Almost Christian 6 – Parents Matter Most

Two weeks ago my daughter, Junia Elizabeth, was born. Other parents know what the last two weeks have been like for Emily and I. In a word, CRAZY! By the way, I am typing this while holding Junia. I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than holding your baby daughter in your arms! What […]

Almost Christian 5 – Missional Imaginations: We are Not Here for Ourselves

Kenda Creasy Dean begins the fifth chapter of Almost Christian with a beautiful story from Texas. It is about a high school football coach who encouraged the fans from his wealthy district to show love and blessing to a team on their schedule made up of juvenile offenders from a local youth prison. You can […]

Almost Christian 4: Generative Faith

One of the central questions the NSYR gives input on is what factors in a teenager’s life put her on a path to being a committed religious adult? It would be tempting to read a book like Almost Christian looking for the “key” to making teenagers into lifelong people of faith. If that is what […]

On Campus at Penn State Berks – Unity!

Over my nearly six years at Penn State Berks, CSF has always had a diverse group of Christians.  We have had, and still have today, students from all kinds of backgrounds and denominations: Methodist and Mennonite, Presbyterian and Pentecostal, Catholic and Calvinist (and now I am at a loss for other doublets I can make […]

Almost Christian 3 – Mormon Envy

The National Study of Youth and Religion has shown that teenagers highly devoted to faith have families and churches that provide support. Specifically, this support reinforces four cultural tools that set young people firmly in their religious tradition (Almost Christian, 49): 1. They confess their tradition’s creed, or God story. 2. They belong to a […]

Almost Christian 2 – The Cult of Nice

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a guy who does campus ministry at the University of Delaware (Blue Hens for Christ). One thing we briefly talked about was how we do “membership” in our campus ministries. When does someone become a member of the Christian community on campus as opposed to just showing […]

Six Megathemes from Barna…and Campus Ministry

Summing up their research in 2010, the Barna group finds six “megathemes”.  I will list each one below with a few thoughts from my perspective as a campus minister on a secular university campus. 1.  The Christian Church is Becoming Less Theologically Literate What used to be basic, universally-known truths about Christianity are now unknown […]

Greatest Story Ever Told…on campus

Berks Idol is a yearly event on campus, sponsored by PSU Berks THON, that allows students to share their talents.  There were sixteen performances that included interpretive dance, a barbershop quartet, soloists, and more.   A group of CSF students performed a skit they called “The Greatest Story ever Told” which you can see here […]

Recent Reads

Here are a few recent online articles that I found thought-provoking, interesting and fun:   Today in the New York Times Ross Douthat talks about how the “culture war” is changing. Interestingly, as it pertains to campus ministry, this change has partly come about as evangelical Christians have become better educated over the last decades […]