I’m interested in this article from Slate Magazine about Southern New Hampshire University. The whole article is worth reading, but this paragraph in particular caught my attention:
Half the students who enroll in post-secondary education never get a degree but still accumulate debt. The low completion rate can be blamed partly on the fact that college is still designed for 18-year-olds who are signing up for an immersive, four-year experience replete with football games and beer-drinking. But those traditional students make up only 20 percent of the post-secondary population. The vast majority are working adults, many with families, whose lives rarely align with an academic timetable.
Our campus ministries, and those of most mainline denominations, are also set-up to cater to the 20%. No wonder they’re in decline. I don’t know what the solution is, but this article does suggest one thing. Campus ministry is no longer the exclusive responsibility of parishes near campuses. Every one of our parishes probably have students in them, students who are somehow trying to balance their studies with the demands of adult responsibility. Figuring out how to recognize them and lend them assistance in the major task of our ministry to students and young adults.
You can read the whole Slate article here: