Helping College Students Grow Their Faith.


How to Start a Campus Ministry

Raul Espericueta
Written By Raul Espericueta
On Mar, 4 2022
7 minute read

For over ten years, Newman Ministry has connected thousands of Catholic high school students to their future campus ministries. Over the last few years, our service to the Church has grown to include support to enhance the quality and impact of Newman Centers across the country. 

In addition to gathering ideas from this blog, make sure to check out our website to access free resources, learn some of the best practices and receive one-on-one support from our Newman coaches. 

Before starting a Newman Center/Campus Ministry, here are some important things to consider:  

  • Every good project needs a champion: A champion is the person who has the vision and will do whatever it takes to make it happen. This individual perseveres because of his/her personal commitment and will stick with it during tough times.  
  • The champion is a person of prayer with a dedication to the sacramental life of the Church: Being prayerful and faithful will help the individual stay focused and plugged in because of the twists and turns involved.  
  • It’s important to assemble a team of one to three people: A small group of committed members can go a long way in the work of the mission.  
  • Identify what you want to achieve and what outcomes you’re hoping for in your ministry: Setting realistic and attainable goals that you can work towards each semester is a great place to start. It’s a good idea to have a goal(s) and measurable objectives to keep you focused. 

          Goal example:  Provide Catholic students an opportunity to increase their faith while coming together with other students for faith and fun on campus.  

           Objective #1:
     Once per week, we will conduct a small group(s) bible study;
           Objective #2: Twice a month, we will plan fun Newman Nights to attract new students;   
           Objective #3: We will utilize the Newman Connect App to centralize communication and keep us connected.  


  • Commend your evangelization efforts to our Lady and any of your favorite saints and guardian angels. They’re powerful intercessors and always near to advocate for all the good you desire to do.  

As you move into the phase of initiating your ministry, here are some important steps to take, and not necessarily in this order: 

  1. Connect with your Bishop: Even if not directly, it’s crucial to contact someone at the local diocese who is responsible for either young adult ministry and/or campus ministry. That person may have resources for your use. It’s always a good idea to inform your local diocese if you’re starting something new in the Church.  
  2. Find a Priest and/or Deacon who may be available to support your ministry: Try reaching out to parishes in your area or nearby religious orders.  Consider a nearby parish and make friends with the Pastor, Associate Priest and/or Deacon or Sister. If the parish is near your campus, ask if your ministry would be welcomed by this parish community.  
  3. Find a meeting place for your ministry: Most college campuses allow faith-based groups to register as one of the university groups on campus. This registration can come with some advantages, including meeting spaces and other resources.  
  4. If it’s possible to hold on-campus ministry events, including mass, make it happen: These events usually need to be reserved and scheduled far in advance. 
  5. Growing your ministry will develop over time: Don’t get discouraged if your ministry starts small and slow. With prayer and the Holy Spirit, it will prosper. 
  6. Consistency is key: Make a plan but don’t be overly ambitious. Initiating small bible studies and social events go a long way.  
  7. Look into the Connect, Unite and Grow Models: Use the link found here to plan your ministry in advance. It’s a great tool to help you organize your events and ensure you are doing all you need to succeed.   
  8. Find a way to communicate with your students regularly: The Newman Connect app was created specifically to make connecting with your community easier.
  9. Join a small group with other campus ministers: If you don’t know where to begin, consider one of our Newman Ministry groups. Your participation in this group will connect you with other campus ministers not only for great ideas, but for encouragement and support of you and your ministry.
  10. Sign up for one, two or more free sessions with a Newman Coach: For one-on-one mentoring on all things campus ministry, coaching is great for bouncing ideas back and forth and learning new ministry strategies.  


Here are some additional resources to help you build & grow your campus ministry:  


For More on Evangelization Click Here to Read our Latest Blog

View our Campus Ministry Toolkit

How to Work Well With Your Campus Chaplain 



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