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May 16, 2006

Crafting a Culture is the result of a two-year research project.

Campus ministries resource book premiers

 

LINCOLN—“What are the essential foundations of campus ministries?” asked Gina Jacob, then a student at Union College in Lincoln, Neb. Two years of research and visits to 13 Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities later, Jacob has written the answer in her book, Crafting a Culture: A Guide to Successful Campus Ministry.

        “Nobody has ever traveled to every Adventist campus in such a short period of time, especially with an eye and ear to their spiritual needs,” said Jacob.

        “There was no campus ministries resource for Adventist universities,” said Rich Carlson, Union College chaplain and Jacob’s mentor. “Gina has been very influential in campus ministries at Union and elsewhere. She was the ideal person to prepare this resource.”

        The first year of Jacob’s research, she spent a week at each of the 13 Adventist colleges and universities in the North American Division. Jacob interviewed students, campus ministries workers and faculty. She attended campus ministries meetings and helped out in programs. Jacob attended national seminars, read voraciously and journal her insights and findings.

        The next year, Jacob returned to each campus. This time she spoke at campus ministries leadership seminars, shared what she had learned and asked for feedback. Finally, Jacob began to write with the intent of identifying procedures, policies and structures that were proven to make campus ministries programs successful. “Gina compiled her personal notes from books and seminars into a resource section that offers an amazingly prioritized and annotated bibliography for quick reference,” Carlson said.

        “I appreciate the gathering of a lot of ideas from what is working on other campuses to show how we can enrich our program here,” said Lane Campbell, Southwestern Adventist University chaplain. “The book’s structure is easy to follow and the content is thought provoking.

        Jacob has three goals for the book. “I hope Crafting a Culture is a springboard for chaplains and youth leaders to envision bigger ministries than they ever have before, to feel supported, and to realize their most important role is investing in their student leaders.”

        “There’s amazing support from the chaplains and their student workers,” said Jacob. Carlson in particular had a supportive impact. “I had the time to go everywhere, but Pastor Rich is the one who made it happen. He’s an amazing mentor,” Jacob said.

        According to Carlson, Jacob’s leadership of this project was a natural continuation of her experience with Union College’s Campus Ministries team. Jacob began as a volunteer coordinator and served in many capacities, including director of volunteer services, student chaplain and Union for Christ director.

        “This is Gina’s work,” Carlson said. “She’s done the writing and traveling, and students from Union did the editing. Gina had a dream that we were able to fulfill.”

        The grant funding of the project includes a copy of Crafting a Culture for every chaplain at each Adventist college and university in the North American Division. The book is also a highly applicable resource to local church youth workers, high school chaplains and others around the world that seek to empower students as leaders.

        The project was made possible through the support of several donors: Versa Care, North American Division Church Ministries, North American Division Youth and Young Adults, and Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries.

        Crafting a Culture is available from AdventSource at www.adventsource.com.