As a Christian study centre, we are not trying to replicate church on campus. Rather, we are a resourcing centre that can help to serve and strengthen your church community. We can help in several ways:
- We offer a comfortable space on campus where UCT students from your congregation can be cared for. University is mentally and emotionally challenging, and students need mature guidance to help them navigate this environment. We specialise in helping students to think Christianly about their studies and the phase of life they are in. Even if your church is associated with a ministry on UCT campus, we can still be a valuable partner to you and to that ministry.
- We offer group meetings and training material that are designed to equip students to understand the biblical faith and to apply it deeply to all aspects of their life. UCT students are already being groomed as leaders socially and vocationally; our goal is to grow students who will become spiritual leaders and core members of your churches too.
- We have highly qualified staff members who have expertise to offer your community. Speak to us about how we can provide resources for your church, and sign up to receive news about public lectures from visiting scholars and conferences that can enrich your own ministry.
(The sign-up feature will come soon. For now, like our page on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll keep you informed.)
What we can’t offer you
It almost goes without saying that being an interdenominational organisation frees us of some limitations but imposes others. We are committed to remaining interdenominational because we believe that the body of Christ is a diverse body and that this is good. Being exposed to the differences that exist between us teaches us to unite on the core of the gospel, while challenging our thinking about secondary issues. Diversity teaches us to listen, to learn, to be humble, and to sharpen one another.
Being interdenominational also enables us to work for the mutual strengthening and encouragement of all of God’s people. Christians might be tempted to think of their own churches/denominations as being most correct (it’s a natural habit of mind) and conversely, we treat at least some churches/denominations with suspicion. Without the ability for Christians from diverse traditions to engage in genuine dialogue, there is little opportunity for sharing our strengths in order to build up others in their weakness (and vice versa). The UCT Student YMCA is committed to being one of these spaces.
This means that there are at least two things we cannot do for churches:
- Our facilities can be hired for events, but we cannot be a site that hosts Sunday church services for any given church or denomination because that would cement a denominational association that we would prefer to avoid.
- We cannot ensure that students will be taught all the same things that they are taught at your church. Students at university are going to have their thinking challenged in all sorts of ways that are out of a church’s control. With or without us, they won’t leave university the same people that arrived. We can’t train them in your brand of the faith, but we can sharpen their thinking about themselves, their faith, and their Scriptures so that they can weather these challenges and come out stronger. We hope that you will become partners with us in this task.