Greg Richards, director of College Missions, said he is amazingly appreciative to be able to direct this mission in our diocese, which involves 300 people, four campuses, prayer, worship, play, and followers of Jesus who invite their friends to join their joy.
College Missions is currently in its third year of the Elisha Leadership Initiative, the intensive year-long internship program that raises up the next ministry leaders. “Our results have been better than anticipated, with former interns now working in ministry and in non-profits. This year, we have another great team of interns,” said Richards.
The program involves interns working in local churches and within the Department of College Missions and being trained for leadership. Partnerships continue with St. Luke’s, San Antonio; Grace, San Antonio; and Good Samaritan Community Services. This spring, St. Paul’s, San Antonio, will join the partnership.
On the ground, four college missioners are on the department’s staff. The college missioners oversee programs, meet with students, lead Bible studies, and form relationships on the various college campuses, The University of Texas-San Antonio, St. Mary’s University, University of the Incarnate Word, and Texas State University. “Our ministry is impossible without this amazing team,” said Richards.
This past year, a hybrid position with Camps and Conferences formed. Willy Macha has engaged this in the Corpus Christi area, researching how best to incorporate College Missions in that area.
Five years ago Richards started to plan out how to re-implement college ministry in this diocese. Since then, College Missions has seen phenomenal growth. Much of this growth is attributed to Allie Melancon, assistant director of College Missions. “She is an amazing leader who loves Jesus and loves college students,” said Richards.
Another leader is the Rev. Jason Roberts, who serves in the advisory board. “I am so thankful for his work and more thankful for his friendship,” said Richards.
This fall, College Missions takes another big step toward their goal. “We want to put a full-time college missioner in the Valley to spread this program,” said Richards. “We plan to implement this in the fall, and more info will be coming soon.”
Two things to take away, said Richards: “College Missions is a thriving, growing ministry that absolutely needs your support in various ways – tell people, pray for us, give to us; Also, God is doing amazing things in the lives of young people. College-age folks are thirsty for the life-giving waters of Jesus.”
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Please see the Ministry Moment: College Missions video here.