Leading Your Campus Chapter
"...Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26b-27, ESV).
Leadership seems to be a prickly subject among students due to concerns about seeming arrogant or not feeling adequate. However, God has placed you at your healthcare training institution — medical, dental, podiatric, allied health, etc. — for a PURPOSE. It is by no accident. God put you where you are, not just simply to “receive” all the opportunities before you, but also to step out in front and lead in such a way that reveals your total dependence on God and humbly point to Jesus as the reason for where you are.
Your campus chapter is an amazing opportunity to serve the entire community of your healthcare training institution. As a huge part of the Christian community on campus, your chapter can help the whole campus community grow closer to Christ. As a leader in your chapter, your role is to help the group join God in what He is doing on your campus. To this end, we are committed to helping you determine the purpose of your group and helping you see that purpose realized over the course of the academic year.
Please explore these resources designed to help you become a student leader and help you lead your campus chapter. Please contact your regional director for more information or to discuss your particular campus situation.
Leadership requires careful thought, reflection and preparation. Just as God has a purpose for you at your respective healthcare training institution, He also has a purpose for your campus chapter. It is important to take time with your team to ask meaningful questions—Why are we here? What needs do we see? What is God up to?—to help your group see how you can join God in what He is doing on your campus.
Once you’ve decided what your purpose is for a group, you can plan events, activities and opportunities based on that vision. We also recommend writing your purpose out and sharing it with the entire group to help keep it in mind throughout the year. The CMDA Idea & Resource Guide provides programming to build upon the foundation of the purpose you have established for your group.
Welcoming incoming first year healthcare training students is essential to helping them connect with your campus chapter and introduce them to the Christian community on campus. Meeting them as early as possible will help you build a relationship with them before studies get overwhelming. Hopefully most you’ve met who are interested in Christian community will continue to participate, but if some stop due to academic pressures, there’s a good chance they’ll return (start coming) to the group if you’ve made a strong enough connection at the beginning of the year.
To make this strong connection and a good first impression, we encourage all campus chapters to display at their school’s campus activities fair and to follow that closely with an exciting welcome event, like a BBQ or party. The fair gives you a chance to share about your group and its purpose and plans for the year, while the welcome event allows for time to begin making friends with first years. The Campus Welcome Kit is designed to help you promote your chapter at your school.
This kit has a mixture of materials created specifically to help you encourage your fellow classmates to get involved and help your campus chapter THRIVE with a purpose throughout the year.
New Welcome Kits are available mid-June.
Leadership for campus ministry can be very transitory at healthcare professional training institutions. It’s exciting when clinical year students can continue to help lead the local group, but for most campus chapters, the leadership team changes every year! Whether your team leads for the calendar year—January to December—or the academic year—August/September to March/April—it is extremely important for you as the current leadership team to be on the lookout for new leaders as soon as school starts and be prepared for leadership transition whether it be in winter or spring.
To help you prepare for transitioning to your new leadership team, please review the Student Leader Selection & Transition Process. These guidelines will take you from identifying potential leaders to selecting your new leadership team. The process includes a new leader application that asks meaningful questions of potential campus chapter leaders. Every new leader needs to be a CMDA member and needs to complete the Student Leadership Application to make sure they understand the expectations of being a CMDA student leader. This is an important process, so please feel free to ask questions and seek counsel from your ministry shepherd (staff person), campus advisor and/or regional director.
After completing the leadership selection process, the current leadership team should complete the annual Campus Annual Report online. This will let us know how the year went and what impact your chapter had on your campus. Please take time to answer each question, especially the “stories” section. We can’t wait to hear your testimonies of how God has been at work through CMDA on your campus!
We encourage each of our campus chapters to have a unique sense of their purpose on their respective campus. Knowing the big picture of who you are and why your chapter exists is essential to meaningful ministry on campus. In the same way, we want all campus groups and their participants to be aware of the big picture of CMDA ministry across the U.S. We are committed to helping you and everyone who participates in your campus ministry to do what God has called you to do right now at your healthcare professional training institution, during residency and any fellowships, as you begin practice and even into retirement. From the “womb to tomb” professionally, we want to be by your side to help you grow in your calling as a Christian healthcare professional and stay connected with the body of Christ within healthcare. CMDA does not have to end after your last Bible study or campus event; we encourage you to stay connected throughout your professional life. Here are some ways to help you and your campus chapter stay connected with CMDA:
We are committed to raising up the next generation of Christian healthcare professionals. To do that we encourage the growth of the Christian community on healthcare training campuses through student-led campus chapters, supported by ministry staff and local healthcare professionals. Each chapter is committed to help students grow in their faith, reach out to their campus community with the love of Christ and learn how to integrate the Christian faith within healthcare. The connectedness of this Christian community on campus is the starting point for a lifelong connection with the only ministry to healthcare professionals committed to helping you stay connected to the body of Christ in healthcare, helping you do what God has called you to do throughout your professional life and beyond.
If you are at a new school without a CMDA campus chapter, please use the information below to begin the process of creating a new group at your school. If you are part of a Christian fellowship that is not currently part of the CMDA network, please prayerfully consider becoming a CMDA campus chapter today to be part of this national community of Christian healthcare professionals.
To start a new CMDA Chapter, please complete the Campus Chapter Constitution and also make sure each new leader is a member of CMDA and has completed a Student Leadership Application. Please return all completed forms to Campus & Community Ministries. The CMDA Bylaws are available for reference.
"Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you about the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith" (Hebrews 13:7, ESV).
The Campus Advisor (CA) is an essential component of CMDA campus ministry. The CA serves primarily as an on-campus example of a Christ-following healthcare professional and is encouraged to be a regular presence at campus chapter activities. This enables the CA to be in relationship with chapter participants and to encourage leaders. This regular presence encourages students to touch base with him/her outside of official meetings for advice and encouragement and to hear more about what it means to be a Christian healthcare professional. Each campus chapter is expected to have at least one active CA, who is an attending or faculty member at their school. Healthcare professionals from the surrounding community are also encouraged to come alongside the local campus chapter. All CAs should complete the CMDA leadership commitment form and are encouraged to join CMDA if they are not current members.
Many of the activities your campus chapter engages in to join God in what He is doing at your school will have no financial cost at all—activities like prayer, worship, gathering for fellowship, etc., but what if God leads your group to include events and activities that need to be paid for in order for ministry to happen? CMDA encourages all campus chapters to be student organizations officially sanctioned by their respective school’s administration if at all possible. Official status usually entitles the group a share of their school’s activity funds, which may be requested for and applied to ministry activities on campus.
An additional step is to contact your CMDA Regional Director for ideas on how to connect with local CMDA members to share your vision for reaching your campus and asking them to partner with you for ongoing activities or special events. Asking chapter participants to talk to their local churches about partnering with your group is another viable option.
If inviting outside speakers to address your group is part of your campus plan, CMDA wants to help you secure appropriate speakers to speak to the needs of your campus chapter. We have a robust list of national speakers who are able to speak on a variety of topics and can be geared towards outreach events designed for the whole campus community or events focused on encouraging, inspiring or training a primarily Christian audience. Your regional director can also help you connect with local Christian healthcare professional to speak at regular or special outreach meetings.
As you connect with potential speakers, we highly recommend sending out a series of possible topics so that they will have a choice and will be more likely to agree to speak. For your local speakers, we encourage you to ask them to share about their relationship with Christ and how they have been able to integrate faith and the practice of healthcare.
CMDA does have a Speaker's Bureau of CMDA members who are available to speak on a variety of topics and issues.