Many Houghton College, Indiana Wesleyan University, Kingswood University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University and Southern Wesleyan University students spend their summers telling others about Jesus. Following are stories of the many ways these students are a transforming presence.
Fifteen students gathered on the main campus sidewalk for one last photo before their summer adventure. The two teams of four—Team Purple and Team Gold, named for the college’s official colors—were heading out to serve as camp counselors for middle and high school students. Seven other students inaugurated the college’s new partnership with The Salvation Army’s Long Point Camp in Penn Yan, New York, where they would oversee campers, recreation and Christian education.
Team Purple will travel through three states and as far north as Ontario, Canada, while Team Gold journeys to Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Maine. This year’s summer ministry students are from California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont and India. They will serve at 23 camp sessions between June and August, leading recreation, games, worship sessions and more.
Students have already witnessed the power of the work they are doing. They’ve watched campers experience breakthroughs and victories over addictions, depression and difficult home situations. At one camp, they witnessed more than 55 young adults make first-time commitments to follow Christ. One Houghton student is sensing a possible call to full-time ministry. Click here for more information.
Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU)
Students are traveling to summer camps across the nation to minister to hundreds of middle and high-school students serving on one of six summer ministry teams: Revolution, Shine, NTS (Never the Same), Amplify, Overflow and Catalyst. The NTS team hosts a camp on IWU’s campus, while the other five teams travel to campgrounds where they stay for one or two weeks before moving to the next camp. Students act as camp counselors as they plan activities for campers, select music to lead worship and pray with the youth. For more information, click here.
Ablaze and Encounter summer teams travel from Sussex, New Brunswick, to Iowa, Arkansas, Michigan, Indiana, Ontario, New York, South Carolina and other places in between visiting 16 different camps. Ecclesia is a student group that travels to Washington, D.C. and New York City for mission trips. Summer teams provide a time for team building, and leadership opportunities and growth. A key initiative with summer teams is to identify the students who God is calling into ministry. Click here for more info.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU)
Groups of student leaders serve in youth camps across the country looking for ways to serve the youth, youth pastors and district leaders. “I love being on camp teams because it’s such a great opportunity to pour into kids and help them to encounter Jesus in new ways,” said Addy Johnson. “It’s so fun to interact with students, as well as the ministry teams from other Wesleyan colleges. Getting to be a part of the work God is doing in students’ hearts across the nation is such a humbling and awesome experience.”
By the end of the summer, OKWU’s teams will have travelled all over the country, stopping at camps in states from Oregon to Arkansas. These journeys don’t just affect the youth they work with. “Being a ministry team member has literally changed my life, said Evan Smith. “It is an amazing opportunity to grow in your faith and be part of teaching youth the importance of a relationship with God.” Follow OKWU ministry teams on Instagram.
Southern Wesleyan University (SWU)
Three teams of SWU students, faculty and staff traveled out of tell others about Jesus. A team of students assisted residents of hurricane-torn Puerto Rico with disaster relief and also helped prepare Iglesia Wesleyana de Guaynabo for renovation. Another team traveled to Cambodia, to work with churches in Pnomh Penh and outlying rural churches. A team of education majors traveled to Ukraine where they spent five days teaching and observing in schools, from preschool to middle grades. The students also facilitated an evangelistic English-speaking club.
SWU partnered with regional youth camps and Renuevo, a multilingual family camp, to provide Quest Academy, a process designed to help students discern God’s calling for their lives. More than 400 students will have participated in Quest Academy by year’s end. Additional camps are planned for next summer. Quest Academy will be followed by Quest Adventure weekends where high school students will engage in a full immersion ministry experience centered at the campus, with specialized tracks including wilderness adventure, missional church, worship leading and preaching.
Five summer ministry teams of 23 students (Encounter, Deliverance, Fortitude, Witness and The Difference) interacted with 4,000+ students at various Wesleyan youth camps. Team members are serving as camp counselors, recreational directors, general staff and as part of a worship band in 35 camps in 10 different states. SWU will host two NTS (Never The Same) Youth camps in July. Estimated attendance is approximately 700 students for each camp. The camps take place July 16-20 and July 22-26. Click here for more info.