Chaplains impact university campuses

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The missional team of Seventh-day Adventist university chaplains in Western Australia meet regularly, near the Central Business District of Perth, to pray for the growing university campus church planting movement in this State. 

The ACTS Church movement has the vision of renewing the Adventist movement within universities in Western Australia. An important part of the multi-entry strategy is to appoint Seventh-day Adventist chaplains at all of the state universities in Western Australia.

Our core vision is to be working with Jesus at the centre of a disciple-making movement within universities in this State

So far, Adventist chaplains have been officially appointed at Edith Cowan University, Curtin University and Murdoch University, with most of these being the first Adventist chaplains in the history of these institutions. This has resulted in one of the most comprehensive Adventist university chaplaincy teams in Australia. The specific chaplains at each ofthese universities are: Pastor Steve Goods and Derek O’Hare (Edith Cowan University), Bruce McCourt (Curtin University) and Pastor Uili Mauga (Murdoch University).

The university chaplaincy team is coordinated by Sven Östring, who is also the multi-faith officer at Curtin University, a university funded part-time role. Östring’s work involves coordinating the multi-faith chaplaincy team at Curtin University, including Bahá’í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Islamic chaplains. Recently, Östring was accepted as amember of the Tertiary Campus Ministry Association, the association for chaplains at tertiary education institutions in Australia. It’s believed he’s the first Seventh-day Adventist to be accepted as a member of this organisation.

“We recognise, though, that chaplaincy appointments is only one aspect of renewing the Adventist movement within universities in Western Australia,” says Sven Östring. “Our core vision is to be working with Jesus at the centre of a disciple-making movement within universities in this State. One way of being incarnational and representing the kingdom of God within these universities is to appoint Adventist chaplains to the university chaplaincy teams. We’re also building networks of small missional student groups, registering Adventist student clubs with the student guilds at the universities, and planting Sabbath-keeping churches on campuses.”

The ACTS Church movement has just completed its largest and most comprehensive orientation program to date. Adventist stalls were operated at seven university orientation events on campuses at various locations around Western Australia. 

The chaplaincy team continues to pray that Jesus will bless all of the Adventist students at the universities, and that He, as the Lord of the harvest, will send campus missionaries into the university mission fields in Western Australia to reach the thousands of lost students on these campuses.

The university chaplaincy team realises that disciple-making movements can only become a spiritual reality through prayer. Bruce McCourt, chaplain at Curtin, has no illusions about the Source of success: “The only reason we have the ACTS Church planted here at Curtin University is because of our continual commitment to prayer.”