Sorry, but I’ve worked with college students pretty consistently for the last 25 or so years. The approach outlined below (after the break) for reaching Orthodox college students simply doesn’t work. Either the parish priest doesn’t have the information or (if he does) he doesn’t respond. And even if the information is accurate and gets to the chaplain, the fact that it comes from the student’s parish priest isn’t really a positive thing for most students.
If you want a viable campus ministry you don’t need spreadsheets but priest-chaplains on campus. The university is a mission field and campus ministry is an evangelical work not an extension of the high school youth group.
We must evangelize college students.
Finally, if the majority of Orthodox college students aren’t interested in the Church, then we can also be pretty sure that our high school youth ministry programs aren’t particularly successful. But that’s a topic for another day.
h/t Byzantine Texas
Brookline, MA (OCF) – June 1, 2012. The North American OCF Office has launched an exciting new program to reach out to incoming first-year Orthodox college students at colleges and universities throughout North America, named The First Forty Days. As its name implies, during the first forty days of the 2012 fall semester, local OCF student leaders and chaplains will work to make personal contact with all new incoming students. They will be given information regarding the OCF chapter on campus and nearby Orthodox parishes. The intent of this program is to foster a personal connection with our students so that young college students will stay connected to Christ and His Church during their years in post-secondary education.
To accomplish this, OCF needs the help of all Orthodox Parishes in North America. In the coming weeks, OCF will be gathering the contact information of all incoming college freshman students in all of the Orthodox parishes across the continent. Each parish is asked to provide the North American OCF Office with some basic information concerning their high school graduates who will be attending college in the Fall on a downloadable spreadsheet. Click here (XLS) to download.It is asked that parishes download the spreadsheet , fill out, and email it back to firstname.lastname@example.org. All parishes are asked to send this information by June 15, 2012 so that OCF can organize the information for all of its chapter leaders well in advance of the fall semester. Parishes are also asked to include in the email their parish name, jurisdiction, address, phone number, and email address so that OCF can stay in touch with them in the future.
All information received by OCF will remain confidential and will only be released to endorsed OCF chaplains assigned to a particular college. When requesting the information from the students, parishes are asked to please make their students and parents aware that this information will be used in this manner.
For further information, please contact Christina Andresen, OCF Chapter Relations Coordinator, at (617) 850-1227.