Every campus minister I know has a somewhat different philosophy, but I think they fall into three main categories (you can probably think of more).
The Evangelistic Philosophy
Campus ministry is all about evangelism. If we aren't leading students to Christ then we aren't doing our job. After all, campus ministries are the evangelistic arm of the church on the campus. We have to reach students in order to reach more students.
The Future Leaders Philosophy
Campus ministry is about preparing students to be contributors to the church after college. Students in these Ministires are future Sunday School teachers, deacons and worship leaders. Students are exposed to missions and evangelism because those are things future leaders of the church participate in.
The Relational Philosophy
Campus Ministries is all about real relationships. It is the job of the campus minister to demonstrate life on life interaction. The campus minister walks with a group of students from salvation to spiritual maturity. They are a constant companion and a friend who students feel they can share their deepest secrets with. The minister is a guide, role model, mentor and counselor for students. The student then invests in others.
So is Evangelistic, Future Leadership or Relational best? My answer is, YES! I think to some extent campus ministers have to be doing all three. The context of the campus dictates what approach to take.
Tyler Hoffpauier is College Minister Intern at LSU Baptist Collegiate Ministry and a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.