By Tessa Short
Through the numerous opportunities for involvement and the community atmosphere, Campus Ministries has helped make the transition for Hesston transfer students a little bit easier.
Seniors Shelby Miller, Colton Eby and Irena Xhari are all Hesston transfers who now serve with Campus Ministries at Bluffton. Miller and Eby transferred into these roles their junior year. Miller recalls the transition she made last fall and how coming to Bluffton as a ministry assistant helped her adjust quickly.
“Coming to Bluffton in a leadership position gave me the opportunity to already have a sense of community,” Miller said. “Before classes start, the leadership team goes on a retreat. Being able to connect with people before class helped make the transition easier.”
Miller noted the differences in her role as an MA at Hesston to her MA role at Bluffton. At Hesston, MAs are responsible for “mods.” Mods are smaller groups of people living together each with their own RA. Miller explained she was a MA for three mods, each with a different living location. Whereas at Bluffton she is an MA just for her floor.
“At Hesston, ministry assistants conduct specific events for the entire campus,” Miller explained. “At Bluffton, it’s floor based, which focuses more on building the individual relationships with students. This is something I really enjoy.”
Eby is a pastoral assistant and a Sunday Night Worship coordinator at Bluffton. Eby described the differences between Bluffton’s Spiritual Life Week and Hesston’s “outcomes” week.
“Hesston would have a week that would revolve around a specific theme,” Eby explained. “Events that were already happening would fit this theme. Essentially it was a Spiritual Life Week, but it wasn’t out of the ordinary.”
Miller continued to explain the difference.
“I really enjoy Bluffton’s Spiritual Life Week because of how community oriented it is,” Miller said. “Many students are involved and events are creatively planned to challenge students. Bluffton’s Spiritual Life Week extends past the normal week’s events and gives many different students opportunities to engage.”
Chapel also has its differences. Both explained that Hesston’s chapel is similar to a really interesting forum that brings in different pastors and speakers from all over.
“One thing I love about Bluffton’s Campus Ministries is that there is a lot of music,” Eby said. “At Hesston they have these really interesting spiritual forums. But I like the worship time that Bluffton has at Chapel.”
When asked what their favorite thing about Bluffton’s Campus Ministries was both Eby and Miller’s answers had to do with the people.
“I love the deep discussions,” Eby said. “The ability to talk about controversial topics to better understand each other and their viewpoints. It’s so interesting and everyone is so open to listening.”
Miller noted her favorite was the way that the leadership team works together.
“I love how the ministry team collaborates,” Miller said. “People are paying attention to the needs of people, even if it is on other people’s floors.”