Best Practices & Ideas for Chapter Advisors

Chapter Advisors come from all different fields and levels of experience. Our goal, as InterVarsity, is to provide a platform where you can serve out of your current availability and gifts. As we’ve interviewed Chapter Advisors who have had great partnerships with InterVarsity (IV) ministers on campus, here are some of the best practices we gathered:

Best Practices

Meeting with the IV Campus Minister or student leaders 4-6 times a year.

  • Find out what their goals and plans are and determine how you can best partner with them
  • Student leaders often turn over yearly, and IV campus ministers work on campus an average of 3-5 years. As a faculty or university staff member, you have a unique perspective on making multi-year plans that they may not have. Questions that help them to hold that perspective can be helpful! 

Build community with other Christian faculty, staff, and administrators to pray and serve campus ministries.

  • Chances are, there are others who would like to be involved with ministry on campus. They may not have capacity to serve as advisors themselves, but they may have time to pray for the ministries and to pray for and encourage one another.
  • You may know other Christian faculty and university staff that the IV campus minister and student leaders aren’t connected to yet. You can play a key role in making those connections and inviting other faculty, staff, and administrators in serving on campus.

Provide opportunities and advocate for the IV ministry’s presence on campus.

  • As a faculty, staff, or administrator, you likely have connections to potential speakers for outreach events (e.g. Veritas Forums) or programming that helps students integrate their faith and studies.
  • If there are school policies that the IV ministry needs to be aware of, you can provide important and timely information. In a situation where access on campus could become an issue, you can play a key role in advocating for the ministry’s presence on campus.

Ideas

In addition to the best practices above, here are some concrete ideas for how you can serve as a Chapter Advisor. The list we have compiled is not comprehensive, but we hope that it helps you see the variety of ways a Chapter Advisor can be involved: 

  • Pray for and with the IV Staff Minister regularly  
  • Advise the IV Staff Minister on how to contextualize IV ministry on your campus 
  • Connect the IV Staff Minister with your local church and advocate for partnership  
  • Provide snacks for students during an on-campus event or a weekend retreat or conference 
  • Make time for students to stop by to talk about faith, life on campus, and/or receive prayer 
  • Encourage students by writing notes and providing snacks during finals  
  • Host a gathering (e.g., back-to-school retreat, Christmas party, senior celebration dinner) 
  • Facilitate an alumni gathering during Homecoming weekend  
  • Give a talk at a large group gathering  
  • Facilitate a student training for the ministry  
  • Visit a leaders’ meeting and provide coaching and feedback on ministry plans 
  • Mentor students 
  • Lead a small group and help develop a student leader to take over  
  • Host or join a faculty prayer meeting 
  • Connect the IV Staff Minister and students with other Christian faculty, staff, and administration 

Just as Jesus fed thousands with a few fishes and loaves, anything that you can offer in the name of Jesus will be a valuable blessing, as we seek to establish communities that bear witness to the breadth and beauty of Christ on campus.

If you have further questions about Chapter Advising, please check out our Chapter Advising FAQs. For more information on InterVarsity’s Faculty Ministry (e.g., resources, connecting with other faculty, starting a faculty fellowship), please visit https://faculty.intervarsity.org. Thank you for your partnership in this endeavor! 

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