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Top 3 Reasons Campus Ministry is essential during the pandemic

Patti Stenson, MS, LPC
Written By Patti Stenson, MS, LPC
On Jan, 5 2021
3 minute read

We asked college students to tell us how their college experience has been affected during the pandemic. Their responses made it clear that a solid community is needed now more than ever. Here’s why evangelization and your campus ministry is so essential during this unprecedented time.

Student mental health is suffering. When asked how their college experience has changed due to the pandemic, over half of the students surveyed spoke to their mental health. Students reported feeling more depressed, anxious, and angry than ever before. Students also reported feeling more stress, lonelier, and more tired.

Students have less interaction. Students surveyed reported a significant decrease in social interaction. Between online courses and campus and county closures students found themselves with more time on their hands and a lack of routine that left them feeling pretty isolated. Students voiced concern that they felt more homesick than ever, that they felt they would be unprepared for the next phase of their lives, and that there would be a negative long-term impact on their friendships and relationships.

Students are wishing for a normal. Our final question to students was “What do you hope life will look like this time next year?” Every single student responded that their hope was for more “normal”. Students are craving more stability and less uncertainty, more peace and less fear, more connection, and less isolation.One way to directly combat these negative feelings is through community. Having connection helps us to feel wanted and loved. We are social beings, and we are not meant for isolation.

Community provides many elements that are critical to mental health; here are three:

1) Belonging. Campus ministry provides a group where students identify being embraced and appreciated for their unique qualities.

2) Support. Campus ministry provides a space where students can turn to for help in difficult situations, when they need someone to talk to, and where they can feel cared for and safe.

3) Purpose. Campus ministry invites students to fulfill different roles. Perhaps they are the friend that enjoys cooking. Maybe they are a talented musician or artist. There’s space for everyone to have a role within ministry, and having a role gives us a sense of purpose through bettering people’s lives.

Your campus ministry is critical during a time when the college experience is far less than what student’s planned and hoped for. Students are craving connection, and we want to help you connect to them! There is a way for us to be present to students, even if they’re not on campus with us, to be intentional with our outreach, and to be inclusive to the students at the margins.

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