Campus minister raises student involvement

Now that he has adjusted to the Baker campus, new University Minister Kevin Hopkins wants to increase student involvement and give students a “faith home away from home.” All students have the opportunity to come to chapel services, sing in the student choir, read scripture and even give sermons.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Stout, who has become involved by reading scripture, attends chapel regularly and is pleased with the new minister.

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“He’s so easy to talk to, which is important to us,” Stout said. “He also helps us relate the scripture to our lives as college students during his sermons.”

In previous years, Hopkins worked at other campuses including Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, and Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina. Most recently, he was at Leavenworth First United Methodist Church.

Hopkins said the transition to Baker was smooth because of the well-established traditions of chapel services and the welcome he received from the community.

Although he has worked with churches in the past, Hopkins prefers college campuses because he enjoys the environment of campus life. He said he hopes to give students the religious resources that he would hope his kids have in college.

Typical chapel services begin with worship songs and a scripture reading, followed by a song performed by a choir member. Next, a sermon covers a particular scripture reading in detail. Finally, the service closes with more worship and prayer. Students are then invited to the Osborne Chapel basement for a free lunch.

“I am proud to be a part of the long-lived traditions involved with chapel,” senior Alyse Menghini said. “Traditions such as the lunch after chapel services and student-led choir help students connect with one another beyond chapel.”

Upcoming chapel services to note include Nov. 13 when Baker University President Lynne Murray will be the guest speaker, and the last chapel service of the semester on Dec. 4 will be celebrated as a Christmas service.

Students interested in becoming involved are encouraged to join Baker Ambassadors, the religious leadership group at Baker. The group meets twice a month, travels to United Methodist churches in the area to talk to college bound youth, and participates in community service projects.