From left to right: John Leis III (Indiana), John Guerrero (Wisconsin), Zakia Jerrett (Lake Region), Michael Campos (Illinois), Israel Ramos (Michigan), and Leeroy Hernandez (Michigan). Not pictured is Alanna Rodriguez, assistant to the Public Campus Ministry director for Michigan Conference.

July 27, 2022

Meet your Public Campus Ministry directors

Wanting input from our conference directors who are overseeing ministry to non-Adventist university students, we asked them to provide some words of advice to either students, faculty, parents or pastors.

Note their contact information, and feel free to connect with them about this critical area of ministry to youth and young adults.


Illinois Conference

It’s important to recognize that Adventist faculty and staff are a vital component in our Church’s mission on secular and private campuses. You might be wondering what can you do? The answer is, a lot!

Since every student organization must have an advisor to be registered at the university, you can serve as one by ensuring that students are abiding by the university’s policy and connecting them to resources. You can post fliers on your office door. Or once during the year or semester, visit the meeting or lead/give the Bible study for the week. Or pray with and for the leaders. Or mentor the leaders by having lunch in informal settings and encouraging them both spiritually and academically. You might also want to consider sharing your testimony. Hearing of your faith in Christ while still working in a secular environment can be a source of encouragement and strength.

The possibilities are endless! Don’t forget we are here to support you on this mission, so please call us for any help.

Michael Campos
Youth director


Indiana Conference

At a luncheon held by Indiana University, I learned that this secular university was interested in helping me and other pastors find students to be part of our faith communities. Why? Because research shows that students who belong to a faith community succeed more often than their peers, both scholastically and socially.

There is a Greek word, koinonia, that has been translated in our Bible as “communion.” However, koinonia is more than just participating in the Lord’s supper. It is about connection and community with God and fellow pilgrims. This is the best way to grow spiritually.

Even on a secular campus, koinonia can be found. Students, to do this, you can join or start an Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF) chapter. Don’t just attend, but also be involved at the local church near your campus. Koinonia is about how we relate to each other; it’s about building each other up and encouraging each other as we navigate life. You are not alone; God draws us into community with Him and others. On campus and in life, I encourage you to seek out koinonia.

John Leis III
Bloomington Church pastor, Public Campus Ministry director



Lake Region Conference

New students: If you’ve been attending high school and are now moving on to junior college or university, you may have some apprehension about what that looks like. Transitions can be difficult, but the addition of the COVID crisis presented new educational challenges.

Keep in mind, everyone faced the crisis—students, faculty and staff. Everyone went through the growing pains to land where we are now, including your soon-to-be professors. As a new student, you’ll notice a broad array of mental health counseling options available for everyone—from online and telephone to in-person, all throughout the day.

Flexibility will also continue to be offered in just about every area—from your course schedule with virtual and in-person courses, to the actual academic calendar, to flexibility in a professor’s scheduling. These types of wellness and self-care programs have been prioritized to help students, faculty and staff balance their lives. When you need to, take advantage of them but be mindful that your professor may be doing the same. When staff are supported, they can support their students more fully. When students feel supported, they can better navigate this new higher education experience.

Zakia Jarrett
Public Campus Ministry director


Michigan Conference

Pastors, have you ever considered that perhaps a public university could provide you a flood of ministry opportunities? Perhaps the overwhelming stress to keep up with the demands of ministry has hindered us from acknowledging one of the most effective yet most neglected evangelistic opportunities: public universities. In these universities, we find some of the brightest minds which form an integral part of our society—young people who are not afraid to make decisions that can change the course of their lives. It’s a demographic that is open to be challenged and are reframing the foundations of their beliefs and who they are.

Getting involved as a pastor in these public universities gives you opportunities to:

  • Train student leaders to give Bible studies

  • Be invited to teach in other Christian student groups

  • Invite international students who are looking for a church to your own congregation

  • Mobilize your congregation to adopt and minister to university students

  • Conduct an evangelistic series on a university campus

Israel Ramos
Public Campus Ministry director

Alanna Rodriguez
Assistant to the Public Campus Ministry director

Leeroy Hernandez
Missionary Training Program director



Wisconsin Conference

A big question youth and young adults seem to have today is: What does it really mean to follow Christ and how do I make a mark on the world? A few friends and I decided to start a ministry on our college campus to provide some answers to these very questions. Our college ministry aimed at creating a space and creating a community where students could ask hard questions, develop a personal relationship with Jesus, and build a faith that was real, hands-on and genuine. (See Nov/Dec. 2021 Herald for more.)

If you’re looking to live your full potential as a young adult and experience Jesus, and want to start a movement on your campus, or if you’re a pastor or family that has a heart for this generation and wants to do some-thing, please feel free to reach out. In the meantime,  let’s pray that God brings people to this ministry who have heart for God and students, and who are faithful and available.

Josh Guerrero
Public Campus Ministry director