UCM Ministry Connections – May 2018


United Campus Ministry Connections- April 2018


UCM Ministry Connections – March 2018


Lilly Intern Spotlight: Austin and The United Campus Ministry

Welcoming the Opportunity:

Austin is someone you could call a fixture of UCM. It is not really hyperbole to say that if the building is open, you will find Austin at a table downstairs.  Austin is a student who has truly found a home at UCM. Austin’s family lives in Fayetteville, so UCM is his on-campus hub for his time between classes.  We were excited to hear that Austin wanted to step into a leadership role in the ministry.  Austin has been active in our programs throughout his time at the U of A and connecting through the Lilly internship seemed like a good opportunity for us both before he graduates in May.

“I have participated in UCM activities and enjoyed its benefits for the last four years and I thought it was high time for me to give back in any way I could.  A surprising benefit is also being able to make a concrete change in an institution I love, in my case with the endowment funds.” -Austin


Austin has taken on the task of researching the various investment funds offered through the Texas Presbyterian Foundation and it has been great to see him use what he is learning in his course-work at the U of A to help UCM make the best plans for investing the money we have.  He is also reading A Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri Nouwen and participates in the monthly intern training and regular mentoring.  In addition to his Leadership Initiative internship and being a full time student, Austin serves in the Arkansas National Guard.

“Austin is getting to see a different side of UCM through his internship.  He has a servant’s heart, helping wherever he can in whatever manner he can.  Even though he is involved with the financial side of the ministry now, he still carries in cases of soda when I come back from Sam’s or takes out the trash when it’s full!”- Susan Rose, Campus Minister

“I really like digging into the details of the UCM- how it works, how it is funded, and where we can channel its resources to help it grow even more.” – Austin

Looking Forward:

We are looking forward to seeing the ways that the leadership training and investment goal setting creates a bridge for Austin to his next steps after graduation.

“I am looking forward to seeing the effects of my project down the road, but that will not be for a while.  I hope that it flourishes and provides a good base for the UCM to operate for many years to come.  The training has helped me by giving me inspiration on possible avenues of approach to reach our goal, some I would not have considered otherwise.” -Austin

United Campus Ministry Connections – October 2017


United Campus Ministry Connections – February 2018


Lilly Intern Spotlight – Zane and United Campus Ministry

Welcoming the Opportunity:

Late last fall, Zane asked us about pursuing an internship focused on accounting/administration for UCM. He expressed a desire to learn more about how his talents might serve the ministry, how he could become more involved, and give back. It was clear from that conversation that Zane really wanted to invest in UCM.  ~Carol Essen

“I welcomed the opportunity to be a Lilly intern because it is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience and to become more involved in the campus ministry.”


Zane is learning the basics of the accounting system – which he has picked up very quickly. He has also gotten to attend the first training of the year to meet and interact with the other interns. Behind the scenes work isn’t often glamorous, but Zane is faithful and works hard to keep things running smoothly. And for that we are very thankful.

“I am enjoying learning intuit QuickBooks with Carol Essen and getting to know everyone involved with UCM. I have learned that I enjoy accounting more so than I originally expected.”

Looking forward:

We, at UCM, are looking forward to Zane’s continued and increasing involvement in the ministry and his behind the scenes impact on the administrative side. We expect that he will contribute greatly to the availability of reports and other tools critical for administrative decision making. We also look forward to Zane’s interactions with the other interns during training and team building events. Zane is a servant-leader and really loves people. He is well liked by his peers and has a very steady and reliable demeanor. It is a lot of fun to work with him.

“I am looking forward to becoming fluent in the programs used for accounting at UCM. I also look forward to spending more time with the other Lilly interns.”

Lilly Intern Spotlight: Katie and United Campus Ministry

Welcoming the Opportunity:

Katie became a Lilly intern because she wanted to challenge herself with a leadership position and grow more as a leader under God.

“I think it is important to connect your faith with leadership because it is vital to have a good relationship with God to be successful in life. I wouldn’t be here with out all of the help that I have gotten from the Lord. The connection with faith in my leadership skills adds more confidence and clarity. It gives what I am doing a purpose and guidance.”


Katie has really enjoyed the Lilly intern leadership training workshops because she has learned how to be a leader, not only for the UCM but for herself and other aspects of her life. She has learned about herself as a leader which she finds particularly interesting to analyze because it is not something people typically do.  She has also enjoyed getting to know the other interns better.

