What is the Average Age Range of Members in College Ministries in Central Texas?

One in five Christians (21%) has achieved traditional retirement, and the rest of the population can be attributed to a decline in formal church membership among Americans who do have a religious preference. Between 1998 and 2000, an average of 73% of religious Americans belonged to a church, synagogue, or mosque. However, over the past three years, this number has dropped to 60%. This decrease in religious affiliation is likely to be compounded by the upcoming decrease in college-age Americans.

As we walked around the Ship campus, President Charles Patterson pointed out the student union named after Anthony Ceddia, who ran Ship for a quarter of a century and built much of what surrounded us during the long boom years. These kinds of presidencies are now a thing of the past, Patterson said. Universities are likely to intensify their use of “enrollment management”, a controversial and sometimes exploitative technique for combining marketing, hiring, and powerful number-crunching in order to maximize each student's enrollment income. Universities will not only agree to strengthen the alignment of the higher education experience with the labor market, but they will actively promote it, discarding “unprofitable” careers that were previously protected in universities with more than enough students.

The next generation of higher education leaders will consider scarcity as a fact and “return on investment” as a sales pitch and state of mind. This could be beneficial in some ways and detrimental in others. On one hand, universities may be more focused on helping students stay in college and graduate, rather than simply maximizing the size of the first-year class. On the other hand, academic standards may be sacrificed for the spirit of “the customer is always right”.

It could also be beneficial if universities establish better relationships with local employers so that students have a clear path to a career. However, it could be bad if universities reach agreements with for-profit companies to create online titles that are too expensive and financed with debt. The ideal candidate for college ministries in Central Texas should have a degree in the Bible, family ministry, or a related field from a university affiliated with the Church of Christ; be well-founded and able to teach the Word of God; and work with people of different ages. Although it is preferred that they have a college education, it does not have to be in the Bible; however, they must be able to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures and be able to teach.

The current youth group has 10 to 15 students from seventh to twelfth grades and there is also an active ministry on campus at the local university, the University of Southern Arkansas. Various Campus Ministries organizations support and nurture students in the development of faith and ethics. Muslims, Buddhists, and Orthodox Christians also have relatively high levels of education, and approximately four out of ten or more of each group have finished college. The ideal candidate will work to identify and develop their ministry (family counseling, youth, children, inmates, university campus).

On the contrary, those who describe their religion as “nothing in particular” and who say that religion is not important to them closely reflect the population as a whole, while those who say that their religion is “nothing in particular” but that religion is at least something important to them tend to have lower than average household incomes.

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