Campus Group Guide

Suggestions for a “Welcoming the Stranger” Campus Group   Our vision is to see students groups develop at various Christian colleges, or as part of Christian ministries at secular campuses, to focus upon heeding God’s call to welcome, love, and seek justice for immigrants.   World Relief would be happy to help provide resources and guidance as needed to help these student-led organizations. We encourage student leaders to work with the appropriate office at their college to become a recognized student club/organization, form a core group of committed leaders who will meet regularly to plan and execute group activities, and then collectively recruit members from the campus as a whole. Group activities could include:   Student Awareness: Students could plan various events on campus to raise awareness about the realities of the current immigration situation in the United States (and around the world) and the biblical mandate to care for immigrants. Some ideas might include:

  • Screening films related to immigration
  • Faculty panels on the immigration topic
  • Guest speakers addressing the immigration issue from various perspectives
  • Simulations such as UnDocumented.tv’s “Become the Stranger” experience

  Church Engagement: Students could arrange meetings with pastors and church leaders both in the campus area and at their home churches, encouraging churches to engage in a discussion around this complex issue from a biblical perspective. Ideas might include:

  • Asking churches to focus a Sunday School or Adult Education class on the immigration issue (or, as students, offering to lead such a class)
  • Encouraging the church leadership to investigate opportunities to reach out to the local immigrant community, seeking both to meet tangible human needs (English language instruction, etc.) as well as to share the gospel
  • Coordinating a sign-on letter from local pastors to their congressional Representative and/or Senators, asking them to support legislation that would help repair our nation’s dysfunctional immigration system

  Prayer: Students could meet on a regular basis to cry out to God on behalf of their immigrant neighbors as well as to intercede for our legislators and our churches, for wisdom and courage as they determine how to respond to the immigration situation in our country.   Direct Service: Students could explore opportunities to serve and welcome immigrants living in and near their local communities. Partnering with an existing ministry, church, or organization already seeking to serve immigrant communities may be the most effective way to connect students to volunteer opportunities, ministering to immigrants while also developing relationships that allow for mutual learning.   Advocacy: Students could challenge their classmates to become advocates for better policies at the federal as well as state and local level. Legislators are generally very sensitive to the opinions of their constituents, and advocacy is simply speaking up on behalf of our immigrant neighbors, ensuring that legislators know that this issue matters to voters. Some ideas might include:  

  • Letter-writing campaigns, encouraging students to write letters to their Representative, Senators, and/or the President, perhaps by encouraging classes (freshmen, sophomores, etc.) to compete against one another to see which can generate the most hand-written letters
  • Phone call blitzes to legislators, such as by having student leaders carry cell phones and scripts around a common space on campus, asking their friends and classmates to consider calling a representative
  • Arranging a meeting with a Member of Congress, either in a local district or in a visit to Washington, D.C.
  • Encouraging the college’s administration to get involved, particularly in speaking out on legislation related to higher education such as the DREAM Act

  As the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, World Relief’s mission is to empower the local church to serve the most vulnerable. World Relief is eager to assist students in starting and sustaining a presence on their campus to challenge the Church in the U.S. to welcome immigrants. If you would like assistance in launching a chapter on your campus, please contact:   Matthew Soerens Email: msoerens@wr.org