Each year the Department of Public Campus Ministries of the Michigan Conference accepts up to twelve dedicated youth to train for 9 months as a missionary intern in Ann Arbor, MI.
The program is primarily directed by Sebastien J. Braxton.
Upon arrival, interns move in to the male and female dormitories accordingly. As the interns get settled, they begin their first week with Orientation Week. This week helps to allow the interns to become acquainted with the universities, the community, and the dormitories themselves.
Missionary interns are given a CAMPUS manual which contains all policies regarding their stay and work. The interns are briefed upon their hourly requirements of ministry, exercise, and course work. Each missionary is required to weekly:
- Exercise 5 hours
- Engage in Personal Ministry for 10 hours
- Build a Small Group on campus for 5 hours
- Personally seek the Lord for 7 hours
- Colporteur for 8 hours
- Attend all classes up to 16 hours
- Attend Field School up to 1.5 hours
Missionary interns are also required to serve at the CAMPUS HOPE Church at the University of Michigan which is a branch sabbath school of the Ann Arbor SDA Church. The interns aid the student organizations at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University in their outreach and collaborate with them to reach their friends for Christ.
Each month, the missionary intern meets with the program director for an evaluation regarding the expectations of the program. This helps aid the discipleship aspect of the program in a way that is personal and tailor made to each intern.
Each semester there is a state-wide retreat held for the students and their friends. The interns are called upon to run the retreat in order to learn core competencies in putting on an event that is Christ-centered, Bible-based, Evangelistic, and life-changing.
Missionary Interns engage in at least two evangelistic series per year.
Lastly, each intern is required to conduct year long research on a general challenge to Christianity or to a distinctive teaching of Adventism. This paper is also presented to the CAMPUS staff and missionaries, followed by a personal missionary defense before the staff as a final annual examination.
The CAMPUS Missionary training program is a 9-month internship designed to engage dedicated youth in meaningful study of God’s word and active service on secular universities. CAMPUS seeks deepen and challenge missionary interns in the following areas:
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It is unequivocal that any individual seeking to substantially impact any mission field with the everlasting gospel must be firmly grounded in Christ and His work in his/her behalf. Besides the missionary’s own personal seeking of Christ, in order to reach this critical aim, here are a couple class intensives Campus conducts:
Personal Spirituality. This course contains 32 hours of instruction divided equally between theology and practice. Each topic is always begun from the example of Jesus in the gospels. Sebastien intends not only to ground the missionary biblically in devotional study methods, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, meditation etc, but also has an eye to unearth current New Age philosophies creeping into the church through the area of Christian Spirituality.
The Doctrine of Sanctuary. This course contains 16 hours of class instruction on the subject of sanctuary. Christ’s centrality is unavoidable at each juncture of the course. Justin Kim, the Director of PCM in the Michigan Conference, presents the subject in its breadth and depth combined with his down to earth charm and theological boldness which has made this class a favorite over the many years of training. Missionaries learn of the sanctuary’s pervasive presence throughout scripture, its key in understanding the book of Revelation, and practical wisdom gained from it in the OT.
[/tab] [tab]In an era bombarded by leadership gurus, books, seminars, and conventions, this crucial topic has been a secondary priority of CAMPUS from its inception. One cannot read scripture for very long without colliding with the critical nature of leadership along the timeline of salvation history. It is not the goal of CAMPUS to produce missionaries who simply reflector other men’s thoughts, but men and women strong to think and strong to do. In lieu of this component of the training, a few course intensives held are:
True Education. This course contains 32 hours of instruction and practicum by Elder Israel Ramos, the associate director for the PCM Department of the Michigan Conference. This course is one of the longest standing courses of the training program. While this course has always been a beloved class, it has also posed some of the greatest intellectual rigor for the interns over the years. The course seeks to teach the principles but also provide substantial time to practice the very principles learned. It is often paradigm shifting for the missionaries.
Nehemiah. This course contains 16 hours of instruction by Elder Kim. It is the oldest course taught at CAMPUS, dating to its very first missionary class in 1999. This course is an exegetical study of the entire of book of Nehemiah with an eye for practical and far-reaching leadership principles. The course inspires the interns in areas of vision, prayer, administration, and prepares them for opposition, evaluation and follow-through.
[/tab] [tab]At the very heart of the great controversy is the issue of character. The character of God, the character of Satan, and the character of man, which ultimately determines his destiny. Media bubbles over with stories of intrigue, infidelity, and greed amongst the highest leadership positions in the world. If character is important in the arenas of politics, sports, and entertainment, how much more within the church of God and in service to Him! Hence, CAMPUS provides an environment conducive for character development alongside courses to help the intern to become intentional about his/her growth and refinement. Some key courses conducted are:
Ethics. This course contains 16 hours of instruction by Andy Im. Andy is a professor at Weimar College, who has completed studies at Andrews University and Southern Adventist University. This course explores the idea of ethical dilemmas, as well as an honest comparison of other ethical systems with the Bible. This course has been amongst the most eye-opening course for the interns themselves, as they grapple with their own ethics and how it holds up to Scripture!
Character Development. This course contains 16 hours of instruction by Elder Kim. The title says it all, but the content often blind-sides the interns as they learn much about themselves, their personalities, and often insight into their group dynamic. This course brings to light the issues within the Great Controversy and how they are played out in history, our lives today, and in the lives of Bible characters. In the words of past interns, “It’s just a powerful class!”[/tab] [tab]One could argue that any religious organization seeking to engage public campuses would include the previous areas in its training, but CAMPUS seeks to explore them in the light of the unique identity and mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Many interns come to CAMPUS committed to God’s remnant church but without all the necessary tools to properly defend and propagate its message. CAMPUS offers a variety of courses and practicum to facilitate the interns’ establishment in it:
Evangelism. This course contains 20 hours of instruction combined with 100’s of hours of practicum. It is taught by Wes Peppers, Pastor of the Traverse City SDA Church and former program director of the AFCOE training program. Wes brings a wealth of experience in personal and public evangelism, combined with a friendly and practical approach of instruction. This course covers the whole gamut of public and personal evangelism for the interns, which takes a few hours to learn, but almost the entire year to master.
Adventist Apologetics. This course contains 16 hours of instruction by Elder David Shin, pastor of the East Lansing SDA Church. We often hear of general apologetics, which is covered by Elder Shin as well, but this course seeks to explore the many attacks made against the distinctive teachings of the Church and how to biblically and cogently respond. Elder Shin has a knack for making deep theological discussion accessible. A critical course at this time in earth’s history.
Daniel and Revelation. No SDA missionary training program would be complete without a course on these two prophetic books. As a prophetic movement, the SDA church has historically studied these books in depth and Elder Kim aids in the inculcation of the truths these books offer and the prophetic urgency colors the backdrop of the interns’ service at CAMPUS.
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Note: CAMPUS offers several other courses not listed above. If an intern passes with distinction, he/ she may receive over a semester’s worth of college credit to an Adventist School of their choice.