Congratulations! You’ve got a college or university campus near you! The campus is a prime location for gospel multiplication. Never are so many people going through the same stage of life in one place at one time. College students tend to be the most moldable, trainable, and send-able demographic on the planet. God has placed you in a prime location to be a catalyst for a gospel movement! Each campus has a different feel to it and has different kinds of students. The Campus Assessment Tool (CAT) is meant to help you “decode” your campus and help you become familiar with it. It will take a little bit of research but when you’re finished you should have a fairly good picture of what your campus looks like and how to reach it.
Ways you can gather information about your campus
- Walk campus and ask students and look at their announcement boards
- Prayer Walk campus. A Prayer Walking Guide is available as an additional resource.
- Schedule a welcome tour of the campus that the campus would give prospective students.
- Google it! Isn’t that how you find everything else? Check US Census info, maps, event calendars, and other campus information.
- For statistical information, you can go to http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/School Demographics
- What’s the total enrollment for the school?
- Is it a public or private institution? This may determine what/who they allow on campus and the process.
- What are the top 5 majors or departments of the college? This is helpful because each major has its own rhythm and availability.
- What is the number of undergraduates vs. graduate students? This can help you determine stage of life and age of many of the students
- What is the percentage of the different ethnic backgrounds? The more diverse the campus the more intentional ministry will need to be on campus.
- What is the number of international students and what are the top 5 sending countries? Is there a need to help internationals?
- What is the on-campus to off campus ratio? How many students live on campus? It may determine who is around on the weekends and in the evenings.
Student Life Demographics
- How many student organizations are there? Number of Greeks (fraternity/sororities) orgs? Academic orgs? This can be an indicator on how much of a “joiner” mentality your campus has.
- What is the process to become a Registered Student Organization (RSO)? This will give you a place to start to get on campus.
- Where are the big hangout spots on campus? This will help you determine where to set up on campus to meet students.
- How does the university view campus ministries? Is there an association of campus ministers or Ministerial Alliance? This will help you know how much favor you have built in as you come on campus.
- Are there any evangelical ministries on campus already? List them out. How big are they? Who is their leader? Are there any church based ministries on campus?
- What are the biggest needs on campus? Don’t be afraid to ask the Student Life Office, Residential Life office, International Student Office, etc what their needs are. You’d be surprised! Hopefully this exercise has helped you get a better picture of your campus. As you’ve walked campus and done the research it can help you see a God-given starting point. Here are a few questions to consider as you process the data.
- Through this experience is God beginning to birth a vision in you for your campus? Who do you need to share this information and vision with?
- Looking at the campus is there a place where you see/feel called to begin work? Is there a natural fit somewhere based on your calling, experience, personal connections already?
- Is there a campus-based ministry or church in your network already doing work on campus who you could come alongside and partner with? If there is not or you want to start your own, what’s your next step to become an RSO and get on campus?
- Looking at the needs of campus, is there a need you could be a part of meeting?
- Make a list of people you can invite alongside of you to help do this, pray for you, and perhaps give to help see this become a reality.