One of my greatest joys at Erskine, and that which has probably been the most beneficial part of my experience, is the Christ-centered community and all of the opportunities that come with it. Growing in my faith is at the core of who I am. I do not find myself wanting in terms of my academic education, but at the end of the day it is not my degree that matters. It is my Savior. Here at Erskine I have not simply found food for my mind but for my heart and soul as well.
This term “Christ-centered community” can be deceptive. It doesn’t mean that everyone at Erskine is perfect. It doesn’t even mean that everyone here is a Christian. What it does mean is that Erskine is committed as an institution (and community) to seeing people grow in their Christian faith. This is not a place of indoctrination. There is no contract that one signs upon enrolling. Rather it is a place where Christians can find opportunities to grow and serve, as well as a place where anyone can learn a great deal about what being a follower of Christ is all about.
There is a rich diversity of campus ministries and groups devoted to growing closer to the Lord. There is Reformed University Fellowship, Baptist Collegiate Ministries and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. These groups meet weekly for worship and the teaching of Scripture, each with its own distinct flavor and appeal. There is also the Student Christian Association, which oversees and aids the ministry efforts on campus, not to mention a large Gospel Choir which practices weekly and regularly brings beautiful truth to the campus through song.
My personal experience has been mainly with RUF. It is what suits me, and what I am used to in terms of my church upbringing. I have many friends who find themselves in other ministries as well, and they find avenues for spiritual growth there. There is no one way that works for everybody and everyone’s path looks different. When I was an SLA, I often told freshmen that “It’s not about coming to the ministry that I prefer but about finding where you will be comfortable and seeking Christ there”.
One of the coolest things to see campus ministry do, in my opinion, is when all of the different organizations work together. Some would spread rumors about the divided nature of our different groups, “cliques” even. In the minds of some that may be true, but I know that on SCA (where all ministries and classes are represented) there have been so many instances with Christians from all different backgrounds and organizations working together in worship, in prayer, and in service to this community. Indeed the Psalmist spoke the truth saying ‘how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!’