To ensure the intentional focus of Union College on the spiritual life of its students, and in accordance with an initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the college designed and the board approved the following document. It is under biannual revision and annual assessment. Results of assessment are located at the end of these documents.
Union College Spiritual Master Plan
This document is an expression of the importance of spiritual growth in faculty, staff, and students at Union College. It has been prepared by the Strategic Planning and Religious Life Committees of the College and is considered to be a dynamic statement that will be updated and changed as needs and opportunities arise. It is intended to help clearly define goals and objectives for improving the spiritual life of the college family.
The main goals are taken directly from the Mission and Vision Statements of the College and Campus Ministries. These are further clarified with sub-goals and statements of current activity. Following the goals section is a discussion of assessment procedures.Mission and Vision Statements
Union College Mission Statement
Union College, a Seventh-day Adventist liberal arts college, prepares students from diverse backgrounds for excellence in selected professions, develops an eternal perspective with assurance in Christ, and promotes joyful service to the world.
Union College will be recognized for its creative, progressive, affordable, and openly caring environment where students are enabled to identify and develop talents, communicate effectively, strengthen constructive thinking, and flourish spiritually.
Campus Ministries Mission Statement
Creating the environment and the opportunities for students and staff of Union College to grow in their relationship with Jesus and in support of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Reaching IN through personal devotions and prayer. Reaching UP through corporate worship experiences. Reaching OUT through evangelistically-based service opportunities.
Goals and Objectives
Union College (UC) is a Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) college and it will be supportive of the SDA Church, its mission and teaching.
UC and the College View SDA Church (CVC) will seek to integrate programs.
Church pastors will have the opportunity to teach classes at UC.
The college family participates in and attends regular Sabbath and mid-week services as available.
CVC worship services are designed to serve the student needs as well as those of community members.
Students have the opportunity to participate in the more than 70 ministries offered at CVC.
The student director of Union for Christ (UFC) sits on the CVC board.
CVC members enjoy participating in the variety of spiritual programs provided by the College.
Students will take classes (in the General Education core curriculum, cognate requirements, and electives) designed to enhance understanding of and support for SDA doctrines.
"Christian Beliefs" (a study of the SDA belief system) is a part of the general education requirements.
Other doctrinal classes offered include the prophetic books of "Daniel", "Revelation", and "Prophetic Guidance," a study of the history of the SDA Church including the role of Ellen White.
Science and theology majors are encouraged to take the class "Origins"(a scientific and faith-based study of creation and evolution with an emphasis on constructive thinking skills as one develops support for a literal 7-day Biblical creation)
Health professions majors take "Christian Ethics" and/or "Christian View of the Healing Arts."
Each class taught at Union will have content that relates the material being studied to spiritual issues. Documentation of this should appear in some form in the syllabus.
Students will be encouraged to support and participate in the SDA healthy life-style.
Students maintain a Collegiate Adventists for Better Living (CABL) organization supporting a positive view of the SDA health message.
"Concepts of Wellness" (how to maintain a healthy lifestyle) is a part of the general education requirements.
Two other activity classes are also required for graduation.
UC Wellness Program encourages faculty and staff toward healthy lifestyle choices for themselves and as a model and example for the students.
Union College will provide an atmosphere which encourages the development of an eternal perspective with assurance in Christ.
Students will be provided with a variety of opportunities for internalizing the foundational principle of assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.
Students will be challenged with the need to integrate that assurance into all of lifes solutions.
Students will be presented with the value of belonging to the SDA church, recognizing their unique role in building up the body of Christ.
Faculty and staff model loyalty to the SDA church by working at Union and by regularly attending and being involved in religious services.
Each faculty member will be able to identify intentional spiritual interactions with students.
Union College will promote joyful service to the world.
The College will provide a variety of vehicles for involving students in service.
A center for volunteer services is maintained on campus. It fosters and enables volunteer community service in the Lincoln area.
An annual community service day (Project Impact) is held when there are no classes and students and faculty/staff work together on a variety of projects to serve the community.
UC maintains a Task Force program, enabling students to gain valuable service experiences in SDA school and church settings in North America.
Unions student mission program is very active, providing opportunities for students to serve overseas in established mission programs sponsored by the SDA church.
Specialized groups will be encouraged to look for and implement specific service opportunities.
The athletic teams continue involving team members in outreach activities including a big-brother/big-sister mentoring program.
Nursing students and faculty initiated and continue to participate in the Daywatch Foot Clinic providing inspection, treatment, and shoes for the feet of homeless persons in Lincoln.
Music and athletic performance groups visit churches in Mid-America Union Conference of SDA (MAUC).
Regular service projects are incorporated into campus organizations such as student government (ASB) and various campus clubs.
Union College supports an active student chapter of Amnesty International.
Union College will enable students and faculty/staff to flourish spiritually.
A variety of corporate worship experiences will be provided.
Chapel services are held weekly.
Friday night Vespers is held on a regular basis.
"Power Pac" services are held monthly or weeks of prayer are held twice each year.
Residence Hall worships involve a variety of corporate and small-group experiences.
A college Sabbath School ("Sabbath Experience") is provided.
Weekly worship services are held at CVC.
(vii) Students are informed of the 6 other SDA churches in the Lincoln area available for ethnic diversity and personal preference.
