Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Campus Ministries: The Heartbeat of Campus Life

Story by Angela Peach

This school year, there is a lot happening at Spring Valley Academy (SVA). From classes during the day to an active Music Department and after-school activities such as sports and LEGO® robotics, it’s easy to stay busy as an SVA student. But the most important thing that is going on at SVA is also the heartbeat of the school: the Campus Ministries Department, led by Chaplain Joel Greve and Assistant Chaplain Nicolas Chaij.

New employees this year, both Greve and Chaij are very familiar with SVA. Greve served as an associate pastor at the Centerville church (Ohio), interfacing frequently with SVA students and ministering to their families, and Chaij is a Class of 2015 alumnus.

Together with administration, they chose the theme “The Awe of God” for the 2023–24 school year. As one might encounter a sweeping vista or a beautiful sunset, Greve wants students to take in the “grand vista, the marvelous sight, that is our God,” he says. Students do this through studying the ways God presents Himself using various names to different individuals in Scripture. Through chapel talks from local pastors and breakout groups, SVA students studied six Old Testament names their first semester and will study six New Testament names during the second semester.

Another new feature this school year is a weekly Campus Ministries newsletter that is sent to families. Every week, the chaplain’s office shares a rundown of events from chapel, a family worship/discussion outline, a devotional thought, as well as different 

opportunities for supporting the community through outreach. “The goal is that each family ... can have discussions or prepare a family activity that connects them with their kids and the name of God we studied that week,” says Greve.

To assist with the many duties of the Campus Ministries office, Greve and Chaij have assembled a team of student leaders, which includes class and campus pastors who lead their own teams focused on specific areas of interest, such as praise and worship, audio-visual, engagement, and outreach.

“The goal is that what we do in Campus Ministries is driven by our students and guided by our chaplains,” explains Greve. “SVA needs to be a place where students not only grow in their knowl- edge of God but also [grow] in their God-given abilities to do ministry.”

Finally, Greve shares, “My hope for the students is simple: that SVA would be a place where they could know, follow and share Jesus for themselves, that we would create an environment where they can feel free to choose a lifetime with Jesus.”

Add new comment