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Student Leader Selection and Transition Process

  1. From the very beginning of the school year, preferably at the club fair, anticipate and plan to have meaningful conversations with new students. Ask them about their walk with the Lord. Inquire as to their ministry activities and leadership positions during their undergrad years.
  2. This process may be as involved as 3 & 4 below or it may be as simple as meeting one on one with two or three students you know will make good leaders. Make every effort to vet them, inquire as to their walk with God and reason for accepting the baton from you.
  3. Two months before the leadership transition occurs, determine who the potential leaders are—through personal conversations rather than a general email. Ask them to join CMDA (if they haven’t) and to complete the Student Leadership Application by a set deadline.
  4. Prayerfully review the potential leaders as a team and ask the Lord whom you should invite to be interviewed. Schedule interviews and have each potential leader meet with at least two members of the current leadership team (if possible), including CMDA Campus Advisor and CMDA staff as available. Commit your list of possible leaders to a time of prayer before making your final decision.
  5. Attempt to select your new leaders by May 31. If you have any questions, please email your regional director at regions@cmda.org. Special Note: Campus Chapters selecting leaders in the fall semester should have all forms in by December 31 of that year.
  6. Please complete the online Campus Annual Report (one per campus). This form provides valuable information regarding your campus ministry. Please include a list of your campus chapter’s new leaders and a Primary Contact—including email, phone #, and shipping address—to receive and communicate important CMDA information to the rest of the team. Also, be sure to provide a story of how God has impacted your campus through CMDA. We love to hear how God is working on your campus!
  7. Once selected, new leaders will serve concurrently with outgoing leaders until the former leaders step out to study for their Boards. At that point, new leaders assume complete leadership responsibility for the group.
  8. All new leaders are encouraged to attend CMDA’s Campus Leadership Training Webinars for New Leaders starting every April.
  9. Please refer all questions to your local staff or regional director.
  10. As a student leader, you are automatically a part of CMDA's National Student Community! Being part of the NSC keeps you connected and informed. And when you start your residency, we have the National Resident & Fellow Community for you as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Perhaps a “no-brainer,” but your CMDA campus chapter leadership team (student leaders, Campus Advisors and if available, CMDA Campus Staff) has the responsibility to encourage the spiritual growth of your group members and to develop a strategy to reach your campus for Christ. Confirming a potential leader’s personal commitment to the Lord, observing/assessing their character, and their completion of CMDA’s requirements for leadership are all important to the future of your campus ministry.

Since each school has a slightly different academic schedule, pick the recommendation below that best fits your needs.

  • The guiding principles are:
    • Seek out potential leaders
    • Engage in a formal application/interview process
    • Select and announce new leaders
    • Finish the process with a period of shared leadership, which contributes toward a smoother transition and maintains the quality of your ministry.
    • Always feel free to send questions to your regional director or local staff member.
  • We recommend that you allow two months to identify and qualify new leaders and at least one month to share the leadership responsibilities on a joint leadership team (incoming and outgoing leaders).
  • If you are at a school that has transitioned to a shorter 18-20 month schedule for the basic science years, begin your formal leadership selection process in November at the latest. Name new leaders in December. Ask them to begin serving in January.
  • For medical and dental schools whose clinical years begin in June, we recommend that you start your formal process in February, name new leaders in March, serve concurrently with outgoing leaders on a joint team, and transition to the new team in April.
  • Prayer:
    • For potential leaders—No matter what selection and transition strategy you choose, allow potential leaders adequate time to pray about becoming a member of the new leadership team.
    • For you—Before making your final decision, commit your list of potential leaders to a time of prayer. Lean on the Holy Spirit as you make this critical decision.

Potential leaders must demonstrate:

  • A personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 9:23-26)
  • Life of service empowered by the Holy Spirit (Mark 10:45) (Galatians 5:23)
  • Biblical integrity in personal and professional relationship (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • Commitment to active prayer life (Luke 18:1)
  • A lifestyle of holiness, in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:14-16)
  • Commitment to evangelism and discipleship (Matthew 28:18-20)
  • A continuing relationship as part of the Body of Christ in the local church (Hebrews 10: 25)
  • Not meeting the criteria listed above
  • Lacking a strong testimony of faith in Christ
  • Disagreeing with CMDA’s doctrinal statement
  • Refusing to live by CMDA’s code of conduct for all leaders

Maintaining high standards and values among your leaders is essential. Don’t hesitate to consult with your Campus Staff or Regional Director if a question may arise.

If you elect not to confirm a student for the leadership team, you must have good reasons, and be firm in your convictions. If you don’t select a potential leader, we suggest you meet personally with them to share your concerns and reason for not selecting them (unless they had no idea that they were being considered). Anticipate some pushback. Many will disassociate from the group. Encourage them to continue participating. Make repeated one-on-one attempts to include them in the group going forward.

  • If your school mandates open elections for officers, consider your Campus Leadership Team as the Nominating Committee and follow the process described above.
  • Present your slate of officers to the group at large for a vote. In this way, the choices have been prescreened so that whoever is voted in will have met your criteria.
  • New Leader Orientation:
    • Orienting new leaders to their responsibilities are just as critical as selecting the right leaders!
    • Schedule some time to cover your campus ministry goals, priorities, utilizing CMDA’s Idea & Resource Guide, and time to develop a campus plan for the next academic year.
    • Be sure to include your Campus Advisor(s) and if available, CMDA Campus Staff, in your orientation session. Their experience and expertise will be helpful especially in developing a campus plan that includes the essentials of CMDA ministry.
    • Attend the next Campus Leadership Training together with the new leadership team.
  • CMDA Campus Leadership Training (CLT) Webinars:
    Supplementing direct interaction with staff, CMDA has developed one-hour, internet sessions led by CMDA’s Regional Directors designed to assist student leaders with the many facets of campus ministry:
    • Selecting and orienting new leaders
    • Sharing ideas from across the nation
    • Planning your ministry programming
    • Welcoming new students
    • Connecting with national and regional CMDA staff and resources
    • Ideas for reaching out to your campus community and so much more!