Figures released each year by different nation wide Collegiate Ministries in America show Southern Baptists having the most total students involved. Yet, when people look at and study or hear about the super large campus based Ministries, it is often someone other than a Baptist ministry. Why is that?
1. Most Baptist Collegiate Ministry staffs are made up of 1 to 3 people. Super large College Ministries tend to have 10 to 25 staffers.
2. Southern Baptists have generally leaned toward having staff on as many campuses as possible rather than having large staffs on targeted or flagship campuses. Other nation wide groups will focus on 2 or 3 campuses in a state while BCM's will be on most four year campuses in one state....at least in the deep south.
3. BCM Ministries generally are not allowed or discouraged from doing aggressive fund raising (donor banquets, etc) for their budgets due to Southern Baptists emphasis on unified giving through the Cooperative Program. Therefore, many operate on very limited budgets.
4. BCM Campus Ministers tend not to be as entrepreneurial in approach as some non-denominational Campus Ministers. This is at least partly related to working with and for a variety of churches that may have different views as to what is acceptable and not acceptable.
5. Some believe that having the name Baptist in the ministry name (Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Baptist Student Ministry or Baptist Student Union)tends to serve as an unintended exclusion to non-Baptists or this generation increasingly leery of denominations. Although, Baptist Ministries outside the deep south tend to operate under more generic names that do not have Baptist in them.
Should Baptists target larger more flagship campuses?
Should BCM Campus Ministers be allowed or encouraged to raise money for and hire large staffs?