Growing in Christ in Grad School
Above the high table in Proctor Hall in Princeton's Graduate College, there is inscribed in the stone the Latin phrase, "Nec vocamini magistri; quia magister vester unus est Christus." This is a quote from the gospel of Matthew, chapter 23, verse 10: "And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ" (NKJV). PCF is committed to this vision for our ministry among grad students, post-docs, and faculty: that we are all in need of submitting ourselves to the teaching of Christ, so that we are as equipped for service to Christ and His church as for the pursuit of academic excellence.
Learning from Christ is not a solitary endeavor. PCF's ministry to grad students, post-docs, and faculty is first and foremost community-minded and community-building. The core of the ministry is a network of small groups joined by gathered social and worship activities. As part of our vision for community, our ministry to grad students is organized jointly with the young professional ministry at Stone Hill Church of Princeton. By bringing area young adults together with the graduate student community, from the university, seminary, and other area institutions, we've been able to build a vital, diverse, and vibrant group of believers who are equipped not just for the ivory tower but to serve both inside and outside the walls of the academy.
Discipled to be Disciplers
The graduate student body provides an abundance of talents that we are eager to see in service of Christ's kingdom. Our grad Bible studies are all led by graduate students themselves, with help and mentoring from PCF staff. Likewise, the social gatherings and worship nights are also led by grad students working alongside area young professionals from Stone Hill Church. Our goal is that as much as is possible we would be multiplying and replicating the skills necessary to start, host, and guide Bible studies and Christian communities that are open to newcomers and oriented towards spiritual growth and service.
By its very nature, our grad ministry is always welcoming new people, from those who will be with us for five (or so...) years as they earn their Ph.D.s, to post-docs on two- or three-year fellowships, to visiting students and faculty who are part of our community for months or even just weeks. We have a strong commitment to being not only a community that receives people well but also one that sends people on to the next stage equipped to follow and serve Christ. As we see alumni go on into positions both inside and outside the academy, from Harvard and Cornell to Lockheed Martin and Google, our vision is to equip individuals to be as powerful an asset to a local church as they are to their professional employers.