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US: National Study on Campus Ministry Released

Call for Innovative Growth, Cooperation, On-Going Formation to Enhance Efficacy

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)  Secretariat of Catholic Education on October 9, 2018, issued a report highlighting the key findings from the National Study on Catholic Campus Ministry. October 9 is the  Feast Day of Blessed John Henry Newman, patron of Catholic Campus Ministry in the United States. The Secretariat commissioned the study seeking to advance Catholic identity in higher education and to rejuvenate the vision of Catholic campus ministry nationally.

Utilizing an innovative and collaborative process, the study brought together practitioners from public, private and Catholic institutions, mission officers, faculty members, missionaries, bishops and stakeholders representing the breadth of Catholic campus ministry in the United States.  The effort was led by Barbara H. McCrabb, Assistant Director for Higher Education at the USCCB and Dr. Brian Starks, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Kennesaw State University.

The national study considered the contemporary context for campus ministry as well as the formation and professional development of those who minister on campus. The report offers valuable insights into the landscape of Catholic campus ministry and the formation of those who serve as campus ministers or missionaries on campus. Key findings call for innovative growth, steadfast cooperation and on-going formation to enhance the efficacy of Catholic campus ministry, as explained in the report by Bishop John M. Quinn of Winona, Chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education.

Based on the data gathered, the report offers practical suggestions to develop and enhance Catholic campus ministry. According to Auxiliary Bishop Fernand Cheri of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Episcopal Liaison for the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, “the Church must be intentional and campus ministry must be accountable in every way possible to enrich the character and formation of the whole community; taking into account the ethnic, social and spiritual diversity of each campus and its surrounding community.” He goes on to say, “Our ministry must center on people, for we are forming men and women to be people that reflect Christ to each other and to the world.”

The study had a 56 percent response rate among the 1,911 campus ministers across the country. The report and other support data can be found on the Secretariat of Catholic Education website: www.usccb.org/campus-ministry. 

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