Pastor Mike Wagenman
After Christmas break, Josh (not his real name) knocked on the office door of Mike Wagenman, campus pastor at the University of Western Ontario. Wagenman asked what brought Josh to his office.
Josh said he’d had a "lightning bolt" experience that made made Jesus Christ someone he could no longer ignore. Because he didn’t know any Christians, he wanted direction on what to do next.
Wagenman soon met with Josh weekly to read Scripture, pray, and answer his questions. He explained next steps for Josh’s spiritual growth and connected him with a local church and other Christian students.
Nine months later, Josh says he can see how faith relates to his life, even academics.
Wagenman, a campus minister for seven years, recently helped establish the Kuyper Centre for Emerging Scholars. Rooted in Reformation theology, it replaces the youth ministry model of campus ministry Wagenman used previously.
The center (kuypercentre.ca) offers informal activities to full-year courses of study to help students integrate Christian faith in their studies.
Through it, Wagenman wants students to see campus ministry as the church engaged in mission, as the church serving the university, and their years as students as integral to Christian discipleship.
Wagenman and the Western Ontario campus ministry also host events such as a mid-week student fellowship, a faculty/grad student book club, early morning devotional gatherings, a growing international student group, activities, and a vocational discernment conversation group, as well as visits to other campuses.
Other Christian Reformed Church Home Missions campus ministers offer similar, innovative campus programs.
Wagenman said he wants students to follow Christ with heart, soul, and mind on campus and as they become leaders in the church and the wider culture.