As you use this guide, keep in mind that each Chapter Advisor will have different availabilities and gifts. Some of these recommended touchpoints could be done by a phone/video call or an email exchange, but we do recommend trying to have as much face-to-face time with your Chapter Advisor as their availability allows.
You’ll notice that this guide follows the same pathway as a D-Cycle: Hear, Respond, & Debrief. Like any good D-Cycle, this is meant to not only help you in the short-term, but to build a partnership that continuously grows and improves. Ideally, you would meet with your chapter advisor at the beginning of the academic year, but if it’s later in the year, you can still use this guide – just calibrate the recommendations to your current point of the year.
Getting Started (Hear the Word)
1. Connect with your Chapter Advisor. Find a time that works for them to catch-up and talk through their involvement with the chapter.
2. Share event and meeting plans. Ask for feedback and see what events they would like to be involved with.
a. Include NSO, proxe-ing, large groups, and other events.
3. Talk through their involvement for semester/quarter. Ideas include:
a. Hosting office hours for IV students
b. Speaking at a large group (*see note below), helping to lead a training or seminar (e.g. Senior Group), provide coaching for the leadership team in making ministry plans
c. Hosting a back-to-school retreat, a Homecoming event for IV alumni, Thanksgiving meal for students staying around, or Advent/Christmas party.
d. Invite them as a special guest to your Fall/Spring Conference (bonus points if you bring them to Urbana!).
Follow Through (Respond Actively)
4. Send an email follow-up to confirm Chapter Advisor participation in events
5. Set a date and time for each event/initiative your chapter advisor said they wanted to speak/participate in.
6. Keep your Chapter Advisor updated as you prepare for events, especially those that they are going to be part of.
7. Host the event(s)! Make sure to introduce your Chapter Advisor with respect (including appropriate titles). We want to model good faculty interactions for students!
8. Show your gratitude and involve students.
a. Send a thank-you note. If it’s the end of the Fall semester, send a Christmas card with a small token of appreciation.
Reflect and Recalibrate (Debrief &Interpret)
9. Meet at the end of the semester to debrief what happened with the chapter and their involvement.
a. Come to the meeting with gathered feedback from students (bonus points if you have your FFR/AFR data!).
b. What feedback do they have for the chapter’s work this semester?
c. What opportunities do they see for the chapter next semester? What needs do they see on campus for the chapter to minister to?
d. Was the chapter advisor happy with their involvement this semester? Do they want to be more engaged? Do they have less capacity to be involved next semester?
e. Do they know other Christian faculty who would be a good fit to be involved?
10. Plan to meet at the beginning of the next semester after you make adjustments/additions from your debrief conversation.
*Ask faculty to speak at events far in advance (a year if possible). Writing a talk is also very time consuming for a faculty member. They may be more likely to have capacity to share at a large group with a Q&A format (with questions provided beforehand). If your advisor wants to speak at an event, ask them what works best for them!