find Christian mentors and to build Christian networks that will help during the 'what should I major in? 'days and far into the 'what am I gonna do now that I'm done?' days.

On the shallow end of the pool, for you students out there, CM's represent an opportunity to get free food, meet interesting people and hear an inspiring message. For you parents out there, at least you know they are in a drug-free, safe environment. But if you find a CM worth getting a little deeper into, the potential for positive influence in your life is endless. And if you are neither a student nor a parent of one, a CM could be that ministry opportunity you were looking for. Leading high/middle school Youth Group is usually voted the most unappreciated job in the church. At least in college-aged ministry you don't have to try to talk down to their level and the clothes you wear may be considered "retro" to them, instead of "grossly out of style."

Here is a list of official, UF-affiliated campus ministries (in no particular order) posted on ufl.edu and links to their websites:

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship http://www.intervarsityuf.org/

Baptist Collegiate Ministries http://www.ufbcm.org/

Campus Crusade for Christ  http://www.ufcampuscrusade.com/

Fellowship of Christian Athletes http://www.uffca.org/

Chi Alpha  http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~jhorton/xauf/

Graduate Christian Fellowship

I do not believe that UF-affiliated campus ministries are better than the campus ministries of local churches, but they do have their benefits; especially for students who live on campus or have limited range of travel (no car). A UF-affiliated CM's greatest benefits would be the ability to meet on campus, interdenominational teachings and often (but not always) the backing of a nation-wide organization. Local church's have the benefit of love and wisdom from the families that make up the church itself who can care for the student, and the comfort of the set theology of its denomination.

Whether you have shallow or deep reasons to check out a CM, I strongly suggest you give them a chance. It may be the best investment of your time, for your future. They are the one place that I believe you can actually get a free lunch. Who knows, God may just plant a seed that you thought never could be planted. 

 

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