College religious organizations
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2007)|
College religious organizations provide campus ministry services to students of colleges and universities throughout the world. These are most commonly found in secular colleges and universities to cater to students of particular religious beliefs where the institution is not affiliated with, cannot endorse a particular religion, or hire its own religious ministers. These are sometimes affiliated as registered student organizations of their local university.
The need for pastoral services in secular universities can be traced back to the writings of John Henry Newman advocating for societies of Catholic students to be established at secular universities in England. The rising popularity of public universities in many parts of the world over sectarian private universities also necessitated a need for Christian ministerial services for students. At the same time Christian churches in the vicinity of colleges and universities may provide worship and ministerial services to local students.
In the United States there are about 250 Catholic Newman Centers that minister to Catholic students at public universities. They trace their origin to the Newman movement and are ministered by laypeople, local parishes, or religious institutes. More recently, lay apostolates such as FOCUS, established in 1997, are ministering to and re-evangelizing Catholic university students and young adults.
Protestant Christian and Ecumenical groups following their establishment also created ministries especially focused on evangelizing students. One most recognizable group is Cru, originally known as Campus Crusade for Christ, a non-denominational Christian ministry established in 1951 on the campus of UCLA which has ministries in over a thousand universities. Various other evangelical groups have world-wide networks of campus ministries including the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students and World Student Christian Federation. Established Protestant denominations also have equivalent student fellowship groups directly affiliated with their church:
- Adventist Christian Fellowship of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
- American Baptist Campus Ministry of the American Baptist Convention
- Baptist Student Union of the Southern Baptist Convention
- Chi Alpha Campus Ministries of the Assemblies of God
- Lutheran Student Fellowship of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
- Lutheran Student Movement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Missionary baptist student fellowship of the American Baptist Association
- Reformed University Fellowship of the Presbyterian Church in America
- Wesley Foundation of the United Methodist Church