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Collegiate Week helps students get ready to go back to campus

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–College students from across the country said they were better prepared to go back to their campuses to make an impact for Christ after spending Aug. 5-11 at Collegiate Week at Glorieta, a LifeWay Conference Center.

The conference was sponsored by the National Collegiate Ministries Department of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Bill Henry, NCM director, said 1,826 students and sponsors, representing 36 states, were registered for this year’s conference in New Mexico. Student involvement in missions was a primary focus of the week.

“The world is going to be reached by students,” said Henry, who, in February, traveled to Southeast Asia on an International Mission Board tour to learn about the opportunities college students have to minister in that region.

“This is something our students want to do,” he said. “They want to have mission experiences.”

Brenda Wong, a 21-year-old senior chemistry major from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, came to Collegiate Week with more than 60 others from Shadow Hills Baptist Church in Las Vegas.

“Glorieta has just been awesome. I really needed it. I’ve had a tough couple of months with some personal relationships, so this has been wonderful. I really just wanted to fall in love with the Lord all over again,” said Wong, who also attended last year’s Collegiate Week.

Also from UNLV, Kendal Frankiewich, a 19-year-old sophomore, said, “God has been moving and changing my perspective this week. One of the classes I took was on having a global perspective and what it takes to reach this world. I know my goal in life is to just be about God. It’s not about money or fame or anything else, just God.”

Frankiewich said he believes God has placed him in Las Vegas because there are so many opportunities for sharing Christ. “I guess I really don’t need to go anywhere else. The needs in Vegas are so great.”

Jeff Dodge, student director for the Baptist Convention of Iowa, attended Collegiate Week for the first time.

“For us [from Iowa] at least, the biggest blessing is the networking opportunities. We feel pretty isolated in our state and this helps us. Spending time with all these people really makes a difference. This year we didn’t bring students with us, but next year we will, so we’ve been finding out just how to do that,” Dodge said.

After attending Collegiate Week for “about 20 years,” Steve Masters, director of Baptist Collegiate ministry at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, said he still benefits from coming.

“It’s a great opportunity to network with other college ministers. I’m always challenged by the speakers and the seminars,” said Masters, who took 54 LSU students to Glorieta.

Collegiate Week “is a great week for the students to attend because they are surrounded by other Christians and have all these opportunities to spend time in worship, seminars and Bible study. Even the setting itself is great,” Masters said.

Speakers for the week included Jerry Pounds, vice president for development at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, who led a daily study on the collegiate edition of “How Now Shall We Live?” The discipleship coursebook was published by LifeWay and written by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearce, with Bill Henry.

Gregg Matte, of College Station, Texas, and author of “The Highest Education: Becoming a Godly Man,” and Vicki Courtney, of Austin, Texas, author of “Virtuous Reality: Becoming the Ideal Woman,” both led gender specific seminars and celebration times.

The students didn’t just receive. They also gave.

Almost $6,300 was collected to be used to buy Bibles and bottled water for distribution at Beach Reach 2001 in Florida and Mexico. Last spring, 720 college students participated.

Representatives from the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, Woman’s Missionary Union, six Southern Baptist seminaries, the Canadian Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as LifeWay also took part in the event.

Next year’s Collegiate Week will be Aug. 4-10 at Glorieta.

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  • Polly House