Every other week, the Talon interviews a member of the Oklahoma Christian community, a Newsmaker, to answer questions about their role on campus.
On Feb. 15, the Talon interviewed Scott Young, the University’s campus minister.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
“Obviously, chapel falls under my direction, but it’s way more than that. It’s helping students with spiritual development, but also connecting with faculty and staff.
Before I came here, my whole 34 years of church ministry were built on developing relationships with people, so that’s my plan here. It’s going to be hard for one guy to connect with 2000 students, obviously, but my goal is to do the best I can.”
What effect has ministry and service had on you?
“The thing I’ve taken from my years in church ministry is just the importance of being involved in the lives of people. The importance of making sure people know you care about them, that you love them. [In ministry], you want to be there for them not just in times to celebrate, but in difficult times too. So that’s been my focus in ministry.
And I’m not trying to pretend I’m something I’m not. I figured out early on that pretending will wear you out really quick, trying to fake who you are. So hopefully with me, what you see is what you get.”
Why do you feel spiritual development is so important with college kids?
“I’m trying to say this diplomatically: I think your generation has become disillusioned with spiritual things. I think there have been some hateful words and actions said and done by Christians that have confused a lot of students, young adults and older people.
It’s important for me to help students and young adults process that and help them see that this is not how Jesus operated… Jesus is still who he said he was. He is still full of love and grace and compassion and that hasn’t changed.”
What do you foresee to be the hardest part of your job?
“One of the hardest parts of my job will always be connecting with all the people I would like to connect with. It’s kind of overwhelming how many people I feel like I have connected with already, and it’s not even putting a dent in the number of people I’d like to connect with. So that’s going to be frustrating because my whole ministry life has been relationship driven.
I think another part will be figuring out how we make chapel meaningful for students.
There’s such a diverse group of students and faculty and staff… I’m quite certain whatever we do in chapel, as meaningful as I hope it is, there certainly will be a group that will say, ‘I don’t get that,’ or, ‘that wasn’t meaningful for me.’ But what I can do is have relationships with those people that are meaningful.”
What advice would you give to students who are scared to reach out to you?
“I’m not sure there’s anything I can say in this interview that will make students go, ‘Yeah, that’s my guy. I’ll go talk with him.’ But I hope as time goes on, the more students see me on campus and up front [in chapel], the more they will come to know me and see me as somebody they could talk to.
I’m not a licensed professional counselor, so there may be things people bring to me where I will refer them to somebody else. But what students need to know is I’m definitely a safe place for them to go to here on campus. There is literally nothing they can’t talk to me about, and they won’t be judged. I’m not going to do anything but listen and try to be helpful.”
What do you want to accomplish at Oklahoma Christian in both the ministry aspect and the campus as whole?
“My vision for the future is to see this place grow and the student numbers go up – I plan to be a part of that however I can. I’m excited to see the faculty and staff and students work together to make this a special place. It is a special place already, but that doesn’t mean we can’t grow or get better. I would also love to see more students and more of our athletes involved in domestic and international missions. I think that is really important.”