Summer Ministry Conference provides direction, help to students

Every summer, many BJU students work and minister at camps across the nation and abroad. Although summer may seem a long way off, students who are interested in serving at a camp or ministry will have the chance to discover the opportunities available during this year’s Summer Ministry Conference, which will be held in the Riley Reception Room, Oct. 14 through Oct. 16.

The conference is designed to help students connect with various camps and summer ministries from across the country and at least one international ministry. Students will have the ability to talk to directors from 35 different camps, as well as four other summer ministries such as Good News Ministries and Two Quarter Circle Ranch. While familiar camps, such as The Wilds, will attend the conference, camps from as far away as Alaska and Germany will also be on campus recruiting students.

To help students navigate the many ministries present, the booths at the conference will be set up in a straightforward, logical manner. Every ministry will have a booth set up in the Riley Reception Room, which is located above the Welcome Center. Students can pick up maps at the door that indicate where each ministry is located in the room.

The conference provides a spot for students and camp staff to meet. Dr. Bruce McAllister and his assistant, Miss Casey Johnson, have been organizing the details of the conference. “It’s not just standing at a booth,” McAllister said. “There’s a lot of fellowshipping and networking.” Students who worked at camps during past summers can tell both friends and new students about the experiences they had, camp directors get to meet students and explain their ministry, and full-time camp workers enjoy networking with one another.

Students can complete and submit applications at the conference if they are certain about serving at a specific camp. Some camps will also be scheduling interviews on Oct. 16.

For students who are unsure if they will be able to serve at a ministry this summer, the conference can still be very helpful. Students will have the chance to learn more about camps, meet camp directors, and exchange contact information for future summers.

Luana Lippincott, a senior early childhood education major, went to the conference last fall already knowing where she wanted to work during the summer, but she says she still enjoyed seeing all the other ministries at the conference. “I thought it was really helpful,” she said. “They had computers there I could apply at, and I loved how small camps weren’t excluded.”

Some students may choose to serve in their home church or a local summer ministry for many reasons, but for any student who’s able to serve at a camp, McAllister strongly encourages them to attend the conference. “Summer ministry makes you more thirsty for the Bible and continued growth,” he said. “It gets you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to learn how to reach out to other people.”