Collegiate Mentoring Program (2024)

If you’ve been following along with my posts in this space for the last several weeks, you’ve probably gathered that I’ve been doing a lot of traveling and visiting U.S. National Parks: Wind Cave National Park in southwest South Dakota… Great Sand Dunes National Park in south-central Colorado… and Rocky Mountain National Park (which is now a sort of base camp for the summer, though I haven’t written about any adventures in the park yet). I love North America’s Wild West so much, but I also feel the need to clarify that my summer has not just been about tourism! I’ve also settled into work responsibilities out here in Colorado. And there’s no less adventure with these work responsibilities than there is with the driving and hiking and picture-taking and story-telling.

This is now the fifth time I’ve gotten the chance to spent an extended stretch of the summer in Colorado, working to support the Collegiate Church Network’s programs to equip student-leaders and/or staff: the Leadership Training program (“LT” for short), and the Collegiate Mentoring Program, respectively. And I can think of dozens (if not hundreds) of stories of things God has done through these programs — both in my own life, and in the lives of the others with whom I’ve been able to share time and space and conversation out West.

We’re already about half-way through this summer’s edition of the Collegiate Mentoring Program, and it really does seem like we’re hitting a groove. My co-director Lauren and I work together to organize four group sessions per week and four individual sessions per week (one for each of the four participants in this year’s program). And the people participating in the Collegiate Mentoring Program are the key piece in it all. Jana is currently serving with a church in Youngstown, Ohio. Hillary works with a church in Denton, Texas. Hope is on staff with H2O Church in Toledo, Ohio. And Blake is a part of the team in Bowling Green, Ohio. The group is all women, except for me — which is an interesting contrast to the first year I helped with the Collegiate Mentoring Program, back in 2016, when the cohort was all men. I’m very thankful, though, that the women seem to welcome my involvement.

I look forward to seeing what God will do with the rest of our time together in Colorado.

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