Although it was many years ago now, I well remember how spiritually formative campus ministry was for me and other Christian students during our years at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. Our campus minister was always available for guidance, support, and stimulating Bible studies. He also planned and accompanied students on a number of well-attended off-campus retreats and adventures, which became some of my most memorable college experiences.
I thought you might be interested to know about a similarly vibrant ministry of the United Church of Christ on the campus of Arizona State University. Desert Palm UCC in Tempe, in partnership with the Southwest Conference of the UCC, offers a campus ministry with a progressive presence and voice on the ASU Campus. I have recently become friends with the UCC Campus Minister, Andrew Ponder Williams, who has acquainted me with his programs. He offers support for students in the form of weekly small groups, monthly worship, and one-on-one conversations. Because of COVID-19, Andrew and his students are mostly interacting right now by Zoom, though that will change in the future. Besides advocating for ignored voices, fighting climate change, ensuring all people have housing, and advancing LGBTQ rights with his students, Andrew also leads Arizona adventures away from campus so that students can enjoy enriching spiritual retreats at low or no cost through scholarships. All students are welcome—not just ones who are UCC. He has prepared a video for you all to watch that describes his ministry. I think you will enjoy getting to know him and learning about the work he does by clicking here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1P2jR9Z5b5T8Mvi3-OX4vUVKAGL_PVDB0/view. When we can meet in person again, we will have him preach one Sunday. In the meantime, maybe you have grandchildren at ASU or know of friends’ children who would benefit from such support and spiritual formation while in college.