Each university’s ministry team faces these problems, as well as broader problems of orthodoxy and heterodoxy, progressivism and traditionalism, conservatism and liberalism, and each uses their expertise to address these questions, make decisions and set goals. At an absolute minimum, some things are clear: 1) every single university member is an object of prayer and concern, and always has the opportunity to approach to discuss matters of (any) faith, morality and to seek support and counsel; 2) Catholics who are uncommitted or not practising are especially welcome, within the wonderful example of the Prodigal Son; 3) practising Catholics should be supported in their faith and should feel at least as free as any other group to profess and practise their religion; 4) all Christians, who share a common baptism, are sincerely invited to pray together; 5) all believers, of any faith, are sincerely invited to discuss and explore common understandings – and tensions.
These five points seem to constitute a minimum for any ministry or chaplaincy service at any Catholic university. In fact, campus ministries usually offer much more: programs of Evangelisation and New Evangelisation; talks and discussions presenting and exploring Catholicism – and often the very idea of religion and what this means and how it interacts with other parts of life; genuine friendship and sociable welcome, particularly for anyone who finds this difficult elsewhere on campus; the opportunity to build and enhance peace - between peoples and their faiths, within individuals, across campuses and in residences. Religion, friendship and peace; these are fairly good goals for a Catholic chaplaincy or ministry. And what is the difference between chaplaincy and ministry? Every university will give a different account, but ministry is certainly more comprehensive and better fits with the five points mentioned above.