Readings for Collegiate Ministers
You have your first job in collegiate ministry. You are passionate about young adults. You are deeply invested in Christ’s church, the kingdom of God, and the transformation of the world. You feel called to the campus, these people, and this work. It is wonderful work—work that requires specific skills, temperament, determination, and knowledge.
While you might have received—and many of us haven’t—formal training in theology, religious thought, biblical studies, pastoral ministry, or Christian ethics, there is a still a very good chance that little of that training was specifically for collegiate ministry. Soon, we all learn one way or another that campuses are not churches, students are not congregations, and young adults are not just youth without parental supervision.
So, just where do you begin this vital, perplexing, confounding, and amazing work?
Below are two lists of books suggested by collegiate ministers that they feel other collegiate ministers should read when they are new to this work (or for those not new to collegiate ministry but who are interested in deepening their knowledge about their particular ministerial discipline.)
These lists have deliberately been kept rather short so as to make them manageable. There certainly are other worthy books that might easily be added to these lists. But, we had to start somewhere. These books should form the foundation for other readings that you will find and add to your intellectual, administrative, and theological repository.
Explore, engage, and enjoy!
- College and University Chaplaincy in the 21st Century: A Multifaith Look at the Practice of Ministry on Campuses Across America edited byLucy Forster-Smith
- Cultivating the Spirit: How College Can Enhance Students’ Inner Lives by Alexander Astin, et. al.
- Encouraging Authenticity and Spirituality in Higher Education by Arthur Chickering, et. al.
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Lead . . . and Others Don’t by James Collins
- The First Year Out by Tim Clydesdale
- Kissing Fish: Christianity for People Who Don’t Like Christianity by Roger Wolsey
- Leadership without Easy Answers by Ronald Heifetz
- Making Room by Christine Pohl
- Simply Christian by N.T. Wright
- Almost Christian by Kendra Creasy Dean
- Community and Growth by Jean Vanier
- The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone
- God Is Not One by Stephen Prothero
- The Good Book: Discovering the Bible’s Place in Our Lives by Peter Gomes
- Habitudes: Images That Form Leadership and Attitudes by Tim Elmore
- The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin
- Manna and Mercy by Daniel Erlander
- The Reinvention of Work: A New Vision of Livelihood in Our Time by Matthew Fox
- Salvation on the Small Screen by Nadia Bolz-Weber