Posted by: naccm | April 29, 2010

STAT – 3.2, 6 & 9.5 from Seth Godin

The inflation factor of health costs since 1978 is 6 and the inflation factor of higher education since 1978 is 9.5.  Earnings have increased by only a factor of 3.2

This is one of the reasons Seth Godin, marketing guru, today posted five reasons he sees the coming meltdown of higher-education.

Made me wonder how many of these apply to ministry in higher education as well.  Here are the five factors:

  1. Most colleges are organized to give an average education to an average student.
  2. College has gotten expensive far faster than wages have gone up.
  3. The definition of “best” is under siege.
  4. The correlation between a typical college degree and success is suspect.
  5. Accreditation isn’t the solution, it is the problem.

What are the implications for college ministry?  Are any of these critiques/warnings true of college ministry?



  1. A common line in college ministry is “reaching the leaders of the next generation” or something similar. If the trends that Godin outlines are true then we may need to think about how we can best accomplish that goal.

  2. I’ve been following this blog for a while now, and this is the first post that I felt like I have something worth bringing to discussion (since I’m not a vocational campus minister yet), because I saw these things happening to me.

    I came to college for music, because our music program at Murray State University is AMAZING. Then, at the end of my 3rd year, I failed out of my voice lessons, and switched majors. It was my campus minister at the time (Brian Baldwin) who taught me

    1. what it means to be a Scholar who does scholarly work
    2. how to manage my money in a way that I can survive my loans (even if it takes a while to get them out of the way)
    3. that “good” is the enemy of “best”
    4. that some people aren’t called into a college life, and that’s OK
    5. being uniform isn’t always great. He always said that he’d rather have all chiefs and no indians than the other way around.

    I’m going to be going to a Seminary where the scholarship is going to give me a REAL thumping, and that’s part of a Calling that I heard from God while I was in a Campus ministry. So what is the implication for College Ministry? It’s vision, not just for the group as a whole, but for the individuals who make up the group. Seeing the students the way God sees them, what they are, what they are capable of, and possible futures in store for them. Brian was a huge part of my calling, and before my call to ministry he had discerned visions that were the solution to some of these problems.

    And if those visions are present in the campus ministry, then they will answer these critiques/warnings as they apply to campus ministry as well, because if the students choose to internalize these visions and make them part of their identities, then they won’t really be compartmentalized into “college” and out of “campus ministry,” but will become defining things in the whole of their college career, and maybe even a bit in life after graduation.

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