The General Conference Youth Department has a new Associate Youth Director for Public Campus Ministries. At the Spring Meeting of the General Conference Executive Committee, Jiwan Moon was appointed to the newly created position. Moon holds an MA, MDiv, and DMin — all in youth ministry from Andrews University. Prior to his new appointment, he served as senior pastor of Harmony Seventh-day Adventist Church — a 69 member church in North York with an “accessible and relevant” approach to presenting the “uncompromising Gospel” and Toronto Italian Adventist Company in the Ontario Conference. His experience with young people includes founding Follow Me Adventist Movement and Reach Out & Care Missionary Movement.
At the beginning of the year, the Education, Chaplaincy, Youth Ministries, and Health Ministries departments formed a committee chaired by General Vice President Armando Miranda with Youth Director Gilbert Cangy as secretary. After a process spanning several months, the committee submitted a recommendation which was voted at the Executive Committee’s meeting in April.
Public Campus Ministry is still new to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Only five conferences in North America have a person appointed to campus ministry. Further, Georgia-Cumberland and Michigan are the only two conferences with full-time conference positions as departmental directors. The NAD currently has a volunteer campus ministry coordinator that serves under the youth department’s leadership.
By electing a new position to minister to this neglected area, the GC is taking a step in the right direction. CAMPUS is one of two Adventist campus ministry organizations that have made a long-term global impact at the grassroots level. CAMPUS and Gateway Adventist Centre in Melbourne, Australia have been in existence for more than a decade, making a worldwide impact over the last decade through their alumni which move on to successful professional positions all over the globe. This means that the grassroots is already decades ahead of the church in reaching public colleges. Organizing them towards better efficiency will require skill, tact, and vision. Eventually, the Church must move towards creating a campus ministry department that is able to stand completely on its own instead of being a sub-department if public campus ministry will grow to its intended potential.
For now, Adventist students and leaders ministering on public colleges and universities around the world have a lot to look forward to. The Church is finally moving forward on a global level to fulfill Ellen White’s prophecy of doing a work that “must be done.”