The Catholic University of America
What Do I Need To Know About Student Ministry?
 
Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply?
Anyone who is interested in doing a year of service to their community through sharing their faith and becoming part of a faith community should apply. Anyone who is energetic and enthusiastic about living their vocation as a young Catholic adult should think about applying to be a student minister. 

 
What if I’m not the typical campus ministry person, should I apply? 
This is something people think often in regards to applying and discourage themselves from trying. There is no “typical” person, and in fact, diversity in personalities and interests is encouraged and sought after. You don’t have to be the holiest, but you must have a faith you’re willing to share with others and a desire to grow your faith. The skills needed are diverse, but all applicants should have good social skills, be able to think creatively, enjoy meeting new people and creating programs for the campus community. If you have these skills and feel the call to serve as a student minister, you should apply.
 
I do sports and/or am involved in a lot of activities; will I have to stop doing them?
Ministry is very demanding time wise, and it may be difficult to keep up with sports or lots of other activities. But this does not mean that everything you do will have to be under the campus ministry umbrella. There is room for other activities, and it is important to remember that for student ministry, planning programs is encouraged; so this may be an opportunity to integrate other areas of campus to your ministry. It should be noted that if you are an athlete or have a constricting schedule, there will be weekend commitments as a student minister, as well as every Friday night for the House. For each community there are specific requirements which are mandatory commitments required of the Student Ministry staff and therefore they cannot be absented from them (ie. House Mass, Wednesday Adoration, Cellar Night, etc.). While this all seems daunting, it is possible to be a part of a sports team or have extracurricular activities. But, flexibility is needed on the part of the activity or the team and coach because student ministry activities have to be a priority. Approximately 20 hours of week is spent as a student minister.
 
I have a tough major, can I still do ministry?
Any major can participate in the Student Minister program, (yes, even the architect majors). Student Ministers in the past have had majors ranging from Theology to Bio-Pre Med to Nursing to Architecture.   All majors are encouraged to apply and it is up to the Student Minister to balance their workload with their ministry responsibilities.
 
What is the basic rundown of hours a week spent in ministry?
This is a difficult question to answer because it makes the ministry look intimidating and more daunting than it may be. This is just an idea of the time commitment required of a student minister. It is always subject to change.
 
Student Minister Responsibilities: A weekly meeting with your community, a weekly meeting with your supervisor (pastoral staff), a weekly meeting with the pastoral staff, an hour of community time a week, an hour devoted to prayer within community a week, one community meal, one community Mass, lead a weekly Renew group, roughly 6 hours of ministry of presence with your residents, being present at Wednesday night Adoration, being present at House Mass, your community job (shopping, advertising, scheduling, treasurer, manager etc.), programming events- depending on which community: Friday Night, Cellar Night, CUA on Tap, etc.  Approximately 20 hours of week is spent as a student minister.
 
 
The time seems like a lot, how do people handle it?
The time and personal commitment to ministry is great, but the most valuable and important resource is prayer. The student minister should be grounded in prayer- personal and communal. The faith community will also be a great resource to the student minister. You’re never alone in your decision making, your stress, your joys, or your trials. You will also have supervision (each student minister is paired with a pastoral staff member to meet once a week) which helps you strike a balance in friends, personal time, ministry and schoolwork. Ministry in itself is both a significant responsibility in terms of time devoted to both community and residents. This application process should be used in order to properly discern whether or not this is a responsibility you are willing and ready to take on. Personal prayer and conversation with family and friends are crucial to this decision process of whether or not to apply.
 
Is there a financial benefit to Student Ministry like there is for being a Resident Assistant?
The Student Ministers receive a scholarship that provides full room and board. 

How is the selection process done?
The selection process includes 3 stages:
 
  1. The Application- Stage one is all on the applicants. They must discern whether or not this is for them and then fill out the application. The application includes personal reflection questions, a self evaluation of skills and requires three references from employers, teachers, friends, etc.
 
  1. Round I Interviews- All applicants will meet for round one of interviews. This round is held by student leaders from the CUA community.
 
  1. Round II Interviews- Some of the applicants will be asked to move on to the second round of interviews which is held by the pastoral staff. This is where the applicants need to remember that the communities of student ministry are selected based on the potential dynamic of the community. Individuals are not just chosen for their individual qualities, but a whole community needs to be chosen. As hard as it is to remember, it is important to recognize that an applicant’s personal merit is not the only deciding factor, and even though they may be wonderful individuals, they may not necessarily be the best fit for the community.
 
When will I be notified of the Student Minister decisions and placements?
All applicants will be notified of the decisions before leaving for Spring Break.
 
When are Student Ministers required to return to school for the upcoming year?
Upon being selected, all new Student Ministers will be required to return to campus within the second week of August for a mandatory two weeks of training. This training is crucial for professional development, community building, faith formation, and other essential information that will aid Student Ministers in their ministry. 
 
How can I prepare for the application process?
Student Ministry is a year of service and a significant sacrifice. We encourage you to pray as you discern whether God is calling you to this year of service. We will be praying for you! Please see the Personal Discernment sheet online as a resource: ministry.cua.edu. J