How Church and Academy Can Be in Relationship: 31 Ways

April 09, 2009

If you are a part of an academic institution:

1. Host receptions at UM churches in surrounding cities on Sundays after church.

2. Admissions staff should forward names of known United Methodists to the chaplain or campus minister.

3. Campus ministry groups can go to churches that do not have youth ministries to help lead youth events. 

4. Write articles about your school or campus ministry for the UM Reporter, local papers, GBHEM's website, your annual conference publication, or other publications.

5. Invite church leaders and members to school lectures and trainings.

6. Take your college choir on a tour of churches.

7. Take students on United Methodist college tours.

8. Establish an email group to local congregations so they can stay up-to-date on school functions.

9. Schedule visits from bishops and district superintendents.

10. Chaplains can go out into the community (churches); school leaders should go to each church in the surrounding districts to speak about the school, not just to fill in as the preacher.

11. Request that churches identify members who are potential students.

12. Host practical seminars on how to finance your higher education.


If you are active in the United Methodist Church:


1. Host a special Sunday for homecoming or have a specific Sunday that highlights the school with the president, bishop, or an alum preaching, have it printed in school homecoming materials, have the university choir sing, host a meal.

2. Have annual conference and Board of Higher Education meetings at your school.

3. Turn in referrals of students from local churches to chaplains of UM Schools or Wesley Foundations.

4. Plan youth events at the United Methodist college in your area.

5. Ask students to take a lead role for UM Student Day Worship - Choose a different day if the Sunday after Thanksgiving doesn't work well for your church. Graduation Sunday, maybe?

6. Put United Methodist students in the public eye. Ask them to pray at events or speak, mention them in worship.

7. Take a trip to a campus ministry for worship.

8. Have juniors and seniors in high school worship with campus ministries.

9. Send students to Student Forum.

10. Establish scholarships for Annual Conference schools for students who have shown active involvement and leadership in conference youth events. 

11. Be mindful of using lay terms when reaching students in academia.

12. Pastors should hand out United Methodist college and university handbooks during confirmation interview with individual confirmands. 

13. Collaborate on days or events between the church and school communities.

14. Host faith and values discussion groups on campus for students.

15. Have vital and relevant worship experiences for the culture you are reaching.  

16. Make sure that information about United Methodist loans and scholarships is available to potential students/parents at your church.


Ways churches and schools can collaborate on projects:


1. Determine who the contact person is in your area who will be a liaison between your local school and church. Make they are always updated and active.

2. Be the initiator. Don't wait for the church/school group to start something amazing.

3. Be okay with giving something for nothing (at least, no immediate gain).