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Campus Ministry Philosophy
Meredith Sprunger

A Statement of Goals and Objectives

In terms of the future, Campus Ministry is among the most important ministries of our culture. Humanity moves forward, as Abraham Maslow observes, through the leadership of the creative 1% of our society. The majority of these crucially important people, as well as the support group which carry their message to society, are educated in colleges and universities. Campus Ministry is in a unique position to minister to and help in the development of the leadership of tomorrow. This ministry, therefore, should be in a priority position both in the church and the academic community.

The search for meaning in life is at the root of all the many pursuits and activities of college students. This quest, at its core, is spiritual in nature. Although often unrecognized and seldom verbalized, there is a deep longing in young people for identity with that which is of ultimate importance in the universe. They wish to relate creatively in their lives with truth, beauty, and goodness. Consciously or unconsciously they yearn for a meaningful relationship with God.

Campus Ministry is the only agency on the college campus specifically designed to minister to this need in the context of the total contemporary knowledge of humanity. Campus Ministry seeks to minister to the whole individual in an educational environment where the tested values of civilization are taught in the humanities and the verifiable facts and principles of our material and social world are communicated in the sciences. In this new and stimulating community students frequently experience conflict. The facts, truths, and values taught in the academic community clash with the knowledge they have assimilated in their homes and local churches. They often struggle with a bipolar, even schizoid, intellectual world. Campus Ministry is there to assure them that the facts of science and the highest values of the humanities are harmonious with spiritual truth and reality and to assist them in a new and higher integration of truth, beauty and goodness in their lives.

Campus Ministry serves to bring balance and perspective into the intellectual and spiritual life of the university. On one hand it tempers the resurgence of fundamentalism and extremism and the celebration of the irrational in our contemporary society. A mature spiritual orientation does not say, "Obey! Conform! Reproduce the past!" It does not parrot simplistic, authoritarian answers. On the other hand Campus Ministry bears witness to the limits of intelligence and rational thought. A number-based, fact-dominated, binary mentality impoverishes, distorts, and over-simplifies the richness of life and the dynamism of the human condition. It reminds the researcher that being completely unbiased, without feeling or conviction, is sometimes a deceptive illusion of the academic mind. This spiritual ministry testifies to the perennial verities of religious experience that faith, love, service, insight, vision, and hope can minister to the human spirit when facts, intelligence, and reason, by themselves, have exhausted their ability to help.

Finally, Campus Ministry is dedicated to the loving ministry of students and faculty and the promotion of critical thinking regarding the spiritual dimensions of life which open alternatives of thought and action for the individual and society. Campus Ministry recognizes both the value and limits of openness, realizing that spiritual wisdom cannot be put in formulas. We ever distinguish between the relativism of process and living from the reliability and dependability of spiritual truth and reality. We strive to be so firmly rooted in these Eternal Verities that we can live with ambiguity and uncertainty. The objective of our ministry is to promote balance and spiritual maturity, the foundations of integrity, in personality. We strive to present spiritual values in an authentic, relevant, and interesting manner, recognizing that the language of the past is often inadequate. Always we probe the nature of truth in the spirit of love.

A Service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship