Serving is Learning for Asbury Students

Asbury University students serve in churches and camps through Summer Ministry Team.
SMT Laminin (left to right): Cy Marshall '19, Rachel VanLaningham '18, Emily Nelson '20, Ian Tan '19

WILMORE, Ky. — Asbury University is a “sending out” kind of place. Students join a community that believes education is for something — and that we are designed for something — much bigger than ourselves.

Asbury’s Summer Ministry Team (SMT) program is just one example of that missional mindset. Every year, teams of students spend their summer ministering in churches and camps across the U.S. — not only contributing to worthwhile ministries, but also learning to serve and earning a significant student scholarship along the way. Learn more about SMT.

This summer’s teams have chosen the names “Element” and “Laminin.” Element leads worship services at camps and camp meetings, and Laminin specializes in youth ministry, helping facilitate Vacation Bible School programs and camps.

Olivia Vinson ’19, a Media Communication and Worship Arts double major at Asbury, says SMT has changed her life. During the two summers she’s participated, it has provided valuable experience in teamwork, communication and ministry. This year, it opened her eyes to a new calling.

Asbury University students serve in churches and camps through Summer Ministry Team.
SMT Element (left to right): Brett Ballinger '19, David Keener '19, Isabella Nelson '19, Nick Morgan '19, Olivia Vinson '19, Zeke Friedeman '20

“After this summer, I might be changing my major to Christian Ministries, because I feel so called to full-time ministry,” Vinson said. “Through SMT, I’ve gotten to meet so many pastors and spiritual leaders, and they’ve been able to confirm things for me. It’s been incredible. This summer has been life-changing, for sure.” 

SMT isn’t just for students who plan to enter full-time ministry, though. Vinson said her teammates’ majors run the gamut from Pre-Physical Therapy to Music, but they’re all learning skills — for ministry and for life — that will carry on long after SMT is over.

“I’m a completely different person because of the two summers that I’ve done SMT,” Vinson said. “If you’re at Asbury, or if you're coming to Asbury, you should apply. You’re doing ministry 24/7 for an entire summer — Jesus will change you.”

Jeannie Banter, assistant director of Campus Ministries and SMT coordinator, says SMT provides an outstanding way for all students to integrate ministry with their major and future career.  

“SMT is great way for students to put into practice skills from their major, as well as a great avenue to put into practice sharing their faith,” Banter said. “Team members receive training that equips them for sharing the Gospel, leading small groups, sharing their testimony and much more. Because of the Holy Spirit’s working through our summer ministry teams throughout the decades, hundreds of adolescents and children have made decisions to follow Christ.”


SMT still has a few weeks left! Keep up with Laminin and Element through their blogs, and learn more about ministry opportunities at Asbury.

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