Seattle Hosts First Public Campus Ministry Training

December 07, 2015 | Heidi Baumgartner

An email notification popped up on the screen: “I’m looking for an Adventist group on my public university campus. Can you help me?”

Recent efforts for public college campus ministry in the Seattle area are making it easier to answer “yes” to email and social media requests.

The Volunteer Park Church in Seattle hosted the Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF) Campus Catalyst event Oct. 9–11. It was the first time an ACF public college campus ministry training event has been held in the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC).

“We are excited about providing this training since there has never been an ACF training event held in the NPUC,” says Tracy Wood, North American Division young adult ministries director.

Campus Catalyst is an interactive weekend event designed to help launch new college ministries to grow and share faith on a public campus. The Seattle training event featured presentations from Andreas Beccai, Volunteer Park pastor who is actively involved in nurturing public campus ministry, and Ron Pickell, North American Division ACF coordinator.

"Catalyst really helped to solidify in my mind that ministry at my school is possible as well as needed,” says Gracie Watson, a student at Green River Community College in Auburn.

Olympia Hunt, a business major from University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, agrees: "It was encouraging to hear how other public universities are succeeding in campus ministries."

The weekend involved 11 college/university students, five church pastors, and department directors from Washington Conference and Upper Columbia Conference.

"Catalyst was a great reminder that the simplest things make a big difference,” says Bianca Irimia, a microbiology major at UW. “Anyone can be used by God in a big way if they are willing."

The weekend was the beginning of NPUC Adventist Christian Fellowship ministry on non-Adventist colleges and universities, with more to come next year.

“Pastor Ron Pickell made ministry look easier, more fun and more important than anyone else ever has for me,” says Ryan Turnewitsch, a medical student who has attended many campus and ministry training sessions. “I left Campus Catalyst feeling so driven to let God work through me on my medical school campus."