By Adam P. Setmeyer, Director of Campus Ministry
As the new director of campus ministry in the fall of 2013, it quickly became apparent to me that campus ministry at Marian University needed a new mission and vision. While the department coordinated many fantastic programs, campus ministry lacked a cohesive set of goals. However, I did not want the mission simply to come from the staff who, locked away in a room, crafted something theologically beautiful, but, ultimately, only appealing to us.
Therefore, we worked with our campus ministry leadership team, a group of 12 student leaders, to reach out to students across campus while the campus ministry staff approached faculty and staff. In total, campus ministry logged over 70 hours of conversation, held town hall meetings in the residence halls, met with provost and deans, conducted an open forum for faculty and staff along with Sister Jean Marie Cleveland, met with all student affairs staff, and conducted an online survey which received over 200 responses.
Reflecting on our data, the vision of campus ministry provided by the United States Catholic Bishops, and the best research available on young adults, we created the following set of statements:
Through prayerful reflection on the life of Jesus, and in response to the mission and vision of Marian University, campus ministry uniquely lives out our Catholic identity and the Franciscan sponsorship values through our mission and vision.
Mission: To walk humbly with others, as Jesus Christ is God walking with us, to respond to the Spirit, following the example of Mary, and to cultivate a community in which all may discover the fullness of life.
Vision (three years): To be a ministry to campus, through faith-filled leaders, that is known for its missionary character, rich worship, and education for justice. As a result, we believe Marian University will become a campus community where every individual may encounter our loving God, discover his or her calling, and claim a role in restoring all of creation.
We believe this mission and vision is bold, and carries on the “courage to venture” of the Oldenburg Sisters. The statements are passionately Catholic, grounded in the Franciscan tradition, and present campus ministry as radically hospitable to all.
Already the vision is affecting how we operate daily, and this can be seen in the new programs being created this semester.
To name only a few, campus ministry held a fall break Indy Urban Plunge to explore issues of poverty, initiated a new student ministry team focused on the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and is starting a new Residential Peer Ministry Program.