Covenant Seminary’s Ministry Lunch program is a regular part of our campus life, offering weekly opportunities each semester for students to meet, interact with, and learn from ministry practitioners from a variety of settings, contexts, and fields. This spring we conducted a survey of the student body to see what they thought about the program and how these weekly gatherings impact their time at Covenant and your preparation for ministry. Below are the results.
WHO ATTENDS AND WHY
- 62 students participated in the survey.
- 40 (65%) of the respondents indicated they attended four or more ministry lunches per year.
- Most attend ministry lunches because of the topics (87%) and the relevancy of ministry opportunities (80%), though some do attend primarily for the food.
SPEAKING OF FREE LUNCH . . .
- 58% of respondents indicated their seminary experience would be negatively impacted if Ministry Lunches were canceled
- 13% thought the loss of Ministry Lunches would have no significant impact on their seminary experience and ministry preparation. (We express our appreciation to the 8 people who honestly said they only attend Ministry Lunches for the food!)
But free food only goes so far and most people suggested an improvement to the dietary choices: less pizza and more things that grow from the ground! Others thought a better room would allow Ministry Lunches to feel more connectional.
- Connecting was a consistent theme, and attendees wanted to see Ministry Lunches provide opportunities for students to connect with one another as well as with the presenter/speaker.
- Some off-campus respondents said that Ministry Lunches were their only opportunity to interact with other students outside the classroom.
DIFFERENT TOPICS, DIFFERENT SPEAKERS
Respondents suggested a host of varied audiences and speakers. Several asked to see more Ministry Lunches hosted by women and minorities in the PCA. Other suggested topics for future lunches:
- Personal History of Professors (can we start with Jack Collins?).
- Indigenous Leadership/Disciple Making Leadership.
- Raising Kids, or anything else related to stay at home parents!
SO WHO DOESN’T GO?
With all the positives, why don’t some people attend Ministry Lunches? Three people shared that they didn’t attend Ministry Lunches primarily because of their schedules and, secondarily, because they simply did not find the topics interesting.
GRATITUDE TO ALL (FREE FOOD TO SOME)
Thanks to all who participated. Nate J., Madeline H., Dustin H., Shelby K., and David V. won the drawing for a gift certificate to the Covenant Café, each in the amount of $7.62—which is the cost of a discounted Papa John’s Ministry Lunch Pizza.
Dr. Joel Hathaway is director of alumni and career services for Covenant Seminary.