Rev. Mike Wagenman came to Western University in London, Ont., as a campus pastor in 2005.
He found that even though many Christian student clubs were already established, first-year students who became involved were leaving after a year or so.
When they started asking harder questions, the student clubs weren’t equipped to answer.
So Wagenman started the Kuyper Centre, a campus ministry dedicated to student and faculty development modeled on a study center. In addition to helping students through tough questions, the center focused on providing leadership opportunities.
“We want to provide opportunities to the Christian leaders of tomorrow,” said Wagenman.
The ministry is led by students and for students and supports a whole group of student leaders.
In addition to Wagenman, the Kuyper Centre has an intern who looks after the undergrad programs. Funded by Christian Reformed Home Missions, Classis Chatham, and others, the resources help Wagenman to spend more time on the graduate student and faculty programs as well as one-on-one mentoring.
Another focus is an emphasis on the relevance of gospel in all areas of life.This past year, the Kuyper Centre partnered with other groups to host an event highlighting the harm of pornography. It was attended by more than 600 students and faculty.
Afterward, a professor expressed appreciation to Wagenman for how they approached the issue of pornography. She said she was impressed with how they addressed it from a perspective of hope as opposed to despair; the world may be broken but there’s hope in the midst of the brokenness.
Wagenman said this is what campus ministry is all about, citing John 13:35: “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.”