In order to initiate College Student Chaplaincy Ministry in the educational institutions of Church of South In an orientation program under MITHRA (Migrants Intervention Towards Holistic Responsive Action) was organized for the young pastors of all the dioceses of CSI on 14th and 15th June 2017 at CSI Centre Chennai
This orientation aimed to equip the skills of chaplaincy catering to the spiritual and psychological needs of the student community in general and the migrant students in specific. It aimed to develop and build capacities of students on leadership and discipleship through student chaplains. In this regard the experts in the field of chaplaincy ministry were invited to talk on the uniqueness, relevance and theology of chaplaincy ministry. Various components like understanding the presence of migrant students and also understanding the presence of sexual minorities with varied gender identities were also dealt. The participants were briefed on certain counselling skills and also on the traits of being a student chaplain on these two days.
Rev. Dr. Rathnakar Sadananda General Secretary of Church of South India during his inaugural address encouraged these young pastors to focus on the ministry of hospitality and inclusivity in becoming student chaplains. He highlighted the great need of catering to the needs and challenges of the student communities to add meaning to their lives. Rt. Rev. Dr. Royce Manoj Victor, Chairperson of Synod Youth department also enumerated about the phenomenon of migration and the way it affects the life of students, he encouraged these pastors to take up this special responsibility of also being a chaplain in edifying the education ministry of CSI.
These student chaplains through the support of their bishops will be placed in various institutions of CSI to start and promote the ministry of chaplaincy in their own context. In the near future they will be called again to study more on the skills required to be an effective student Chaplain.
The participants found this orientation to be very enriching and meaningful, they have promised to take up this task of being a student chaplain and commit themselves towards this vision of Synod Youth Department.