Student Ministry in a Season of Ambiguity
Question marks continue to flutter above us as we head into a new academic year. Ambiguity remains.
Will there be the kind of freedoms students enjoyed on campus before Covid? Will international students return in greater numbers? What will student mental health look like? What will the opportunities be for the gospel? Will students who struggled to engage with church online settle back in?
And what about us? We might feel as weak as the students we’re being asked to lead.
Student Worker Forum 2021 takes place 9–11 June, is free online, and will speak into some of these questions.
We’re running plenary sessions daily from 9am-10am. Each session will be followed from 10-10.30am with optional breakout groups to connect with other student ministers from your region, or to pray.
Mental health and well-being are closely linked to issues of personal identity, and to the sources we rely on to work out who we are. For many today the pandemic has served to intensify those questions and uncertainties. So, in this session we will explore the idea that Christians have an identity grounded ‘in Christ.’ It sounds good, but what does it mean? And what does it say practically to the needs of our students?
Glynn Harrison is a Christian psychiatrist and academic. He speaks widely about how the Christian faith relates to psychology, neuroscience and mental health.
Before retiring from professional life, Glynn was Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Bristol, where he was also a practising Consultant Psychiatrist. His research interests were focused in psychotic illnesses and health service evaluation. He is a past President of the International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology and acted as an advisor to WHO.
We’re aware that the past couple of academic years have been massively affected by Covid. But what prospect is there that universities will be ‘back to normal’ by September? What might teaching and learning look like? What about extra-curricular activities? What are the needs students will likely have and what role can the Christian community play in meeting them?
Jim Dickinson is an Associate Editor at WonkHE, the Higher Education policy thinktank, where he takes a particular interest in students, governance and higher education regulation.
Jim is a former director of the National Union of Students, where he led on Students’ Union development, campaigns and political strategy, student engagement and governance. He was also CEO at the Students’ Union at UEA in Norwich and is a regular contributor to AdvanceHE’s leadership skills for governance programme. Jim is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and an obsessive fan of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Info to follow.
At 10.30am-11.30am on Thursday 11 June, there will be an opportunity to hear from and ask questions of UCCF directors and other senior staff. You’ll get the low-down on the resources UCCF is producing for our CUs, and ways that your ministry can partner with us as we head into an academic year like no other.
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