Mentoring Basics

First up, the good news. There's not one right way to mentor or encourage college students. And there's not one kind of person who's better or worse at it. You're gonna be great at this!

The most important things you can do are be available, relaxed and show a genuine interest in the student. You don't need to be super spiritual or leave them in awe of your maturity. The #1 need of these students isn't more teaching or free food - it's to have a caring person in their lives they can depend on.

How to Start

At the beginning of the semester, the college minister will arrange a first meeting with your student and let you know about some areas in which your student would like to grow. After that, it's up to you to proactively schedule time to spend together. Your student is already excited about having a mentor, so don't be hesitant or nervous to reach out. Shoot them a text and invite them out for coffee, lunch or even to hang out at your house sometime. If they're slow to respond or don't respond at all, don't take it personally! Some students are horrible at communicating and need to be bugged a few times :-)

The more time you can spend together, the quicker your relationship will develop. We ask that you get together ONCE A MONTH, but feel free to hang out as often and however you want. And you're always welcome to come to UCM events - weekly Launch meetings, retreats or fun stuff on the weekends.

What to Talk About

The first time you get together, just focus on getting to know each other. But you're encouraged to go deeper pretty quickly after that. These students all love to talk about faith, life and deep topics. In fact, they've all mentioned a couple ways that they would like to grow that Dale will pass onto you. Don't be afraid to lean into awkward topics or personal questions. They love that stuff & get it from their college minister all the time!

Here are a few sample questions that might help as you take things deeper:

  1. Where would you like to be in 3-5 years?

  2. How can I help you?

  3. What are you reading in the Bible these days? What are you hearing from God?

  4. Who are you reaching out to or investing in?

  5. Have you found a good church?

  6. What do you struggle with or worry about?

  7. What commitments do you want to shape your life as you get older?

  8. What do the important people in your life want for you? What do they want from you?

  9. What are you proud of?

  10. What do you wish you could do with most of your time?

  11. Tell me more.