The year was 1964 – 50 years ago!
Some might call it the midpoint of the Golden Years of Ministry in Higher Education. Others, including those who have made the initial contributions to this on line volume of “Our Stories” and “Our History,” would call it only the end of the beginning!
Fifty years is not long in the annals of Higher Education in America. Fifty years earlier – 1914 – was prior to World War One, prior to the birth year of any of us who are now identified as “Sages” in the membership of the National Campus Ministry Association. We are that ‘greatest generation” that led the historic expansion of higher education opportunities, from the G I Bill after World War Two to the Community College movement and Service Learning and Civic Engagement in the late decades of the Twentieth Century.
We also are the generation that led the civil rights movement in the 1960s, who mentored the rise of a social conscience in the nation, that nurtured campus centered movements toward peace and justice, toward equality and inclusiveness, and a culture with a more universal compassion toward all people. We have sought to make “mission” the hallmark of campus ministry and service its heart.
At this crossroads of our history we seek to write a living history, to use our stories to bear witness to the providence of God in our journey of faith and to demonstrate the integrity and credibility of the Church we love and serve.
“Our History” includes “Our Stories” and also the unique testimony of individual campus ministers in every state in the Union, both denominational and ecumenical. Each ministry was founded and each continues to be grounded in the faith that we are led by the Holy Spirit into the Realm of higher education, and that it is a love of truth to which we are called in each generation.
Not only in each individual campus ministry, but also in the initiatives taken by specific denominations, we have a story to tell! In this context you are invited to go on line and add your story or stories, with a brief bio, including at least, with the first story, the positions and campuses served.
George Gunn was Presbyterian Campus Minister at the University of Georgia (1950-54) and at the University of Arkansas (1960-73). He was one of the founders of NCMA in 1964; served as NCMA President (1969-71) and as Editor of The REALM of Higher Education (1991-96).