A recent CRC article highlights the work of campus ministry, a lot of which is pastoral care, justice, as well as walking alongside in the midst of their questions related to faith (doubt) and/or sexuality (especially connected to LGBT+).
The following are a few quotes:
Verhoef: “We used to live with a strong sense of transcendence . . . [but] faith is under pressure. And living out our faith with doubt is so common today on university campuses (and elsewhere of course). How can we as chaplains make space for doubts, support faith, welcome questions, and be hospitable to those to whom the doubts have turned towards unbelief?” . . .
Every CRC campus pastor is “trying to figure out how to get good at campus ministry in this day and age …. [and that means] addressing the needs of persons who are LGBT is front and center and very much in the life and work of campus ministry,” said Mark Wallace.
Campus pastors always keep in mind that they are bringing the entirety of the gospel, its full message of loving your neighbor, to every aspect of the campuses they serve, said Wallace.
Verhoef said that making a place for persons who identify as LGBT is important, but it can present challenges: “How do we stand as pastors in the CRC with one foot in the CRC moral theology and also one foot on a university campus that has a dynamically different perspective?” . . .
“I have a lot of conversations about what to do when they do begin to question — even to the point where they’re not sure what or if they believe. I see this as a movement forward, but it’s hard to figure out how to describe as positive to churches such an apparent movement away from [certain] faith,” said Kronemeijer-Heyink.
In the end, said Verhoef, a core value of CRC campus ministry is to create communities in which students of many faiths or of none at all feel comfortable and have a sense of belonging. In this kind of community, students can let down their guard, get know one another — and hopefully — find God, he said.