Sample Student Leadership Strategy for College Ministry

Wes Smith, College Pastor Summit Church, Raleigh, NC


  • Our vision is to be disciples who make disciples. We believe the best way to make disciples on the college campus is through student leaders that are with Jesus and on mission with Jesus.
  • So, as a ministry, we are committed to discipling student leaders and equipping them to make disciples on the college campus.
  • If a student commits to lead with us, we commit to disciple and equip them (heart, hands, head).
    • Heart – caring for their soul and helping them believe the gospel
    • Head – helping think rightly about the gospel and discipleship
    • Hands – actively making disciples on campus

What is a Student Leader

  • A student leader is someone who is committing to lead with Summit College and make disciples on campus
    • Apprentice – preparing to lead
      • Not yet leading any group but they are apprenticing under a discipleship leader. Able to lead when discipler and staff gives them green light.
    • Discipleship Leader – equipped to lead
      • Leading/coleading a Discipleship Group (DG)
      • Possibly leading a Family Group (FG)
      • Intentionally developing an apprentice
    • Discipleship Coach – leading leaders
      • Possibly leading a FG
      • Leading Discipleship Leaders
    • Being a part of the Student Leadership Team (SLT) does not guarantee you lead a DG. That is based off numbers and connections through relationships. 

Qualities of a Student Leader

  • For student leadership we are not looking for perfect people instead we are looking for people that are:
  • FAT

    • Faithful – they are faithfully following Jesus and being changed by him (devotional life, openness and vulnerability, sexual purity)
    • Available – they prioritize God in their time. They are consistently at all Summit College commitments (FG, DG, etc.)
    • Teachable – they desire to be discipled and welcome feedback and instruction

  Multiplying the gospel on campus

  • Meet – they seek to meet new people and build relationships with both Christians and NonChristians
  • Invite – consistently invite others to Family Group
  • Share – Actively trying to share the gospel on campus 


  • Weekly Commitments: Family Group, Discipleship Group, Discipleship Coach Meeting, Summit Service (Attend 1/Serve 1)
  • Monthly Commitments: Student Leader Meeting, Campus United/SC United
  • Semester: Summit College Retreats, Student Leader Kickoff, Fresh 10, Summer Conversations
  • Summit Membership

Tools for Equipping Leaders

  • Discipleship Coach Meeting (Heart)
    • Listen, Encourage, Accountability, Direction
  • Monthly Student Leader Meetings (Hands and Head)
  • Young Gunz (Head)

Student Leadership Team Process

 Application and Reference

  • Character App – Only if they are not doing a Go Now Summer Program
  • Commitment App – Agree to expectations and needed info for placement
  • Reference from current DG leader or staff member


  • Interview everyone applying for the first time
  • Hold the right to interview anyone from the previous year that they have any questions about their application


  • Each campus assesses the students and accepts them to the SLT


Accept them and place them with family group for the following semester

Student Leader Timeline

  • Feb 18-Mar 8 Application period
  • Mar 18-22 Interviews
  • Mar 23-29 Acceptance and Placement
  • Apr 1-27 New FG
  • April 13 Student Leader Team Spring Training (Mandatory)
  • April 15 All Campus SLT Celebration




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