The first thing you see when you step in the door of Southwestern’s Spiritual Growth and Development Department is scores of students—socializing, hanging out, but mostly working—in a large room filled with desks. Their tasks include coordinating Taskforce workers, as well as short-term and long-term missions, promoting and coordinating upcoming programs, small groups and worship services, organizing Sabbath schools, small groups and major events on campus as well as organizing outreach activities off campus.
Spiritual Development’s focus is a concerted effort to help students grow spiritually. Activities come as they provide students with the means to use that personal relationship in the community and the area churches. There are a lot of opportunities for students to learn leadership skills. There’s also a very intentional approach toward vespers, including a time for prayer and praise afterward, where chaplains, guest speakers and fellow students ask students to make Christ the center of their lives. The intent is to make sure that every student is approached and has the opportunity to make that decision.
Visiting the dorm regularly is another big part of the campus ministries. The department is committed to visiting every student in the dorm several times during the year. The desire is that when students go from the dorm to vespers, they know the people who are helping lead in worship and there’s a connection so that they can ask us the tough questions about their Christian experience.
Surrendering your life to Jesus Christ and maintaining that relationship is a very personal experience. But the process can be easier with the help and support of friends who care about you and your spiritual growth. That’s the value of campus ministries.