Using Campus Newspaper Ads as an Outreach Strategy
The goal of using student newspaper ads as an outreach is to have as large a number of Christian faculty and staff as possible endorse Christianity in a public forum on campus.
Every day, nearly every student reads the student newspaper. Christian faculty fellowships have used ads as a creative outreach since 1983. Why is it important for Christian faculty to identify themselves corporately?
- Many students, based on their educational experience, believe well-informed, intelligent, educated people cannot accept Christianity as a valid belief.
- A corporate expression of faith can point spiritually-seeking students and faculty to professors who can guide them to spiritual truth.
- It also serves as a wonderful encouragement to the Christian students!
Choose an Ad Format
Some campuses run “Welcome back” ads when school starts; other run ads themed around Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter. Some ads refer readers to the faculty fellowship group’s website where professors have posted their faith stories. The possibilities are endless!
Here are some sample ads:
Recruit Ad Signers
Draft a letter soliciting involvement from Christian faculty and staff. Some schools have also included the names of university trustees or regents who happen to be Christian.
Mail the letter about a month from the date the ad will run in the newspaper. The ad’s signers should include only those who meet some minimum criteria of orthodox Christian beliefs and who have a positive Christian testimony on campus. Most groups will have signers sign both a release form and the statement of faith used by the faculty fellowship group.
Some Christian faculty members may have very legitimate reasons to decline to associate their names with the ad. Those who are in a precarious position in the tenure process in very politically-oriented departments may be best advised to “lay low” until their tenure is assured.
Have signers mail their ad registrations to one of the committee; one person should also be in charge of putting together the list of names and titles. We recommend using university titles rather than departmental affiliations.
Get the Most Out of Your Ad
To maximize your ad’s exposure, consult the student newspaper staff about which pages and days of the week get the most traffic. One of the student ministries on campus may have among its members a student who works on the newspaper staff who can advise you.
Many professors routinely clip their group’s ad out of the student newspaper, highlight their own names, and post them on their office door. This can serve as a great conversation-starter about spiritual issues for months to come.
Share Your Ads With Us
We’d love to include your faculty fellowship group’s ad here, too. Please email it to us.