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Conversions, missions involvement up among collegians, report says

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–A 34 percent increase in student conversions highlighted the 1997 Southern Baptist Student Ministry Report shared Dec. 2 with state student directors gathered in Nashville, Tenn., for their annual planning meetings at the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board.
According to the annual statistics compiled by the board’s national student ministry (NSM) office, 7,368 student conversions were reported in 1997, up 1,833 from the 1996 total of 5,535. Another large increase was reported in the number of college students involved in missions, up from 27,056 in 1996 to 30,152 this year.
“Using anybody’s math, these are significant increases,” NSM director Bill Henry said. “I’m excited about what’s happening on campus. I think it says something about Southern Baptists’ ministry to college students and how they are responding to it.”
Increases also were reported in the number of students reached by Southern Baptist student ministry programs, up from 237,731 in ’96 to 247,861 in ’97, and the number of students involved in these ministries on an ongoing basis, 105,232 this year, up from 103,099 in ’96.
Other categories showing increases between 1996 and 1997 were:
— total contributions to student missions, $3.43 million, up from 3.29 million;
— campuses with student ministry programs, 1,056, up from 995;
— students involved in Bible study groups, 41,542, up from 34,905;
— number of evangelistic programs, 2,530, up from 2,154;
— established churches, Sunday schools or missions students help strengthen, 5,922, up from 5,438.
— internationals involved in student ministry, 10,287, up from 9,386.
Among categories showing decreases between 1996 and 1997 were:
— African Americans involved in student ministry, 9,038, down from 9,261;
— ethnics involved in student ministry, 4,914, down from 5,015;
— gifts to hunger relief, $60,939, down from $79,549.

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  • Chip Alford