Our campus ministry spotlight for this quarter is Tarleton State University, a D2 school (13,000 students) in the small town of Stephenville, TX (20,000 people). Tarleton is known as the poor man’s party school. Traditionally, Tarleton has been a regional school, attracting students from the surrounding communities. However, in recent years, the school has begun to attract a wider range of students, producing many agriculture, nursing, and education majors. The Tarleton State University Baptist Student Ministry (TSU BSM) is led by Director, Clayton Bullion, and a team of five talented staff.
CAMPUS MINISTRY & MISSION
The TSU BSM team desires for every student to be within arm’s length of the gospel. Because of that, there’s something on the schedule nearly every day of the week—from dorm trash pickup to on-campus missional communities to a Greek-specific lunches to more traditional happenings such as free lunch and 402, our Thursday Night Worship Encounter. The BSM has a total of 45 student leaders involved, 150 students in a discipleship network (students meeting in 1-on-1 discipleship relationships), and about 200 students in attendance on Thursday nights.
CHALLENGES AHEAD FOR TODAY’S COLLEGE STUDENTS
The TSU BSM staff understands that students land on the college campus with a lot of emotional baggage. They wrestle with identity, self worth, and a shaky, relative moral framework. Now, more than ever, they are training students to stop digging holes before they can teach them to climb mountains. Students have so much potential for greatness, but leaders often have to wade through the emotional baggage before moving forward in discipleship and spiritual growth.
THE LEADERSHIP REWARD
The thing that keeps Clayton Bullion and his team coming back each day is that special moment a student realizes they can do ministry—when students realize they can leverage their life for the sake of the gospel. Nothing compares to that moment when students begin to rearrange the priorities of their hearts and schedules to help other students grow in their faith or to engage students who have never heard the gospel.
The TSU BSM team has seen two great opportunities for ministry happen over the past two years. The first is that they trained students on how to share the gospel and set up gospel appointments. Since then, they’ve seen, on average, one student a week make a profession of faith on campus! The second is that they began to realize they could train up and export our students to begin college ministries on other campuses. The past two years they started two other campuses ministries on small nearby community college campuses and partnered with NCM (BCM of the Pacific Northwest) by sending 110 short-term volunteers and three graduated, long-term staff to be a part of the great work happening there!
WAYS TO PRAY FOR TSU BSM
The TSU BSM loves prayer! They are a ministry-saturated campus yet not a gospel-saturated campus. There are several pockets on campus that don’t have a strong gospel presence yet. Pray that the gospel would saturate and ooze into every nook and cranny of TSU’s campus.
To learn more about the Tarleton State University Baptist Student Ministry, their staff, and programs, visit their website!