Local Engagement

Local Engagement provides opportunities for students to serve locally over fall and spring semesters. Service opportunities vary in length, location, intensity, and the type of service (e.g., tutoring, food ministry, community development, outreach) students get to participate in with our partner communities and host organizations. Ongoing LE opportunities earn students 15-30 service credits; one-time opportunities earn students 5. Learn more and sign up for local engagement opportunities online, or email us at [email protected].

Connect with a Local Church

Our hope is that every student becomes an active participant within a local church beyond APU ministry and chapel experiences. We believe that it is important to be involved with the body of Christ where young and old worship together. The churches in our area can be dynamic and transforming communities where you can live out discipleship. You may not find one exactly like the one you grew up in, but you may find that God has something new for you to learn about spiritual growth within the body of Christ.

Selecting a Church

Church size, denomination, theological tradition, worship style, pastoral leadership, opportunities for college-age students, and distance from campus are just a few of the many things to prayerfully consider when selecting a local church. Students also often ask about which churches are “safe” in terms of promoting healthy, Christ-centered relationships, so here are a few tips to help you navigate the decision-making process:

Some Signs of a Healthy Church

  • Visionary, empowering, and accountable leadership
  • Positive relationships among pastoral staff and leadership
  • Missional focus that embraces community and global engagement
  • Healthy process for conflict resolution
  • Clear statement of beliefs consistent with historical Christian faith
  • Relational connectedness throughout congregation
  • Celebration in corporate worship

Some Signs of an Unhealthy Church

  • Overly dependent focus on pastoral leadership
  • Secretive or unethical leadership practices
  • Lack of mission and vision
  • Intolerance for differences of opinion or healthy conflict
  • Dysfunctional patterns in congregational relationships (exclusive, emotionally fused, shaming, lack of connection, spiritually abusive)
  • Does not value theological education
  • Lack of spiritual vitality in corporate worship
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