I recently wrote a Blog, 10 Influential Voices in College Ministry, and listed 10 people who are currently affecting College Ministry by their writing, speaking, specialized knowledge, example, etc. Of course, a list like that always leaves people out who may be as much or more worthy of being on the list.....one reader said, "glad you didn't call it the top 10". I'm a little smarter than that! One fussed at me for it being heavy on the Baptist side. I will plead guilty there due to the fact that is the world in which I primarily move. But...But, I will also plead guilty to the belief that Baptists, due to the number of campuses and students involved, is a leader in College Ministry.
I said to my reader who said he wanted to hear about others and to anyone else....who are other notable voices? Here are the responses I got.
Francis Chan - notable for speaking at the Passion conferences and challenging students to pursue Christ over material possessions.
Josh McDowell - speaker, writer who was connected with Campus Crusade for some years in speaking at large campus events and well known for his books such as Evidence that Demands a Verdict and Answers to Tough Questions, etc.
Gary Stidham - BSM Director at University of Texas, Arlington who is known for his example in evangelism and expertise in fund raising.
Brett Yohn, University of Nebraska and Bob Anderson, Kansas State University - they are tied together as a result of being students at University of Oklahoma who came out of Max Barnett's ministry and Max's vision to plant ministries at all the schools in their athletic conference. I'm told they moved in one U-Haul and Bob got off first in Manhattan...true story or legend...not sure which. Examples of a whole ministry given to one campus. Both have recently retired.
Frank Page - Dr. Page is Southern Baptist's top executive who is an advocate for College Ministry. He had a daughter who committed suicide. He said as a result of that he knows "the dark side of college life". He goes out of his way to attend College Minister events and speak a word of encouragement.
I asked a friend who does campus based ministry for a different church group (not Baptist) who one of their notable voices was. He said he could not name anyone. I think that points to our need to hold up more notable voices and examples. Here are people you can look to for help and encouragement.
One funny note: Some years ago I was asked to speak at a large state wide youth event. I was surprised as they usually had a big name speaker. A short time before the event I received a call saying they had just gotten the chance to get Josh McDowell....they would use me in a future year.....still waiting!