A couple of years ago I was serving on the higher education task force for the Presbytery, and we were dreaming about what Presbyterian campus ministry might look like at Ohio State University coming out of the pandemic. We made a list of things we hoped for:

  • Inclusive and welcoming
  • A place to support young adults’ mental health
  • Inspiring conversations and worship
  • Casual and comfortable to Come As You Are
  • In the middle of it all
  • Offer meals
  • A caring campus minister who offers pastoral care and leads the organization

After we made our list that included the above and more, I said, “I know a place that already does this! It’s called Jacob’s Porch and is run by the Lutherans.  They have a great campus minister named Grant.”  I then wondered why we couldn’t be in partnership with Jacob’s Porch instead of starting our own thing from the ground after years of not having a campus ministry.

In the years since this initial conversation, a lot of amazing people have put in time and energy to make the partnership with Jacob’s Porch a beautiful collaboration and ecumenical campus ministry that meets all the above things we hoped for and more. And excitingly, we were offered a 3-year grant that allowed the presbytery to hire an additional staff for Jacob’s Porch, a full-time Presbyterian campus minister to come alongside the other staff and serve on their team.

Rev. Taylor Barner joined the Staff at Jacob’s Porch in 2023. Taylor loves connecting with others, playing volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and chess, and cheering on the Buckeyes with his wife Annie, dog Lewis, and cats Poppy and Penny. Taylor will be at BSPC on Sunday (4/14) to preach and share more about his ministry.

Campus ministry is a unique place.  Students come and go often, young adults are living on their own for the first time trying to navigate adulthood away from their family and community support systems, they are beginning to wonder more about faith and life, and they desire connection and community in a place where people know their name more than their GPA. There are many Campus Ministries on Ohio State’s campus but one thing that makes Jacob’s Porch so unique is they are one of the few that welcome and affirm LGBTQ+ students. A safe place to explore your faith and worship on campus should be for all.

Campus ministry is a mission of the Church, the students certainly can’t fund their own church, so campus ministry relies on churches like ours and individual donors to keep this important work going. BSPC is able to support this ministry in 2024 with a contribution of $2,000, which makes us a “Covenant Church.”


While we may not have a lot of 20 something-year-olds in our pews in our building on a Sunday morning, supporting ministries like Jacob’s Porch means we do have 20 something-year-olds in our care, and we are invested in these young adults being part of the church and feeling so very loved by God.  So join us on Sunday as we welcome Taylor and he shares more about God’s work on Ohio State’s campus!


-Written by Brittany Porch

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