Adventist students on secular campuses across the Lake Union received training and resources for ways to connect socially and spiritually with students on their campuses.

May 9, 2024

Adventist Students on Public University Campuses Receive Training and Support

Dozens of students from public college and university campuses convened for the Lake Union Conference Adventist Christian Fellowship Institute conference held May 5-8, 2024, at the Park Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church in Champaign, Illinois. 

“Gathering everyone together so we can connect and support each other is vital in our growth as young believers,” said University of Wisconsin LaCrosse student Adeline Minett. “It reminds us that we are never alone in this walk of faith.” 

What happened: Minett and the 32 other attendees heard from a variety of speakers: Josant Barrientos, youth director for the Illinois conference; Leeroy Hernandez, director of the Michigan based Center for Adventist Ministry to Public University Students; Steven Walch, pastor of the host church; Andrew Park, president of Generation. Youth. Christ (GYC); and Joseph Capeles, Public Campus Ministries (PCM) coordinator for the Indiana conference.

Participants also engaged in breakout sessions: discipling was led by Wisconsin PCM Coordinator Joshua Guerrero, while the topic of CARE groups was guided by Indiana Conference Pastor Samuel Ngala.  

Takeaways from the talks: Discipleship is key in expanding the reach of the true message of God’s love. But in order to disciple others, you yourself need to be a disciple. If you are a true disciple, it’s only natural that you will seek to nurture another’s spiritual journey. Disciples disciple.  

Zoom Out: Events such as ACFI are important for youth because in many local churches they are the youth. The only youth. Many attendees were open about feeling stifled or unheard in their churches and expressed that they felt ill equipped to inherit future church responsibilities. Events like these are irreplaceable when it comes to the development of the next generation. 


Adeline Minett is a member of the Hylandale church. This was co-written with Herald staff.