Personal interaction between faculty/staff and students will be encouraged.
Many teachers provide a time of worship at the beginning of class and spiritual discussion takes place in classes where relevant issues about the integration of faith and the discipline being studied can be discussed.
Faculty/staff are encouraged to invite students into their homes during regular Friday night "soup-suppers".
Commitment of faculty and staff coupled with a low teacher/student ratio provides many opportunities for spiritual mentoring.
Individual worship experiences will be provided.
A 12-step Spiritual Discovery program provides many students each semester with an ongoing small group spiritual support system.
A variety of student-led small prayer/study groups are ongoing.
The CVC staff holds periodic "Connections Seminars" to help students identify their spiritual gifts.
Campus Ministries will attempt to create the environment and the opportunities for each member of the UC family to grow in their relationship with Jesus and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
A survey will be taken during registration to gather information about individuals who are interested in participating in campus ministries (i.e. song leaders, volunteering, testimonies, etc.)
Programs will intentionally incorporate various worship styles to meet the student bodys evolving needs.
Student leaders will be responsible for all programs and ministries. New initiatives will begin in response to information gathered from the student body, or from ideas and requests presented directly by individuals who desire change and/or personal involvement.
Campus Ministries will attempt to help students reach IN through personal devotions and prayer.
Devotional resources will be made available to students.
Different subgroups on campus (dorms, village, international, married students, post-graduate) will each have a Student Pastor to lead out in and/or raise awareness of spiritual opportunities.
"Good Morning Union," a daily devotional e-mail message, will be sent to the entire school community (students, staff, faculty, board members, alumni, etc.)
Campus Ministries will attempt to help students reach UP through corporate worship experiences.
Tuesday morning Chapel services
Friday night Vespers
Colligate Sabbath School (Sabbath Experience)
Monthly Power Pac weekends
At least one Student Week of Prayer a year
Students are invited to attend the two worship services provided at CVC
Revive International worship
Regular and on-going small group Bible studies
Tuesday evening Reflections
Spiritual Journey groups
Topics-based small groups
Campus Ministries will attempt to help students reach OUT through evangelistically-based service opportunities.
Annual community service day Project Impact
Weekly SOS outreach activities (Something on Sabbath)
Union Manor Singspiration
Matt Talbot Soup Kitchen
The Gathering Place Soup Kitchenz
Orchard Park Singspiration
Sunday Soldiers labor-oriented projects
"O" Street Ministries
The volunteer center connects community needs with student volunteers on a per request basis.
An active world missions program
Year-long volunteer task force positions are available
Literature Evangelism program (Magabook)
Contemporary Christian Concert Series which attracts many Lincoln community members
Philosophy of Assessment
There are significant challenges inherent in measuring or assessing spirituality. In particular, it is easy to confuse measuring spirituality (an internal experience) with measuring "religiosity" (quantity of external performance). While we recognize that an internal experience often leads to external changes, it is all too easy to show conformance to the external standards without having the internal experience. We choose, therefore, to primarily assess the quality of what we are doing rather than trying to evaluate the results of the process.
Process of Assessment
The Spiritual Master Plan
This Spiritual Master Plan itself contains a list of many activities that are ongoing which help Union achieve the goals of the plan. These are reviewed by Campus Ministries, the Religious Life Committee, and the Strategic Planning Committee to see how well they are being maintained and what additional steps or changes might be established to successfully attain our goals.
Limited use of the Noel-Levitz assessment instrument was first implemented on campus during the 1996-97 school year. This survey measures student expectations and the degree to which these expectations are being met by the institution. Items related to spiritual growth and campus spirituality have been added as a part of the assessment for Union. Continued use of this instrument will be part of the assessment process.
In the spring of each school year, assessment also takes place with an instrument called "Probe". The items on this instrument are specifically coordinated with each item in the SMP and students are asked to give their personal assessment of our success or failure in achieving the stated goals.
In the spring of 2003 Campus Ministries administered their first assessment survey among graduates with the mailing of a short survey to all who have finished their studies at UC within the past 5 years. The purpose of this survey is to determine current level of commitment to their personal relationship with Jesus and their involvement in a local congregation as compared to that same commitment and involvement while they were at Union. This longitudinal study will help assess the ongoing effect on their spiritual experience at UC.
At the end of each year Campus Ministries prepares a Spiritual Assessment Report summarizing the results of the Noel-Levitz survey, the Probe survey, the graduate survey, and any relevant assessment information from the divisions. This document becomes part of the general College assessment report.
Making changes to the Colleges spiritual program
Each year Campus Ministries coordinates a discussion of the Spiritual Assessment Reports with the Religious Life Committee, Presidents Council, and SPC. Adjustments are made to the Spiritual Master Plan as needed and action steps are developed to help achieve the goals of the plan.
After attending Union College, every student should be able to say they have had the opportunity to grow spiritually during their collegiate educational experience. Our commitment is to continue assessing progress toward this goal, praising God for the victories and successes, and seeking His wisdom and guidance in continual improvement. Our responsibility is to provide the environment where students feel safe in searching for and wrestling with God, and the opportunity to "choose today, and every day, whom they will serve." As for the administration, faculty, and staff of Union College, "We will serve the Lord."