Posted by: tlhawkins | January 6, 2010

History, Tradition and Reflection of the ACM

The conversation usually goes something like this:

“So, what group are you with?”

ME: “SojournCollegiateMinistry.”

“Oh, is that connected to Jim Wallis and Sojourners?”

ME: “No.”

“What denomination are you affiliated with?”

ME: “We’re non-denominational.”

“So, like Campus Crusade?”

ME: “Well, not exactly.”

ME: “We are affiliated or associated with the independent Christian churches/Churches of Christ.”

“So, like the ‘Boston Church of Christ’?”

ME: “Well, not exactly, though they came out of our tradition historically.”

“So, what tradition is that?”

ME: “Well, it is part of a particular movement often called the Restoration Movement or the Stone/Campbell Movement.”


Or sometimes I just simply say, “Like Max Lucado.”  Then I get more of an “OOOHHHH, OK.”

If you have begun a new ACM affiliated work on a campus in the past five years, I suspect you have had a similar conversation.  Or, maybe you work with another organization, like Crusade, Navs, IV, XA and have also been in a similar conversation with an ACM affiliated ministry!

Our tradition is independent and non-denominational, but with a distinctive tradition and history.

Our campus ministries don’t even have the same names from campus to campus.  Depending on where you are, you might see names like:  HIS House, Christian Campus House, Christian Student Fellowship, Christ on Campus, Campus Christian Fellowship…just to name a few.

So, who are we?  How do we answer that question?  It is true enough, simple enough, and faithful to our tradition to answer succinctly, “We are simply Christians.”

And, to some extent, that answer is sufficient.

But, in other ways, the answer falls short.

Over the course of the next several Wednesdays we will be turning our attention to the historical/traditional framework of the ACM and it’s affiliated ministries.

We’ll be covering topics like:

  • A brief history of the movement
  • 4 distinctives of the movement
  • A brief history of campus ministry in our movement
  • How the movement has shaped campus ministry
  • What churches, leaders, colleges, publications, campus ministries, etc. are associated with our movement
  • How the movement is currently shaping campus ministry
  • Restoration Movement & the emerging church?

Bloggers will include veterans and newbies; those who grew up with/around this tradition and those of us who stumbled into it.



  1. I loved your opening.

    My father in law was an elder of a local Christian Church for many years. I used to tease him about the Christian Church being a non-denominational denomination, to which he would easily defend and confuse me 🙂

    I am looking forward to learning more about the ACM history in the following posts.

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