Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

There are quite a few university students out there peeking in from time to time. Here before colleges start back, would some of you drop a note about good things happening on your campuses? What's going on at ACU, Harding, OCU, Freed, Lipscomb (which I have never visited), Rochester (clearly a leading college of the future), Lubbock, Pepperdine, etc.? And some of you tell us what's happening in the campus ministries at the state schools where you attend. I've been blessed to speak at lots of university events through the years, and some of my favorite have been with students from campus ministries all around. If you're ever in despair about the faith of a coming generation, attend the Gulf Coast Get-a-Way sometime (formerly in Pensacola Beach but now in Panama City).


  • Well, sometimes I wish for some theological advances, not just through words, but our practices. Harding is growing at wonderful rates. New buildings popping up all over the place, large campaigns of people giving money for scholarships/endowments, and lots of new students and student body growth. This fall, Harding will be going to 2 chapels (9:00 & 10:00) which should be very interesting.

    Harding does touch her community, but sometimes not enough. It's just hard balancing friends, academic work, faith study, and community involvement.

    There are so many people with great passion for Christ, I just wish there were more.

    By Blogger Drew Battistelli, at 7/19/2005 08:22:00 AM  

  • I just drove a u-haul from Lubbock to Pepperdine moving my daughter to her new job there. Maybe she will key you in from the Pepperdine end!

    By Blogger Kay, at 7/19/2005 08:25:00 AM  

  • Grad student at Southern Christian. They play the cheesiest elevator music on earth during breaks from on-line classes. Left Freed a couple of semesters ago b/c of a move ~ it was a great experience... the time there, not leaving... This adds up to A BIG WHOLE BUNCH of student loans ~ ouch.

    By Blogger Mae, at 7/20/2005 05:48:00 AM  

  • By no means am I the resident expert on "what's going on at ACU," but I'll report on a few things I know of in my neck of the campus.

    * An increased emphasis on and participation in church planting in North America. The Missionary Residency for North America will begin its second year in August (I was part of the inaugural class) with a goal of sending at least one domestic church planting team out per year to start a church planting movement in a metropolitan area. In addition to forming long-term mission teams, residents are involved in house church plants in Abilene stemming from relationships they have built in the community. Four new churches have been formed by God through the 04-05 interns to this date, and that number will increase with this next class. What's more, missionary theology is being increasingly integrated into all Bible classes at ACU.
    * The Wildcat men's track and field team picked up its fourth straight outdoor national championship in May at Elmer Gray Stadium in Abilene. The title was the 25th indoor or outdoor win for the men's team since 1982 (this is why ACU track and field was named "Texas Sports Dynasty of the Century" by Texas Monthly in 2000).
    * ACU will begin a year-long celebration in August for its 100th year of existence.
    * Enrollment is up for the third straight year, I believe.

    Those are a few of the many wonderful things going on in Abilene, TX. If anyone has more, please add.

    By Blogger Steve Jr., at 7/20/2005 08:06:00 AM  

  • The whole goat thing/kid thing at Gulf-Coast was really cool and somewhat humorous, especially when he (the goat) peed all over the stage. Really appreicated the procession, felt like high church service.

    MTSU just hired a new campus minister, Michael Stickland. Things are going well over there. Lipscomb is about to break ground on their new Bible building which has been long overdue. But its costing me more money.

    By Blogger c, at 7/20/2005 08:36:00 AM  

  • At Harding we have a new Education building that looks awesome. We are in the midst of renovating Grad and Armstrong mens dorms and I've heard that they are pretty sweet now. Also they are doing a lot of changes on the admissions offices.
    We also have a new dean of the Bible Department (which I know has already been discussed,) and I believe a few new bible professors. I think that we are also adding a few new majors including engineering. Also there is a great new place to eat called Doc's Grill and the fishing is just great on the Little Red.

    By Blogger Brandon Moore, at 7/20/2005 09:03:00 AM  

  • Ok now I must write something negative because I feel like I was running a campaign for Harding.

    They still suck the money out of you.

