2016 was another great year for our campus ministries. While we are still largely focused on our U.S. initiatives, more dialogue and planning has been prepared so that more international activity can be pioneered, reported and built. With the vast numbers of college disciples concentrated in the U.S. it is easiest to both document that activity and create more of it. However, our initial survey results are showing campus ministries all over the world gaining greater investment in resources, growing more in numbers and becoming central to the efforts to raise up next generation leaders.
U.S. Results from the 2016 Campaign
Once again the U.S. campus ministries enjoyed a great year as over 1000 campus students were baptized from the 3700 students that began the year. We are now on 525 campuses and universities across the country. This tells us that it takes about four Christians in the campus ministry to make another disciple during the course of a year. Our goal is for that ratio to reach three to one, at which point we could be confident that every disciple on campus can easily become intimately involved in a conversion story (as there are usually three Christians involved in a given Bible study). All of these conversions add up to a ministry growth for the campus ministry of nearly 20% if you don’t take into account graduates and transfers.
We currently enjoy a full-time ministry staff in the U.S. of 172 full time ministers and 130 part-time interns. This means that there are about 300 “next generation” leaders training in our campus ministries right now. Many of next year’s sector leaders, missionaries, and small church leaders can easily be mined from our own U.S.-based campus ministries.
There is much more campus activity happening outside the U.S. currently. We are still trying to gather concrete data from all the regions of the world but much of the initial information we have received is surprising. There are several places where our international campus ministries have been thriving. While grossly understaffed and sometimes largely un-resourced, the passion for building a base of young leaders through converting on universities all over the world has resulted in campus ministry growth all over the world.
We are hoping to have a special international report on the campus ministry by the end of the summer. Many international campus ministers will be traveling to our U.S. ICMCs this summer so we can discuss in greater depth their needs, their amazing stories, and to have an exchange of ideas.
The campus service is team is presently made up of U.S. and international representatives. Many of our international brothers have moved on from the campus ministry and we are in the midst of repopulating our international member list. We will have a better idea of which international leaders will be partners to our U.S. representatives by mid-year.
We were excited to add two new U.S. members to our committee. Both Rob Novak (New York) and Michael DeAquino were added this year.This now means that half of our U.S. members are under 30 years of age.
The current U.S. members of the committee are as follows:
Los Angeles – Stuart Mains
Los Angeles – Steve Lounsbury
College Station – Marty Wilkinson
Seattle – Alex Whitaker
Denver – Brian Campbell
Columbia – Vince Hawkins
Chicago – Chris Zillman
Boston – Jesse Ghoman
Columbia, S.C. – Perrie Keeve
Atlanta – Tom Brown
State College – Jamison Malcolm
Gainesville – Kyle Eastman
New York – Rob Novak
Cincinnati – Michael DeAquino
This year’s ICMC was a part of the Reach conference in 2016. The ICMC joined the 18,000 disciples in attendance at this great gathering. While the campus track was small by comparison to a normal ICMC the students were able to participate alongside their brothers and sisters throughout the rest of the conference. It must have been quite an experience for any young Christian from a small campus ministry to suddenly be a part of a Friday night devotional with nearly twenty thousand other people!
The 2017 ICMC will be in two places this year. Asheville, North Carolina and Austin, Texas will each host. The theme for this year is Alpha and Omega. In 2018 Cincinnati will host its first ICMC. We are also planning for a unique change of direction in 2019. While plans are only in their inception we are hoping to have special campus conference in an international location.
After Reach2016, over 150 campus ministers from the U.S. came together for a Young Ministers Gathering. This group has come together for the past four years for times of discussion, encouragement, and fellowship. Each year this group has continued to strengthen the relational ties across domestic ministries, and given the younger ministers that lacked these relationships an opportunity to connect. One of the most effective parts of our time together was the breakout discussion groups. Each minister chose to be apart of one of the following facilitated discussion groups: Getting Unstuck, Going from 15-50, Going from 50-100, and Leading Campus Ministry While Raising a Family. The time was rich with new friendships being built and men and women walking away inspired for what God is doing, and is going to do through this generation.
One Year Challenge
The One Year Challenge (OYC) is continuing to grow in scope and impact around the world. The number of sites and participants increased once again in 2016 and we expect to see the same in the near future.
We invite every ICOC church family currently without a site in the One Year Challenge program to nominate one. In this way, the program won’t just move people from sending church families to receiving church families, but will be mutually strengthening.
Currently, the One Year Challenge program channels volunteers to sites in 13 of the 32 ICOC church families. We would like to expand participation to at least 25 church families.
We especially welcome applications for participation from these kinds of sites:
- Churches in countries that are especially under-evangelized and could use extra help—places like the Middle East, for example.
- Smaller churches that have great training programs for staff and non-staff disciples, and capacity to care for OYC volunteers and help them be productive helpers.
- Churches that are primarily campus ministries in college towns like State College, PA and Norman, OK.
For more information, watch this video that answers most frequently asked questions about the OYC.
International Training Programs
There are now established training programs and Schools of Mission all over the world where campus students and ministers are being prepared for the work before them. Both Kiev and India have Schools of Missions that are bringing young people in for training while sending graduates out for missions work. We see that these programs are growing and spreading into other regions of the world as well. Even now, resources are being developed in print and online to share best practices, ideas and methodologies to train next generation leaders in the agreed-upon skill sets foundational to our fellowship. More of these stories are being featured in film and in live narrative during our ICMCs which only serve to inspire more students to make personal sacrifices to serve in the full-time ministry or as missionaries abroad.
Our current list of sub-committees is as follows. Their data has been used to compile the whole of this report.
- One Year Challenge: Jamison Malcolm and Brian Campbell
- Media: Kyle Eastman
- Statistics: Vince Hawkins
- Young Ministers and Evangelists: Stuart Mains and Jesse Ghoman
- Campus Locator: Perrie Keeves
- Training Programs: Steve Lounsbury
- Conference Event Planning: Marty Wilkinson and Alex Whitaker
Our service team began in February 2006 with an informal meeting in Virginia Beach. At that point we were just a compilation of campus ministers trying to pull things back together after the breakdown of so many ministries following the events of 2003. From that meeting only Tom Brown, Alex Whitaker and Chris Zillman still are members of the committee. Many from that original team are leading in significant capacities throughout our movement. Now this committee is being driven by those who were only students or were going to become students back in 2006. Our committee is, in many ways, a microcosm of the transformation of our entire movement as a whole. The leadership of our movement’s campus ministries is about to change hands and I don’t think we could have prepared a better exchange. The young men that are sitting in this seat of influence represent the best chemistry of passion, competence and an internal spiritual drive those in the old guard could have ever hoped for in their successors.