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Highlights from the Quad - Campus Ministry

Wednesday, October 2, 2013  
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Building Critical Mass – Campus Ministry

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You can always count on a friendly smile or a listening ear when you see Chaplain Jim Gunn (M’Div 02) on campus. Jim serves as the Edwin B. Lindsay Chaplain in the Office of Student Life at UD. One of the overall goals of Campus Ministry at UD is to develop a critical mass of Christians practicing their faith on campus. Jim continues to work toward that mission since he started in November 2007.

Being a private Presbyterian university, Jim explains that students have an expectation about Christian fellowship when they come to the University of Dubuque. "A Christian student attending the University of Dubuque has a different expectation regarding campus ministry than a Christian student attending a public university.” Jim is working with students, faculty and staff to meet that expectation and build the critical mass that is needed to make major strides in campus ministry.

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Jim recognizes the significant role that faculty, staff and institutional practices play in reaching campus ministry goals. He also knows that in order to do so, he must meet students where they are. For example, there are several ways for students to engage in campus ministry at UD. Chapel is offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:00-11:20am. There have been approximately 60 students attending the chapel service so far this year. Small Group Bible Studies and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) are other ways for students to take part in campus ministry. For example, by working with Coach Mike Schmidt and student leaders, there is great participation amongst the football team in FCA. "There are 15-20 players attending chapel on game day; there are student leaders leading prayer time after practice; and on the last Spring practice, nearly 50 players prayed together in the end zone before leaving the field,” explained Jim.

A significant opportunity in creating the critical mass is the Impact Retreat. This retreat happens every fall and is coming up on October 25-27th. Jim explains, "The benefits of the retreat are numerous, from a deeper sense of community with God and with others, to simply having a fun and relaxing time.” The retreat gives students an opportunity to gain some perspective in the midst of a busy semester.

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Through the Impact Retreats, Jim wants students to understand something of God’s vision for what can be done right on our campus. Thus, the underlying motto of this effort is an invitation to follow Jesus. By doing so, students find their underlying purpose and calling in life, they become a part of something bigger than themselves, and finally they play a role in building that critical mass for Christian fellowship on campus.

"The sum of all of this is that UD students can help UD realize its mission and vision,” says Jim. The critical mass creates a larger "impact” with ripple effects throughout campus life. Jim encourages everyone to participate in Christian fellowship through campus ministry. "We believe that it is ordinarily through Christian community that people encounter God, who is full of grace and mercy.”



Click here to read more October 2013 articles.



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