Sitting less than 1 mile from the main stage of Christian music’s oldest festival, Asbury University takes the opportunity each year to minister and serve at Ichthus as well as let the thousands of teenagers know what it has to offer as a college option.
The university has between 50 and 80 volunteers who have worked all year to prepare for their roles in this June’s four-day festival — half of whom are students working during their summers.
“We bring students back to help with the production and cameras, and we also bring students back to help us in the admissions area; we have a tent out there and are meeting students who may be interested in coming to Asbury,” said Asbury vice president of enrollment Mark Troyer, who coordinates the school’s efforts at Ichthus. “We also have students on their own who just come back and serve in different capacities, helping with altar ministry or helping with some other production thing, helping with Chick-fil-A, those types of things.”
Volunteers from Asbury will be helping provide resources in the youth-leaders tent and working across the campground. The winners of $4,000 scholarships to the university will be announced on the main stage, where dozens of students and staff from the media-communications department keep the production running all weekend.
“Asbury is almost totally involved in that; Asbury basically provides all the production for the festival itself,” Troyer said.
The Wilmore campus also stays busy during the festival, as the dormitories will house about 850 festivalgoers and keep the food-service and conference-service staffs busy.
The preparations for Asbury’s varied work on campus and at the festival take the entire year, Troyer said.
“We start as soon as the previous festival is over, and we have involvement in everything from the ministry-partners tent to housing on campus to providing one of our buses to help shuttle students back and forth,” he said. “We have people that volunteer for security; we open up our Luce Center for some of our on-campus guests. We meet regularly as a team on campus preparing for the festival throughout the year.”
The university’s tent provides a chance for high-schoolers at the festival to learn about the educational opportunities at Asbury. Campus tours will leave the tent four times each on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“Ichthus has a similar mission to us,” Troyer said. “It’s an opportunity for us to have exposure to a lot of students who many be interested in this type of an environment and in what Asbury has to offer as far as education, so it’s a great partnership.”