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UMCollegiate Blog Contribution Guidelines

Thanks for your interest in submitting to the UMCollegiate blog! We hope that these guidelines help as you consider what to submit.

Mission

To spark a conversation about contextual theology rooted in practice and aimed toward college communities, particularly students and those who minister to them.

Audience

Our target audience is college students and those who minister to them. This includes the traditional college student (age 18-24), but it also includes a growing population of non-traditional students.[1] We are especially interested in submissions that offer practical ways to integrate theology into a ministry setting, like a communal activity.

Guiding Questions

What can we learn about God, relationships, and ourselves in the context of college and student life?

What practices will help us cultivate an orientation toward God and neighbor during college and throughout life?

How can we cultivate our community as we grow individually and together?

How can this lesson translate into practice for a ministry or small community?

Who We’re Looking For

Voices from a broad range of human experiences, prioritizing racial, geographic, gender, and experiential diversity. Blogs from college students or collegiate ministers are especially sought.

Writing Guidelines

  1. Keep the length between 750-1000 words, with short paragraphs. White space is good space – space to think!
  2. Include a horizontal, high-resolution photo that doesn’t have usage restrictions. Suggestions: unsplash.com, Wikimedia Commons, a photo you took yourself, a graphic you made on an app like WordSwag…Let us know if you need help for this.
  3. The theology you bring should be rooted in the college context and should circle back around to enrich the college context. At the same time, the college community isn’t a foreign country – larger, universal themes are always welcome.
  4. More reflective, less didactic. Remember, you’re inviting folks into a conversation, not delivering a sermon. Personal stories and first-person voices are welcome!
  5. Keep it simple: you don’t have to offer a theory of everything. One solid insight about God, life, and love is worth a hundred meticulously constructed systematic theologies.
  6. Offer some ideas about how to incorporate your themes into a college ministry setting.
  7. Don’t issue a ‘sales pitch’ or make your awesome program the main focus of your blog.
  8. Questions to spark a conversation in the comments section are good!

To submit:

  1. Submit a Microsoft Word document. Attach any photos to your email. Send these and a 1-3 sentence mini-bio to Steffie (smisner@gbhem.org).
  2. Your submission will be edited, and your feedback on those edits will be solicited before we publish.

Scheduling

We keep a calendar of blogs scheduled for particular times (ie: Black History Month, Aldersgate, Epiphany). We will collect all blog posts in advance and schedule based on content.

Content Restrictions

Though all blogs will be publicized as strictly the views of the author, the blog is formally associated with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. We cannot publish blogs that contradict the UMC’s stances. We reserve the right to decide what is publishable and what is not.

If you’re not sure or have more questions, feel free to reach out to Steffie directly to talk about what might be appropriate! Again: smisner@gbhem.org.

[1] 38% of enrolled students in 2007 were older than 25 (http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d09/tables/ dt09_192.asp). A 2002 report finds that 73% of students qualify as non-traditional using the following rubric: entry to college delayed at least one year following high school; having dependents; being a single parent; full-time employment; financial independence; part-time attendance; and not having a high school diploma (http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2002/2002012.pdf).