Some thoughts and the importance and possible methods for Christian support by those working in Higher Education. By Alan Hay
Support In Higher Education
Church fellowships can find it difficult to support us in this ministry as they just do not understand the atmosphere, context or problems. They can be very loving but not very effective.
A number of disciplines have set up networks – known in UCCF as ‘professional groups’, e.g. Christian Medical Fellowship. These are important because you can relate to people who understand your thought structure.
Many institutions have from time to time had campus staff groups, e.g. Manchester. In these you will meet people who know the institution’s setting. One problem can be that people coming from different departments have confidentiality issues and cannot discuss openly all the issues they face.
There is a third possibility – a virtual support group. We can use modern IT to approach the problem. Physically getting people together is harder these days but the need to do so is greater. Virtual groupings, such as through bulletin boards on a members-only internet site may be one way to do this successfully.
Whichever of these ends up being the most useful for you, there is no doubting the wisdom of finding one or two others whom you can regularly meet with to talk, share and pray through the issues and difficulties you face as an academic on campus.