Join us in worship on Sunday at 7pm or Thursday at 11pm in Kay Chapel! All are welcome!
Our Sunday worship services are traditional United Methodist services and you’ll find that there is an open, informal atmosphere in which students are involved in all aspects of worship.
We gather for worship in order to center ourselves, to be in closer communion with God, and to hear a message from the chaplain. Our services also include hymn singing, scripture reading, a time for sharing of our joys and concerns, prayer, and music.
Thursday Healing Service:
“Healing” in its Christian context means helping people toward spiritual wholeness through prayer and support.
This intimate service includes a brief meditation and hymn singing.
Special features are the celebration of Holy Communion followed by prayers of intercession individually and collectively.
Sunday Food and Fellowship, Sundays at 8pm
After worship we gather in Kay lounge to spend time together and eat snacks. Once a month the campus ministry team at Metropolitan Memorial UMC provides dinner.
Bible Study, Wednesdays at 7pm
Each week we will discuss a passage from the Bible, this semester we are talking about the Letters of John (1 John, 2 John, and 3 John). Before Bible study, Metropolitan Memorial UMC provides dinner to their Wednesday night study groups and they invite us on a pay-what-you-can basis.
Free Food Friday, Friday at 11am
The Campus Ministry Team at Metropolitan Memorial UMC provide free pizza, a vegetable tray, snacks, and drinks in the AU Lounge. Contact us for directions.
Monthly Movie with the Methodists, First Tuesdays at 9pm
On the first Tuesday of each month during the school year, we watch a movie in Mary Graydon 200. During the movie we offer free pizza. After the movie, we have a brief discussion about how the topic of the movie connects with our faith.
College is a time of great exploration and adventure, but sometimes changes bring anxiety and you need someone to talk to. Whether it’s about questions of faith or problems with your roommate, your chaplains are available for counseling, advice, or just to lend an ear.
United Methodist Chaplain – Rev. Joey Heath-Mason
Joey was raised in southern Georgia and attended college at Valdosta State University, as a political science major. He planned to attend law school, but then spent several years working a variety of jobs. God called Joey in 2008. He enrolled at Wesley Theological Seminary for a Master of Divinity degree. After he graduated, Joey began work at Stone Chapel UMC in New Windsor, MD. Following that he worked for 3 years at Silver Spring UMC as the associate pastor before being appointed to serve the AU community in July 2016.
Joey’s passion in ministry is to see life changing transformation in the world and to be the church where all are welcomed and embraced for exactly who God has created each one to be. Joey can be contacted by phone at (202) 885-3304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Chaplain – Rick Sullivan
Rick has been placed with us through the General Board of Global Ministries’ Global Mission Fellow US-2 Track as the Associate for Community Engagement. He grew up in Newark, DE and attended the University of Delaware where he studied Italian, Chinese, and Arabic. While at UD, Rick studied abroad in Italy and China. After completing undergrad, he moved to Durham, NC where he completed a Master of Divinity degree program, with a Certificate in Theology, Medicine, and Culture at Duke Divinity School. Rick can be contacted by email at email@example.com.
We are at a time in the church when resources are dwindling and numbers of our congregants are shrinking. Against this backdrop, the vitality of campus ministry as a source for church renewal shines out.
But the stories are not always told and many in the church do not recognize the contributions that campus ministry has made to the vitality of the church and to the engagement of young adults. Below are some stories of our own students, testifying to the effect that campus ministry has had on their lives.
Your reflections to be posted on this page can be submitted by email.
I have the rare experience of having been at American U both with and without a vital campus ministry–the latter I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. When in my freshman year my faith was shaking and I yearned for pastoral counseling, I did not know where to go for help. A cradle Methodist, I turned to neighboring churches and institutions, but they did not have ministries for my age group. I took whatever religion courses I could find (none were offered in Christianity at the time) and cobbled together a student-led Protestant group on campus, but this didn’t answer my questions or lessen the pain of feeling abandoned by the UMC. I nearly walked away from the Church altogether.
Thankfully, Rev. Mark Schaefer arrived on the scene, and a full-fledged campus ministry began. Through his words and actions, he demonstrated how to be a 21st century Methodist theologian. Mark’s sermons talked about doubts and beliefs –the ones that I suspected disqualified me from being a Christian–and provided logical arguments of why I wasn’t a heretic after all. I was surprised and thrilled to find out that he, a nerd like me, loved his time at Wesley Seminary. It is no coincidence that not long after graduating from AU I enrolled at Wesley (about to be ordained in The UMC) or that I’m not the only recent AU graduate to do the same.
The United Methodist ministry at American University isn’t simply a recruitment and training center for young clergy and lay leaders, however; it is changing the way tens of thousands of young people view our denomination. Study after study have shown that the young people of America are rejecting Church due to their perception of hypocrisy, bigotry and incompatibility with academic thinking. Yet at AU, the Methodists are respected. Students appreciate their thought-provoking and stereotype-breaking flyers on the shuttles and around campus. They enjoy the hospitality, humor and hot-topic discussions of the Methodists. And, yes, for over a decade now countless have noted that Mark the Methodist is lunch pals with priests, rabbis and Muslims.
It is impossible to measure the overall contribution this ministry is making for the transformation of the world. Needless to say, however, only the most myopic of thinking would lead one to not see its tremendous importance–both for the community it serves and for the future of our denomination.
One of our former seminary interns told me that when I first came to AU, he was scared to say anything to me for fear of my bursting out in tears. Of course, that got a thorough, “Gee thanks” from my current sassy self, but he wasn’t entirely off the mark. I came to college having had a rough senior year of high school, desperate to get away from home, and generally disillusioned with most things, including the United Methodist Church into which I was baptized as an infant.
The young adults I met through the UMSA showed me new ways of being: new ways of being in community, new ways of being a woman, and new ways of being a Christian. It is thanks to this campus ministry that I remained a Christian and even grew in my faith. And I never noticed it along the way, but somehow I became something sort of like a leader because of this community, empowered by its welcoming nature to stand my ground and, just like those who came before me, to offer by my life an example of a new and maybe even better way to be. When I return to my home church, I am more involved in the working of the congregation and introducing programming related to international concerns and young people’s issues.
The AU Methodist Protestant Community relies on the support of its members and friends in order to continue to provide this ministry to the American University campus. Any contribution you make is tax-deductible, and will go to support our worship, programs, and other financial needs. Thank you for supporting this important ministry.
If you prefer to make a donation by check, you may mail a check payable to the AU United Methodist Chaplaincy at the following address:
AU United Methodist Chaplaincy
Kay Spiritual Life Center
4400 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016-8010
Thank you for supporting the work of the AU United Methodist Chaplaincy!
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