INTRODUCTION: The following questions are a guide to researching your university. In reference to
campus ministry, Ellen White mentions, “Each one should study to see what is the best way to get the truth into the school” (2SM p. 234). By researching your university, you will have an informed understanding
of how to better minister to the needs of the people, inviting them to be citizens of Heaven. Remember, at the core of every human being God has placed a desire to know Him. Since these questions are generalizations, you will find many students who may not fit into your research. These questions will give you broad strokes of the cultural norms and philosophical influences that shape the minds those who work at or attend your university/college.
THE GOAL: To prayerfully discover how you can present the truth to those God has placed on your
USING THE SCHOOL NEWSPAPER
The campus publishes news about what is important to the student body and to the campus as a whole.
These publications come in the form of articles on
what they think is important. Especially look at the editorial pages or comments to understand the pulse of student opinion. Also, the newspaper and websites will help you to know how and where you can advertise on campus.
KEY QUESTIONS (COLLEGE LIFE)
How many publications (check social media) are on campus?
How often are these communications sent
Is there a Christian publication?
How many student publications are there?
How are they used? Satire? Social Justice?
How many publications does the University
use? How are they used?
What stories are covered in the
What do these stories tell you about the
opinion, thoughts and perspectives of the
people who are writing/reading these
What is the main form of distributing the
news? Is it printed, on websites, through
social media? (This will also let you know
how students get information/news on
What articles are posted on their Facebook
Page? Twitter? Intagram, etc
STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS ON CAMPUS
Knowing the student organizations at your campus will give you a pulse of the students’ interests. Once you are acquainted with the student organizations on campus, you will be able to network and potentially be able to participate together in events. It is a good way to outreach and give your group a presence on campus. You can begin by going to the university/college website to see the groups that are registered. This may be helpful in deciding the kinds of events you would like to advertise/plan. For example, one group planned a ‘sober BBQ’ and invited all the sororities and fraternities surrounding their home.
KEY QUESTIONS (STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS)
How many student groups are there?
Are there Christian groups? Is there a group
where all Christian student leaders come
What are the Religious groups?
What are the International groups?
What are the Health groups?
Are there Outdoor groups?
How active are the fraternities and
How many fraternities and sororities are
What is their influence like on the campus
Which student organization fliers capture
the majority’s attention, and why?
When you walk on campus, which
organizational posters or fliers do you see
Based on the fliers, what kind of activities
are the Christian groups hosting?
This may be helpful in deciding the kinds of
events you would like to advertise/plan
To research the activity of student organizations on campus, look into the student government budget allocations, which is public information. The allocation will usually be found on the student government website. Researching the student government will also help you to know how to get funding from the
KEY QUESTIONS (STUDENT GOVERNMENT)
What is the budget for the student
How many organizations asked for funding?
How much did they ask for? How much did
When are the budget hearings?
What is the focus of the student
government? Are they looking to see more
student organizations work together on
events and programs?
What is the process of asking for money for
your student organization?
What kind of leaders are involved in the
How involved are these student-
government leaders in the student body?
What kind of events does the student
government want to see on campus? (e.g.
Weekend alternatives to parties)
Each university is unique and attracts a certain type(s) of students. Additionally, each university ascribes to a certain philosophy in which they educate every student. For example, if the University seeks to expose the “evils of globalizations,” the decentralization of power, and so forth, then you will hear buzz words in your classes like globalization, decentralization, and the like in your classes. One way for Adventist to connect with this philosophy is to look at the life of Christ as He always reminded the Jews that His kingdom was not of this world. Christ recognizes the “evils” that surround the centralization of power on earth was often gave a voice to those who did not have a voice; for example, consider the under-privileged woman at the well. Below are some questions you can use to help discover the underlying philosophies of the university. A lot of this information can be found on the university website, and especially on the registrar’s web page.
KEY QUESTIONS (UNIVERSITY)
What is the university’s mission statement?
What are some buzz words that you often
hear in your classes? What do other
What are the subjects of the core classes
that students are required take? What are
the topics of these classes?
What do these topics and buzz words tell
you about the university’s philosophy?
What are the largest departments on
campus for student enrollment? (Education,
social work, engineering, medicine, etc.)
What are some of the philosophies of these
departments (can often be found on their
What are some of the departments
featured at the university? How do these
departments rank in the US?
What are some of the majors for
How strong is the universities research? In
what areas to they receive funding, i.e.
What is the cost for enrollment? How does
it rank with other campuses in your state?
What does this research tell you about the
students that are attracted to the
What are some of the focuses in your
The demographic of the university will give you a better idea of the specific needs of certain student
populations on your campus and how to cater your events to meet their interests. Think especially of
the international population on your campus.
KEY QUESTIONS (UNIVERSITY)
What is the total enrollment?
What is the undergrad enrollment? Number
of each class?
What is the graduate enrollment?
What is the international enrollment? What
are the top countries?
What is the percentage to instate and out
of state enrollment?
What is the male to female ratio?
What are the students’ study habits?
What are the students’ recreation habits?
How do students respond to different types
of information on campus? News? Fliers?
Poster Board? Chalking? Email? Surveying?
Will students take a flier and read it?
Do they read table tents?
What is the religious climate of the
campus? Antagonistic? Pluralistic?
How are religious groups received on
How many students live on campus? Is it a
commuter school? Are there many dorms?
(This may influence when you have Bible
studies and social activities.)