More than mentoring
Campus pastors work to guide and counsel
The Campus Pastors Office is implementing new tactics to engage students. This semester, members of the staff have been roaming the campus. While these staff members still have offices, they are more likely to be found in the Jerry Falwell Library or joining a student for a Bible study and a workout in the gym.
“It’s given us more of a higher profile,” Timothy Griffin, executive director of the Campus Pastors Office, said. “More students are aware of us.”
Griffin said campus pastors have done mobile ministry in past semesters, but David Nasser, senior vice president of Spiritual Development, has taken it to another level. According to Griffin, the roaming campus pastors are given the freedom to go anywhere they please.
Some of the staff has reserved group study rooms in the Jerry Falwell Library to act as makeshift offices. Griffin said group study rooms give the staff the ability to mentor students and have in depth conversations in private.
The goal of the roaming staff is to have conversations with students who would not normally come into their offices. Griffin said they have been able to talk to more students this semester than ever before. The campus pastor team has collectively met with close to 500 students this semester.
“Whatever walk of life (they) are in, we want students to be the best Christians they can be,” Griffin said.
The Campus Pastors Office is made up of six ordained campus pastors and four women’s life skills coordinators.
“Our biggest resources are people and relationships,” Griffin said.
The campus pastors are in charge of meeting with students, hospital visits, premarital counseling, marital counseling, leading small groups, and mentoring and discipling students. Griffin compared the campus pastor role to the day-to-day role of a pastoral staff of a church and said their responsibilities are very similar.
The life skills coordinators specifically invest into the lives of women. Their position is very similar to the campus pastors in terms of mentoring and discipling females on the campus.
Students have the opportunity to meet with campus pastors or life skills coordinators in one-on-one meetings. These provide students with a personalized time to talk through different struggles they are encountering.
“Students get to talking and realize we are pretty great to talk to,” Griffin said.
Another branch of the Campus Pastors Office is the Prayer Center located in M17. It is run by two of the campus pastors and is open every day. The Prayer Center is where students are prayed for and can come to pray. Online students are also available to access the Prayer Center by submitting prayer requests online, through telephone or texting 434-515-1854.
Currently, students can join the 15 Days of Prayer. This initiative highlights different parts of campus and encourages students to pray from different places at Liberty each day.
The campus pastors can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 592-5411. Their office is located in Green Hall 1837.
FROST is a news reporter.