Posted by: Justin Wallace | April 8, 2010

Leaders are readers…

I have a motto :: Leaders are readers.

I read and read and read. Anything I can get my hands on. Magazines, blogs, books, e-newsletters, etc. I’m always looking to add to my library. So, I have a question ::

What is the best book you have read that applies to campus ministry?

Please share…



  1. Good motto. And some smart aleck will respond to your question by saying, “The Bible!” Yeah, that’s a given. When I was in campus ministry (way back when) one book that stood out was Eugene Peterson’s “Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work.” A classic!

  2. A few that come to mind are:

    Steve Garber’s: The Fabric of Faithfulness

    Sharon Parks’: Big Questions, Worthy Dreams

    Tim Clydesdale’s: The First Year Out

    Leaders HAVE TO BE readers!

  3. I’m currently reading a book called “Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are.” Although Start Here is directed towards teenagers, there is much in it for a young adults. I hear so many students express their frustration at having to be in school when all they want to be doing is ministry elsewhere. They are so eager to go out and serve God (which is phenomenal!!), but yet they miss out on what God has got going on right in their own backyard/campus. I think this book is wonderful for youth, college students, and even “grown ups.” There are so many inspiring stories of young people doing amazing things for the Lord that it makes you want to get off your rear and do something.

  4. Before I even saw Greg’s response, I planned to comment with a book I recommend often – Peterson’s Under the Unpredictable Plant. It speaks to ministry of presence, honoring the Place to which you’ve been called, being true to your calling, and more. It was definitely helpful in my early years of serving, and it laid the groundwork for a bunch that God would teach me about the missional and missiological natures of college ministry.

    More recently, my understanding of college ministry structure was gelled in some GREAT ways by Simple Church and Good to Great. Thinking about long-term quality was greatly aided by Good to Great’s precursor, Built to Last.

  5. I read so often and so broadly, that I am not sure I have specific recommendations for books about or toward campus ministry. I have certainly written down a couple of the books already mentioned.

    Right now, I am finally reading Unlikely Disciple, and and it really is a pretty interesting and good read. It certainly does a respectful job of highlighting two very different worlds as they clash together for him.

  6. Recently Resident Aliens, a book about 20yrs. old now, has had particular resonance for me about how we help students and our organization shape a public expression of our faith at the university.

  7. […] Heart of Campus Ministry asking about ministry books most applicable to campus ministry. […]

  8. From the 2009 Campus Ministry United Workshop at Harding University:

    1. Reach the U: A Handbook for Effective Campus Ministry by Dennis Gaylor (published by Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, USA. 3728 West Chestnut Expressway, Springfield, MO 65802)

    2. UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why It Matters by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons (Baker Books. PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287)

    3. The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out by Mark Driscoll (Zondervan. Grand Rapids, MI 49530)

    4. The Fuel and the Flame: 10 Keys to Ignite Your College Campus for Jesus Christ by Steve Shadrach (Authentic Lifestyle. PO Box 1047, Waynesboro, GA 30830)

    5. Reaching the Campus Tribes by Benson Hines (free ebook download at

    6. Essential Church: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts by Thom S. Rainer and Sam S. Rainer III (B&H Publishing Group. Nashville, TN)

    7. Disciples on Campus: Challenge and Encouragement for the 21st Century Student by Marty Fuqua and Gregg Marutzky (DPI Books. 5016 Spedale Court #331, Spring Hill, TN 37174)

    8. When God Walked on Campus: A Brief History of Evangelical Awakenings at American Colleges and Universities by Michael F. Gleason (Joshua Press Inc. Dundas, Ontario, Canada)

  9. […] me to mention that a part of this post was inspired by the simple question posed last Friday on the Heart of Campus Ministry blog: Leaders are Readers – What’s the best book you’ve read that applies to campus ministry?  There […]

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