As the calendar changed from 1999 to 2000, a group of Christian Reformed Churches (CRC) in Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan together decided to enter into God’s mission together by calling a pastor to serve as the first CRC chaplain at the University of Calgary. After waiting upon God’s timing, Rev. Paul Verhoef moved to Canada with his family to serve as that first chaplain starting August 1, 2004. This was the official beginning of the Calgary Campus Ministry – a missional adventure of almost 20 churches in how to love a university by sending a chaplain.
Since 2004, the ministry has grown. Today, the Calgary Campus Ministry has three different people who spend time mingling with students, faculty and staff – both at the University of Calgary and at Mount Royal University (both in the city of Calgary). Paul Verhoef has been a part of the ministry for 14 years. Pearl Nieuwenhuis joined almost 8 years ago, offering spiritual direction to any and all who were open to exploring their spiritual life in conversation. Last year (2017), Pastor Jacqui Mignault also joined the Calgary Campus Ministry, spending most of her time at Mount Royal University.
As the ministry has grown, so has the need to find supporters – people who will pray, encourage, and give – for the ministry. While the Calgary Campus Ministry is primarily still supported by (and fully accountable to) the churches of Classis Alberta South and Saskatchewan, as more chaplains are added, it is welcoming a wider community of support to sustain the ministry.