Posted on : Saturday October 16, 2010

By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent

COLUMBIA, Md.—Eric Reiber, campus minister at Anne Arundel Community College is excited about this semester. Fifteen students returned from last semester and Reiber said he got 15 names from the welcome table on the first week of school. “Friends are inviting friends like never before. We are expecting good growth,” Reiber said.

Anne Arundel Community College students help out during a disaster relief training event sponsored by the BCM/D. Students used part of their spring retreat to get certified as disaster relief workers.

New this semester is a once-a-week prayer time–a student idea, which Reiber said “makes it even better.”

Reiber said they’re also celebrating the baptism of student, Shauntelle Miller, this summer.

Ron Yost, campus pastor at Frostburg University, is drawing up to 100 students and needs to expand. “Our average attendance is 70-plus in the living room and dining room of a ranch house.” Yost said, noting he needs to build an addition.

This is a busy time for collegiate ministers, Blake Hardcastle, University of Delaware campus minister, said. Hardcastle said the beginning of the school year is when connections are made. Campus pastors are all around the campus getting to know students, hosting kick-off events and working with students to plan outreach, worship, small groups and missions.

A major objective of BCM/D collegiate ministers is to get students connected with and involved in local churches.

“I am a missionary on behalf of Southern Baptist churches,” Justin Woods, campus minister at the U.S. Naval Academy, said.

He strives to see college students come to know Christ, to nurture and disciple young Christians and to provide them with ministry opportunities, including becoming full-functioning members of local churches.

“The key thing to understand is that God established the local church as a place for worship, teaching and community – it’s critical to our spiritual lives,” Woods said.