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New Location, Same Vision
July 18, 2013
By admin

It has been fifteen years since the Michigan Conference established the department of public campus ministries – the only conference to do so in the entire North American Division.  Since then many changes have taken place in Seventh-day Adventist public campus ministry.  Our Adventist Seminary now offers a graduate certificate in this field, the North American Division has established a coordinator on a part-time basis, and other conferences are following the leadership of Michigan by establishing departments or ministries that give full attention to this unique work.

It has taken keen vision to lead CAMPUS to where it is today.  Since its birth, more than 150 students have completed our one-year internship – the Missionary Training Program.  Although most of our graduates return to their university campuses to lead ministries in some of our nation’s top centers of higher learning, some have made career changes to be involved in full-time ministry.

CAMPUS now has seven licensed and/or ordained ministers working in the world field, five staff who have served as chaplains to Adventist students on public university campuses, and two graduates who pioneered some of the strongest campus ministries in our church today.  Through the ministry of its notable alumni some of the country’s most prestigious universities in the United States have been impacted, including: Harvard, MIT, Wellesley, Stanford, and more.

Three Locations
In the last 15 years, CAMPUS has moved three times.  Its inaugural program was held in two townhomes located near the University of Michigan Stadium.  Thanks to the support of committed Adventist philanthropists, we were able to purchase two modular homes 10 miles off-campus.  These homes served as CAMPUS Headquarters, dormitories, classrooms, and ministry centers for 11 years, establishing our ministry at the University of Michigan as the most credible model for Adventist Public Campus Ministry.

In the fall of 2011, CAMPUS moved its headquarters to East Lansing for three main reasons:

//This location is more centrally located, making our ministry to other universities in Michigan more easily accessible;

//The relocation of the headquarters significantly benefited our financial budget in a tough economy; and

//East Lansing provided an opportunity to have a ministry hub right on the campus.

Moving to East Lansing does not mean that CAMPUS will no longer work in Ann Arbor.  We see our move, more as an expansion to what has already been established in Ann Arbor and will surely be back to pioneer more phases of ministry in our birthplace.

Three Directors
The CAMPUS directorship has also changed three times.  Launched by Dr. Samuel Koranteng-Pipim in 1998, CAMPUS enjoyed leadership through a very fruitful ministry until his resignation.  In 2011 Michigan Conference appointed Justin Kim as the director and Israel Ramos as the associate director.  During his directorship, Justin oversaw the ministry expansion to East Lansing and the purchasing of a new headquarters building next to the University Seventh-day Adventist Church on the campus of Michigan State University.  He took a call to the Communication and Sabbath School departments the following year.  In 2013, Israel Ramos became the third director of CAMPUS with Justin Kim and Andy Im as associate directors.  The next chapter of CAMPUS has two major initiatives: a ministerial residency that trains ministers in public campus ministry settings, and a graduate and young professional ministry.

Three Programs
The Missionary Training Program has also changed with each location shift.  When the program first started, it was called CAMPUS Missionary Volunteers.  The vision modeled the Peace Corps philosophy of giving to the church instead of merely expecting to receive its benefits.  The program inaugural program ran for one semester with 10 missionaries.  In its second phase, the name was changed to the Missionary Training Program.  Ever since its first year, program participants have been called Missionaries – students who take a year off from their college careers to serve as missionaries in the concrete jungles of public universities and colleges.  If there is one thing that is most notable about the Missionary Training Program, it is the caliber of leaders that the program produces.  Now, the Michigan culture treats all Adventist students on campus as missionaries – not just the program participants.  CAMPUS has become a place to learn evangelism in this unique setting, while also learning the art of leadership in the world church.

Although changes will certainly continue to take place at CAMPUS, its core and vision never will – for they are what define our existence.  CAMPUS will continue to train young people in preparing public campuses for the imminent return of Christ, produce strong leadership among Adventist young people, and continue to be an agent of cultural change and vision around the world.

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