Campus Ministry Across the Diocese
Our leaders in the Episcopal Church have been growing, in faith and in talent, long before they ever join a vestry.
Campus ministry serves as one of the main cultivated fields for the tending of leaders in the Episcopal Church. Like a net strategically positioned in a river, campus ministries and college chaplaincies connect with students and teachers at critical junctures within their lives. Our presiding bishop pursued ordination rather than politics after a conversation with a college chaplain, and his life is more the rule than the exception for many of our leaders throughout New York and the nation.
This is certainly true for campus ministry in our diocese. We presently sponsor a diverse set of growing campus ministries throughout the many institutions of higher education located within its boundaries. These ministries are both growing places, and places where growth happens. We are a vital part of evangelism for the diocese, but we are also a vital part of leadership formation.
Here are some updates on the ongoing strategic work of campus ministry throughout the Diocese of New York:
Covid struck right in the midst of several big transitions around our campus ministries. Every one of our sites was affected. Valuable formation continued and even grew at all of them, but our larger strategic goals were temporarily frozen as things halted around the country and the world. These plans look to be thawing as the worst of the pandemic (we hope) passes with the vaccines, but we remain flexible in increasing our intentional presence around our different ministry centers.
- Vassar College’s ministry has continued under the able leadership and passion of the Rev. Leigh Hall, who has built relationships with students online and in-person in her new role.
- The Rev. Allison Moore’s ministry at SUNY New Paltz and Ulster began moments before the pandemic, but her careful work has maintained the food pantry program, and she has also begun to connect with students and faculty in these diverse settings.
- Our Uptown ministry in Harlem, Uptown, and the Bronx, under the leadership of the writer, continues to foster a dynamic community at Columbia and Barnard. It also continues to expand, including a new community at Fordham (though frozen by Covid), and looks to include other institutions in the upper part of the city.
- Our Downtown ministry continues to support students at NYU and elsewhere under the leadership of the Rev. Megan Sanders. It has grown its ecumenical connections with fellow Christian groups and continues to develop relationships with new institutions in the city.
- West Point’s ministry continues under the wise leadership of the Rev. Judy Ferguson, whose longevity in the role has benefited our relationship with the academy enormously. She has continued to balance the requirements of the demanding institution with the needs of the cadets for community.
We remain grateful for the support of our diocese in building communities to support college students, faculty, and staff, and we look forward to sharing more as the pandemic lessens.