“I have learned little things on how to, not only, become a better leader but a better Katie. I have learned how to implement leadership characteristics in my everyday life and it has helped me grow and understand better who I am.”

Looking Forward:

As she looks forward, Katie is excited about being more confident as a leader and also learning how to work with a group of people better, while developing her skills as a team player. She also looks forward to growing closer with God. Katie can already feel that impacting her life.

“I think I analyze situations and people more now than I did before, by finding out how to communicate with them and how to handle the situation. I have learned that to know more about other people you have to truly know yourself and then your mind opens to learn about others. I have become more confident and connected with God through this leadership experience and will continue to thrive and grow as a better person.”

May and June Ministry Connections


Lilly Intern Spotlight: Bax and United Campus Ministry

From UCM Ministry Connections April e-newsletter:

This month, we are highlighting our sixth Lilly Intern of 2017.  This has been a wonderful year of growth for each of our six interns and for UCM.  We are launching into a new phase of our ministry and we are so thrilled with how these internships, made possible by our receiving the Lilly Grant, have opened up so much to us.

Bax has jumped into his role feet first.  He has wonderful ideas and a commitment to what we can become in the coming years.  We are so excited to see him help lead us during the second half of his college years.

Welcoming the Opportunity:

  • Bax says he welcomed the opportunity originally because he wanted to be more involved with UCM and dive deeper into his faith.  The summer before his sophomore year, he spent quite a bit of time in Little Rock attending Mercy Community Church, which provided him with his first opportunity in a long while to study the Bible (aside from attending church most Sundays in his hometown of Morrilton).  He saw the Lilly Internship as a perfect opportunity to not just keep his “new-found” faith (he says he uses the term loosely), but to expand on it.
  • Bax is a thinker and as such has lots of ideas. We welcomed his pursuit of the internship opportunity because it is a great vehicle through which to explore various facets of ministry in a variety of contexts. Bax is currently a sophomore majoring in Political Science, Psychology, and Economics. He is interested in a number of areas of ministry from the policy aspects of social justice and helping ministries to creating community in and among college students and a lot of things in between. The flexible nature of the Lilly internship at UCM gives us the ability to engage Bax’s passions and ideas as they emerge and to work toward refining what is ultimately in the center of the “sweet spot” where his passions, skills and what the world needs intersect.


  • Bax notes that choosing one aspect of the internship to highlight is difficult.  The support system he has found in the people he has interacted with because of the Lilly internship is primary. Prior to this, Bax said he strongly disliked college.  He felt lost all of the time and struggled with things he never imagined would be difficult for him.  “The first semester of college is difficult for everybody; however, I felt as though I was the only person truly struggling. Though I have spent almost two years in Northwest Arkansas, it was not until UCM entered my life that things began to be easier and I found a purpose in what I was doing every day and why God put me on this earth.” Bax also notes that he has come to these realizations through the people he interacts with at UCM and the Presbytery. He would not trade it for anything.
  • Bax has gotten the opportunity to learn by doing in several different areas of ministry. He serves regularly with the youth group of First Presbyterian, Springdale, and was an apprentice leader in the initial Kairos Young Adult ministry. Bax has become a very engaged participant in Dinner and Discussion and has sought out weekly mentoring (which is well beyond the minimum requirements). Bax is consistently seeking to grow in all areas of his life and puts time and effort into self-discovery. He is also deeply concerned about the people in his sphere of influence and intentionally makes time to help them in any way he can.

Looking forward:

  • In looking forward, Bax notes that he is having difficulty looking forward to God’s next call in his life. He says: “It is very easy to get wrapped up in college life where it feels like things are moving at 100 miles per hour at all times and everyone else seems to have a little bit more control in their life, a more clear understanding of where they want to be, and what they want to do, or a better feel for how to live. He says: “One of the things I find most difficult is getting to a place where things are completely quiet and it feels like the world is still, however, despite the challenge of getting to those places, that is where I hear God’s calling in my life clearest.  This internship has brought me to those places more than ever before and I cannot wait for the next time this happens.”
  • Over the course of this semester Bax has developed deep connections through UCM and a passion has emerged for helping others to do the same. As we are planning for next semester, Bax is helping us to think about new ways to connect students to the supportive environment of UCM from helping freshmen get plugged into the ministry to engaging upper classmen in deeper discussion and community. We are looking forward to Bax continuing to develop his leadership through the implementation of his ideas in the fall.