Hesston College creates an atmosphere where choices can be made that are consistent with the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.
Recognizing that Hesston students are at different places in their faith journeys, the college offers a variety of activities and leadership opportunities to all students, encouraging them to participate where they feel most comfortable.
The campus pastor is a vital resource to students, faculty and staff. The pastor is available for counseling and help in spiritual development and is responsible for religious life programs and ministry, Christian growth, leadership and worship. The campus pastor leads and supervises student ministry assistants (MAs) who provide spiritual support in the mods as well as lead Christian faith formation events. The following Campus Ministries activities fall under the leadership of the campus pastor.
The college community gathers each Monday and Wednesday from 11 to 11:30 a.m. for chapel. Chapel is a time for worship and celebration of faith as well as the sharing of announcements and concerns of importance to the college community. The format of chapel will vary to reflect both the heritage and tradition of the Mennonite church and the diversity of the student population. Chapels include speakers and dramatic, musical or multi-media presentations. Leadership in chapel is given by students, faculty and staff of the college as well as other resource persons. Responsibility for chapel services rests with a planning committee chaired by the campus pastor.
Periodically the community gathers during the same time period on Fridays to consider current issues of local, national or international importance. Attendance at these gatherings may count toward the chapel attendance requirement.
All full-time students are required to attend chapel services each semester. Full-time on-campus students are required to attend at least 24 chapel services. For full-time off-campus students the minimum is 12 chapel services. Third-year students, students holding previous college degrees and part-time students are encouraged, but not required to attend. Attendance is recorded by using the bar codes on student IDs. It is the student’s responsibility to keep record of how many chapels he or she has attended. Students will be contacted only if they are in violation of the requirement. The registrar will not release grades or transcripts for students who fail to meet chapel requirements. Students will not be allowed to return for another semester until they meet their chapel requirements.
Appropriate dress and conduct are expected. Caps and hats need to be removed. Direct questions of a spiritual nature to the campus pastor.
Other Campus Ministries Activities:
- Campus Worship–the Campus Worship Team leads a weekly Sunday evening gathering.
- Bible Studies and Small Groups–student ministry assistants lead groups for fellowship, sharing, Bible study and prayer.
- Missions/Service Emphasis Days–twice each year, representatives from various mission and service agencies provide information about their programs.
- Camp Recruitment Days–each year during the spring semester, representatives from various summer camps come to campus to provide information about the needs and opportunities within the camps they represent.
- Retreats–Stutzman Retreat Center is available for group use.
- Counseling/Discipleship Training–the campus pastor provides spiritual counseling and discipleship training on an individual basis and in small groups.
- Service Opportunities–voluntary service options are available in the area. The Peace and Service club plans activities related to mission, service and peace. Other volunteer options include prison ministry, Harvey County Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, Mennonite Disaster Service and spring break service trips. Additional service opportunities are listed in the Service-Learning section of the college website.
- Pastor-in-Residence–each semester the college invites a pastor to spend three days sharing in chapel, campus worship and in a variety of campus settings.
- Sunday Worship–students are invited to take part in the worship services of area churches.