College ministry leaders met to make evangelism a chief goal of their work on Illinois campuses. Baptist collegiate leaders and their families gathered at a retreat center near Starved Rock State Park over the Memorial Day Weekend for what they hope will become an annual event fostering ministry collaboration.
Church Planting Director Kevin Jones, who leads collegiate work for the Illinois Baptist State Association (IBSA), organized the event. He said the purpose of the weekend was to bring the leaders together to “develop greater collaboration between collegiate ministers serving in Illinois, making sure evangelism is at the forefront of campus ministry and that we’re discipling those we reach.”
Collegiate Director Mitch Tidwell of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) served as facilitator. Jones said he “was excited to bring such an amazing speaker to help spark some ideas for reaching the next generation.”
According to Univstats.com, 689,957 students are enrolled in Illinois colleges, including 531,334 undergraduate and 158,623 graduate students for the 2022-2023 academic year. IBSA currently helps fund ministries on the campuses of McKendree College, Illinois State University, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, SIU-Carbondale, and SIU-Edwardsville.
Ten leaders and their families representing four of the state’s main campuses attended the event held at the Holiday Inn in Sheridan. Jones described this year’s gathering as a “beta test.” He asked any collegiate ministry leaders interested in attending next year’s gathering to contact him at KevinJones@IBSA.org or to call (217) 391-3123.