    By Blogger Brandon Moore, at 7/20/2005 09:05:00 AM  

  • As a faculty member at Ohio Valley University (former Ohio Valley College, OVC), I wanted to let everyone know of some exciting things happening on our campus. We recently received a 1.8 million dollar Title III grant to build new science labs, expand the science and math programs and add a nursing program (not to mention adding new faculty for those programs). Our business department also has a new Sports Management degree. One of the most exciting campus wide endeavors is our strong Faith and Learning initiative. We have developed this into a holistic approach which encompasses the entire university community. As part of this, we have partnered with Pepperdine (Richard Hughes and D'Esta Love) to provide continuing training in this area, and to help us further develop our focus on "vocation", or God's calling for our lives. We are refocusing our chapel/daily assembly. We want our students to learn about, and truly know, our God, and His love for them. It is truly an exciting time on our campus. With university status, a new president (Dr. James Johnson), new academic programs, as well as strenthening our NCAA Division II athletic programs, and our continued focus on faith and learning, OVU is truly a growing campus. Come visit us sometime!

    By Blogger Rebecca, at 7/20/2005 10:14:00 AM  

  • I think I am attending ACU at a very exciting time. There is so much emphasis on integrating faith into every aspect of our lives. We talk about God just as much in my majors classes and my gen ed classes as we do in my Bible classes. There is a focus on incarnational ministry and on using the unique gifts that God has given us to glorify Him in our everyday lives. I feel blessed to be a part of the Christian community at this school and to learn from the wisdom and experience of my professors and other faculty mentors. And besides, who wouldn't be excited about attending a school that is celebrating its 100th anniversary!! :)

    By Blogger Heather A, at 7/20/2005 10:51:00 AM  

  • The National Campus Ministries Seminar is being hosted by the Sooners for Christ campus ministry at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, August 4-7, in the student Union. The theme is Amazing a New Day is Coming, Campus ministry Bigger than we ever dreamed. It's really about planting new churches with campus ministries to reach the 93% of college campuses in the U.S. where Churches of Christ have no presence. It is also about turning our inward-focused campus ministries and churches into outward-focused ones (aka evangelism). Kairos Church Planting and Mission Alive Church Planting will be with us as well as 24 teachers and 7 speakers. This is the beginning of a major culture shift in our campus ministry movement. Anyone is invited to attend.

    By Blogger Tim Melikian, at 7/20/2005 01:17:00 PM  

  • Things are going great at Rochester College. Their new grad program for ministry is off the ground beginning this fall (Rubel will be working with this). Sara Barton (the campus minister at RC) has some amazing things planned for the school year in terms of reaching out to the larger Christian community.

    The RC students are developing a real passion for social justice issues and Metro Detroit is one of the great places for this type of work to be done.

    David Fleer's Sermon Seminar is the leading conference for scholars and preachers we have in Restoration Churches. Fred Craddock keynoted this year and I believe Stanley Hauerwas and Charles L. Campbell are on the ballot for this year.

    And the coolest thing...RC plans on breaking ground on a brand new athletic facility to honor the legendary long-time coach Garth Pleasant who is one of the winningest basketball coaches in the history of Michigan Collegiate Athletics.

    Man...I just realize what a biased alumni sounds like when given an avenue to write...sorry for being longwinded.

    By Blogger Josh.Graves, at 7/20/2005 02:36:00 PM  

  • Hey Mike,

    I am still on a high from Uplift on the Harding Campus. I believe over 120 new babes in Christ. I continue to believe and have found with all the Christian Universities that really this is what is all about. This event helped over 120 we know about want to embrace, submit, and follow God's plan for their lives. There are many other great things I am sure happening all over the world. I would love to hear more about the Summer Bible camps on college campuses- Lives that were change, Spirit showing up, and etc. Believe you me, I stayed 3 weeks to be a part of this event, and will forever have in my memory how God's presence blessed such a camp. Thanks for this blog. Terry Davis

    By Blogger Terry, at 7/20/2005 03:15:00 PM  

  • These are all great things happening at all these campuses but...what is really happening? Are the students aware of the communities around them? Are the students pushing each other to grow spiritually? Are you looking beyond the Church of Christ box? Are your campuses loving, nurturing places that don't fall into the traps of cliques and the cool ones?...even the spiritually cool ones? Tell me what it feels like to live on campus and be a part of the community that is your school at this time... I want to know what is really happening in Jesus' name at ACU, Harding, Lipscomb, state schools, Pepperdine, Milligan....
    grace, Julie

    By Blogger julie, at 7/20/2005 03:25:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the challenge, Julie.

    Well, I spoke to this a little bit in my previous post, but many students are directly involved with people in our community. Wherever our circle of influence might be, we're engaging the culture around us. Whether at a dance class, a smoke shop, through neighborhood walking, or through a trailor park ministry, many ACU students are looking beyond campus and even beyond "Church" to develop meaningful relationships and touch people's lives with Christ's love.

    My next big passion, however, is to see a "church planting movement" (if you will) break out ON the ACU campus in dorm rooms, lobbies, amphitheaters, and classrooms. My vision for the campus (which is similar for the city of Abilene and the continent) is to see a "vibrant family of Jesus within close reach -- culturally and geographically -- of every ACU student." What if Resident Assistants began seeing themselves as resident church planters or -- dare I say it -- apostles to the residence halls? What if social club members began to engage their nominal or pre-Christian friends in a Spirit-led way? What if believers proactively began to penetrate the "darker" areas of campus with a relationship-based gospel? Believe it or not, we're pretty far from reaching these goals at ACU. I think the emphasis on simply "attending church" has dumbed down what it means to be a disciple of Jesus on a college campus. Sure, a few always go a step further with their passion for Jesus. But if every student would accept his or her commission as a missionary on the ACU campus, and begin to see discipleship not through the eyes of church attendance but of constantly hearing from God and obeying, ACU will be the "City on a Hill" it truly can be. Reaching the Abilene community may just have to start with a revival of grassroots discipleship ON campus.

    By the way, if any of you ACU folk want to start praying about this vision, e-mail me sometime.

    Wow...just typing this stuff gets me all excited and stuff...

    By Blogger Steve Jr., at 7/20/2005 09:54:00 PM  

  • Steve, that is what I meant with my questions...what is really happening? I hear you...
    grace, Julie

    By Blogger julie, at 7/21/2005 07:41:00 AM  

  • all I can say is that I met the love of my life at the church of Christ student center at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX (yeah, I know, not a christian campus . . .but. . .you know. . .)
    The plus, I was smart enough to say "YES" when he asked me to marry him. . .11 years ago!

    By Blogger Courtney & Co., at 7/21/2005 06:26:00 PM  

  • In the state school spectrum..I'm a grad student at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, TX. I too met my spouse in the Yellow House (the COC student center.) Things are changing every year at SFA and the Yellow House. After 20 some odd years, The YH is going to be under new leadership this fall. Scotty and Tammy Spake. Pray for them as they begin working in this wonderful ministry and pray for the Fortsons, (the current campus ministers) as they begin an Outreach ministry.

    By Blogger Flutter, at 7/21/2005 06:39:00 PM  

  • Hey now... don't forget about Faulkner! Still no Friday classes (for the most part)!

    I also recommend Gulf Coast Getaway! http://www.gulfcoastgetaway.org/

    By Blogger Rob Sellers, at 7/22/2005 11:35:00 AM  

  • Enjoyed reading all the comments about the colleges!

    By Blogger Mason McClain, at 7/22/2005 09:51:00 PM  

  • The rumor mill has it that "W" will be attending Acu's homecoming. That makes me want to sing, "If you'll buy that, I'll throw the golden gate in free." I would definately make it out for that event, but I doubt it will happen!

    By Blogger MDM, at 7/23/2005 02:33:00 PM  

  • Hello Mr. Cope.

    I'm jeremy potter. I appreciated and really grew in spirit from your speeches at Stream in the Desert this year. May God continue to bless your ministry and lives he touches through you!

    I'm a Freed grad. Campus ministry seems pretty routine there. If someone is not affiliated with a social club, the main two campus ministries available are nightly campus devotionals and a bi-weekly "clayton chapel" - 100 to 400 people singing in the dark for an hour...totally awesome. It would be even more awesome if the school had some Stream-in-the-Desert spirited event. Could you look into taking stream to Freed?... yeah, i think it would be difficult too :) God bless.

    Because of the Messiah,

    By Blogger Jeremy, at 7/23/2005 07:58:00 PM  

  • Someone from Cascade represent!

    I graduated 6 years ago, so someone with the inside scoop, tell us how things are going on that campus.

    By Blogger Big Mike Lewis, at 8/01/2005 09:56:00 AM  

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