Freshman year brings a lot of changes. For me, one of the most difficult changes was leaving my home church and being thrown into an atmosphere where I did not have a church to go to. Fortunately, Virginia Tech has a lot of amazing programs and people who are committed to providing a church community for students. Here is some advice on how to get involved in a campus ministry!
Tip #1: Do your research.
Make sure you know what kinds of ministries Virginia Tech has to offer! Diverse, unique, and different, there are many ministries of many denominations. Some meet on campus, some meet off; some host a lot of social events, some do not. Research the ministries so that you have an idea of which ones you are most interested in. You can find information on any of these ministries on GobblerConnect. There are links to some of their websites at the end of this article.
Tip #2: Try them all out!
Sign up for newsletters, get added on GroupMe chats, and meet new people! Not every campus ministry will be right for you, and you will not know which one is right unless you try them all out. In fact, many people attend more than one ministry. Some teach theology better, and others are better at the social aspect. To give you a better sense of the ministries available, the five organizations that most students attend are Cru, InterVarsity, Chi Alpha, Young Life, and Reformed University Fellowship. Those are solid places to start! You can sign up for their newsletter and give them your information on their website.
Tip #3: Attend welcome week activities/meetings/events.
It is very easy to isolate yourself, especially in your first week at college. Being in a space with people that you don’t know can be scary and overwhelming, but you must put yourself out there and meet new people. Attend as many welcome week events as you can and get to know the leaders and other students. Unless you meet the people, you will not know if a ministry is the right fit for you. Welcome week information and events will be on the ministry’s social media. Some of them are included at the bottom.
Tip #4: Get people’s numbers and meet up with them.
When you attend a welcome week event or a worship service, do not hesitate to ask for people’s contact information. Make an effort to get to know them; grab lunch or coffee and find time to talk. Church events are much more fun when you know some people!
Tip #5: Get to know the campus minister and the leadership team.
Do not be afraid to approach the campus pastor or the leadership team. As my campus minister once said, they are basically “professional friends.” Their job is to get to know you and make you feel comfortable, welcomed, and supported. Get lunch or coffee with them! They want to get to know you, too. Their contact information will be on the campus ministry website and social media.
There are so many amazing campus ministries here at Virginia Tech. They welcome any and all students who attend their worship services, fun events, and Bible studies. No matter your beliefs or personal struggles, they will welcome you and include you with open arms. It is very important that you get plugged into the campus ministry that is right for you. If you meet new people, have fun, and stay open to new things, you will find the right ministry and you will love it!
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship
Reformed University Fellowship