There are over 300,000 college students that attend school within the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas! Vital University Missions is a diocesan ministry that is called and sent to serve these students, right in our own backyard.
It is amazing what happens when college students gather to ask honest questions of scripture, earnestly follow Jesus, and share life with each other. We hope you will join us to further this vision of God’s kingdom breaking through on college campuses.
All of our programs are open to any students from any campus (including students who attend schools outside the diocese and are home for holidays or summer break).
Vital UM has weekly worship services and/or Bible studies at St. Mary's University (San Antonio) and UT- Rio Grande Valley campuses. If you are a college student enrolled outside of the diocese or at a school without a Vital UM program, check out the list of Other Campus Ministries below.
Offered Wednesdays at 9:30pm in Alkek Atrium, "The Bridge" at St. Mary's is an ecumenical weekly praise and worship program focused on creating a space for students to encounter Jesus, develop friendships and explore the life of discipleship. As part of our effort to grow the Bridge's ministry at StMU, our leadership is involved in a variety of ways on campus including University Minister meetings, sporting events, and other campus activities.
Vital at UTRGV seeks to develop friendships through prayer, sharing meals together, playing games, hosting events, and Bible study. It is our hope that we can be a community of people who look for and recognize encounters with Christ in our everyday life. We are a small ministry, but hope to grow as we continue to meet new students. You can find us hanging out in the Student Union on Mondays and Wednesdays in Edinburg; and Tuesdays and Thursdays in Brownsville.
[April 14, 2021] Allie Melancon, Director of College Missions, will leave the diocesan staff this summer. After completing her final ordination requirements, by the grace of God and with the consent of the Standing Committee and people, she will be ordained to the diaconate in June and begin her curacy at St. Thomas’, San Antonio in Fall 2021. Vital UM will experience additional staff transitions this summer, including Chelsea Mueller and Avery Moran.
Regarding these transitions, Bishop Reed shares, “Losing any of these three campus missioners would present our diocesan College Missions program with challenges. Losing all three of them at the same time obviously sets a very large challenge before us. But I’m confident the Spirit will lead us to see new opportunities to build upon what Allie, Chelsea, and Avery have done so well.” Click here to read the full announcement.
Allie Melancon, Director of College Missions
Allie serves as the Director of College Missions and is responsible for mentoring, hospitality, and outreach. Allie is a long-time veteran of college missions and helped begin campus ministries at University of the Incarnate Word while she was still a student. She loves to lead Bible studies and observe what happens when a young person begins to follow Jesus with their life. She holds a Masters in Global Leadership from Fuller Seminary and lives in intentional Christian community in San Antonio. Allie loves being active, hanging out with friends, and drinking good coffee.
Chelsea Mueller, Valley Regional Coordinator
Chelsea began the College Missions program in the Valley on the campuses of UTRGV in Edinburg and Brownsville in 2018. Chelsea is a dynamic follower of Jesus that loves shaved ice, chamoy, and developing meaningful relationships with college students. She is passionate about being outdoors, winters in the Midwest, and Worship. You may find her on campus leading a Bible study or in a local coffee shop talking with students.
The Rev. Mike Woods, College Missions Committee Chair
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, San Marcos, Associate Rector
Students: if your school is not listed above, email Allie Melancon.