Helping College Students Grow Their Faith.

Catholic Campus Ministry

What Your Student Can Expect in Campus Ministry

Patti Stenson, MS, LPC
Written By Patti Stenson, MS, LPC
On Jul, 1 2024
5 minute read

We know you're gearing up for your child's big leap into college life, and you want them to shine not only academically but socially, and spiritually too. That's where campus ministry steps in as a game-changer. 

Let's take a look at what your student can expect from college campus ministry.


Screenshot 2024-06-19 at 4.16.35 PMCatholic Chants Newman Center, Coastal Carolina University/Horry-Georgetown Tech


Building Friendships and Community


College is an exciting yet overwhelming experience, especially when it comes to making new friends. Campus ministry provides your student with a welcoming and supportive community where they can connect with peers who share their faith and values. Here are the kinds of events and experiences your student can expect at a typical campus ministry: 

Examples of Social Events:

  • Welcome BBQs or picnics at the beginning of the semester.
  • Ice cream socials or pizza nights for students to mingle and get to know each other.
  • Community service projects like volunteering at a local shelter or organizing a charity fundraiser together.


Examples of Small Group Gatherings:

  • Weekly small group discussions on faith, life, and relevant topics.
  • Study sessions where students can support each other academically while deepening their friendships.
  • Prayer groups for intercessory prayer and spiritual support.


Examples of Service Projects:

  • Joining together for community service initiatives such as Habitat for Humanity builds or food drives.
  • Participating in mission trips during breaks to serve communities in need both locally and internationally.
  • Collaborating on social justice campaigns to address issues like homelessness, hunger, or environmental sustainability.


Through social events, small group gatherings, and service projects, your student can build meaningful friendships and find a sense of belonging within the campus community.


Engaging in Fun and Fellowship


College life is about more than just academics; it's also about creating lasting memories and enjoying new experiences! Campus ministry offers a variety of fun activities that your student can participate in, from game nights and movie screenings to outdoor adventures and retreats. These opportunities for fellowship allow your students to have fun and make meaningful connections in a faith community.

Examples of Ministry Gatherings:

  • Board game nights and tailgating before sporting events. 
  • Outdoor recreational activities like hiking trips, beach outings, or sports tournaments.
  • Feast day celebrations including Mass and meals.


Examples of Retreats:

  • Weekend retreats focused on spiritual renewal, personal reflection, and community building.
  • Day retreats or reflection days held on campus for students to pause and recharge amidst their busy schedules.
  • Advent or Lenten retreats offering opportunities for prayer, reflection, and preparation for the liturgical seasons.


Examples of Themed Events:

  • Costume parties or themed dances celebrating holidays or special occasions.
  • Cultural nights featuring food, music, and traditions from different cultures and backgrounds.
  • Talent shows or open mic nights where students can showcase their skills and talents in a supportive environment.



Eucharistic Procession at St. Brendan’s Catholic Campus Ministry, Tarleton State


Growing in Their Relationship with God


So much is influencing young people and the choices they make during their college years. It's crucial for students to nurture their connection with God and strengthen their faith. Campus ministry offers the gift of spiritual growth and enrichment.

Examples of Worship Services:

  • Prayer gatherings where students come together to lift their voices in praise and seek God's presence.
  • Mass services regularly to encounter God's presence and deepen their connection with Him through worship.


Examples of Sacramental Life:

  • Access to the sacraments, allowing your student to receive God's grace and blessings.
  • The celebration of the Eucharist, to encounter the real presence of Christ and be nourished spiritually.
  • Opportunities for your student to seek forgiveness and spiritual renewal through the sacrament of reconciliation.


Examples of Bible Studies and Discussions:

  • Bible studies where students delve into Scripture, exploring its teachings and applying them to their lives.
  • Discussions on theological topics, fostering a deeper understanding of Catholic teachings and how they relate to current issues.
  • Faith formation programs designed to equip students with the knowledge and tools to live out their faith with confidence.



Elon Catholic Spring Retreat 2024


The Best Way You Can Support Your Student in College…


…is ensuring they remain connected to their Catholic faith! 

We get it – you want nothing but the best for your child as they navigate college life. That's where campus ministry comes in, providing your student with a supportive faith community. It's a place where they can make friends, enjoy themselves, and deepen their relationship with Jesus throughout their college journey.

So here are two things you can do today to ensure your child’s faith thrives in college (and you sleep well knowing they are surrounded by the right people):


Here’s how you can support your student


  1. See If Your Student’s College Has a Campus Ministry

Use our Find A Campus tool to discover the campus ministry on your student’s future college campus. You can learn more about what the campus ministry offers, find a worship schedule, and connect your student directly to the campus ministry staff.

  1. Connect your student to the next step in their faith journey.

Did you know that over 80% of students stop practicing their faith in college? One of the top reasons for this is because the student didn’t receive an invitation!

Let’s make sure your graduate gets that invitation!

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