EUGENE, Ore. – How best to reach out to busy students in Northwest Christian University’s professional studies program? That was the question facing Tobyn Bower, a daytime sophomore and member of the university’s campus ministries program. The answer, it turns out, was to feed them soup.
"Those of us involved in campus ministries realized we hadn’t done much to connect with students in the evening program," Bower recalled. "We were looking for a way to bless them and get to know them."
Using recipes he gathered on the Internet, Bower cooked up pots of minestrone soup, pumpkin soup and other hot meals, making enough to feed 160. A classic chicken noodle soup proved to be the most popular with students, who were served during a 20-minute break in their classes. During the program’s final installment in December, Bower served hot wassail, challah and other holiday treats.
Many PSP students hold down jobs and meet family obligations while attending night classes. Their busy schedules don’t often leave them with much time to be involved in the campus community. The Soup Night gatherings drew about 25 students per evening.
"The main goal was just to make connections," Bower explained. "Our hope is that we can open doors so the connections made can grow into relationships where campus ministries can really begin to minister to them (the students)."
About Northwest Christian University
Northwest Christian University is a liberal arts institution dedicated to developing competent, ethical leaders for service in the workplace, community, Church and world. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the University was founded in 1895 and is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ. Northwest Christian University offers 15 traditional undergraduate degree programs, four master’s degree programs, and a professional studies program for working adults. More information about the University is available at www.northwestchristian.edu <http://www.northwestchristian.edu> .
Steve Poetzl, Northwest Christian University, (541) 684-7293
Pat Walsh, The Ulum Group, (541) 434-7021