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“Benedict on Campus: Eight Spiritual Disciplines for Collegiate Ministry” Is the Latest Book Release from GBHEM Publishing

Danecia Jones
July 10, 2018

The Publishing Office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, released a new book “Benedict on Campus: Eight Spiritual Disciplines for Collegiate Ministry” by David E. MacDonald. This book is a practical guide for those who work with emerging adults—college and university chaplains, campus ministers, student leaders, pastors, parachurch professionals, and spiritual directors.

Inspired by the religious life of St. Benedict and richly illustrated with concrete examples, MacDonald adapts eight spiritual disciplines for emerging young adults. The book is written to help readers incorporate spiritual disciplines into collegiate ministry settings. The eight spiritual practices include communal prayer, lectio divina, contemplative prayer, service, spiritual direction, pilgrimage, intentional community and hospitality.

“We continuously strive to resource and support effective collegiate ministry across the United Methodist Connection,” said Mark Hanshaw, J.D., Ph.D., associate general secretary, Division of Higher Education, GBHEM. “And David’s work provides collegiate ministers with an important new tool. David is a genuine thought leader within our denomination and this work will help make countless chaplains, campus ministers and campus leaders more effective in their work with students..” 

MacDonald is the university chaplain at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. He is also an elder in the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.

“Benedict on Campus” has received praise from faculty and campus chaplains across the United Methodist Connection. “If you work with youth or emerging adults, you will love this book,” said Dwight H. Judy, professor emeritus of Spiritual Formation, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and author of “A Quiet Pentecost: Inviting the Spirit into Congregational Life.” “David MacDonald is a wise guide, weaving ancient practices into contemporary life. This ancient/modern conversation is needed now more than ever as our highly digitized culture finds fresh meaning in the ancient Christian practices of contemplation and service. MacDonald’s advice for collegiate ministers is to see themselves as “professional contemplative practitioners,” leading from a presence grounded in personal prayer— wisdom for all Christian leaders.

“I highly recommend this book for its breath of reach into monastic, contemplative, and contemporary expressions of service and learning that are held together by the gifts of scripture, liturgy, poetic imagination, and a prophetic yearning for a more rightly ordered world,” says Mark Forrester, Vanderbilt University’s chaplain and director of Religious Life.

Dori Baker, senior fellow of Research and Learning, The Forum for Theological Exploration, added, “This book sings its invitation to all who yearn for soul care amid cultures of anxiety. With sensitivity to multiple religious traditions, David dives deeply into spiritual gifts that we can offer to young adults discerning their place in this world.”

“Benedict on Campus: Eight Spiritual Disciplines for Collegiate Ministry” will be available at Cokesbury.com and Amazon.com. For more information about GBHEM’s Publishing Office, visit www.gbhem.org/about/publications or follow @GBHEMPublishing on Facebook.

Wesley’s Foundery Books is an imprint of GBHEM. Foundery books are clearly and accessibly written by Methodist/Wesleyan experts, with an emphasis on church life and ministry. Representing the rich diversity of the church, Wesley’s Foundery Books offer a disciplined and balanced approach.

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.

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