Although e-mails have been sent out and articles written, a lot of confusion still exists regarding the continued absence of Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) on Covenant’s campus this past spring semester. Due to lack of funding, RUF campus minister Scott Wells has taken a break from his on-campus work to raise support for him and his family. He doesn’t expect to return until the summer of this year.
Many people, students, faculty, and alumni alike, knew Covenant’s former campus minister Ron Brown very well and were disappointed but supportive when he took a call to serve as a PCA pastor in Florida in the summer of 2014.
The search process for a new RUF minister to replace him was somewhat lengthy and arduous due to the various job rules and requirements. However, Reverend Scott Wells of Hixson, Tenn., was chosen to fill the position in the spring of 2015. He relocated from the Chattanooga area to Lookout Mountain with his wife and two children to be closer to Covenant’s campus. The RUF student leadership core team excitedly welcomed him aboard.
However, what most people don’t know is that support for RUF campus ministers, like many missionaries and ministries, comes via the donations of individuals and churches. As mentioned by Jack Roylston in a previous Bagpipe article, ministers are not employed directly by the college but receive funding from a network of supporters. Wells has taken a brief break in order to build up financial support for his family and his ministry in general.
Wells states that for him, if he could have written his own job description, the position at Covenant would have fit his ideals perfectly. He focused his attention on building relationships with students, recognizing that it requires a lot of time as well as close proximity to students. He introduced himself to anyone who would listen, and he listened in return. He ate meals with individual students and spoke in large group RUF meetings, seeing both groups of people as integral parts of his ministry on campus.
Financial issues arose in spite of his efforts, and after much prayer, Wells decided to focus his attention on raising monetary support so he could better serve the Covenant community later on. Although in his own words he’d “like to be back tomorrow,” he also gives a more realistic estimate and places his return to campus in the summer of this year.
In the meantime, in RUF’s absence, he encourages students to, “take advantage of what Covenant and their local churches can provide for them in the way of spiritual input, conversation, and community.” He also places an overall emphasis on the incorporation of Jesus into everyday campus interactions between students and faculty at Covenant.
To echo Jack Roylston’s previous encouragement, please join the RUF core group in praying for Scott and his family during this time. Financial donations can be made to support him and RUF’s ministry on campus at givtetoruf.org.