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The Student Services Committee (SYAS) was formed by the Mennonite Board of Missions (Mennonite Church) in August 1958. It adopted a policy statement in August 1959, which stated that it was to provide "services" rather than administer a program for Mennonite students on non-Mennonite college and university campuses. That policy was still in effect in 1987. In 1978 the Student Services Committee became Student and Young Adult Services to reflect inclusion of urban young adults in its work. In 1985 SYAS was given a mandate to develop church-wide young adult ministry resources.

Most SYAS programs were co-sponsored with the Commission on Education (COE) of the General Conference Mennonite Church. In 1986 COE contracted with SYAS to administer for COE on an interim basis jointly sponsored SYAS/COE activities.

Aspects of the program included the census of "scattered" (mostly urban) young adults and graduate and undergraduate students at non-Mennonite schools, a network of contact persons for these students and young adults, resources for student fellowship groups and urban young adults, congregations oriented toward special events for students and young adults, In search (a newsletter for students and young adults), Feedback (a resource newsletter on congregational ministry with young adults), and special research projects.

Student Services executive secretaries were Virgil Brenneman (1958-1973) and Hubert Brown (1974-1981). Directors of SYAS were Richard Mojonnier (1980-1981) and Myrna Burkholder (1981-1991). The program was discontinued about 1991.

[edit] Bibliography

Mennonite Board of Missions, Student and Young Adult Services. SYAS/COE Study Project, Congregational Study Profile, vol 1. It Matters Where You Scatter, vol 2. Elkhart, IN: Student and Young Adult Services, Mennonite Board of Missions, 1986.

Pannabecker, Samuel Floyd. Open Doors: History of the General Conference Mennonite Church. Newton, KS: Faith and Life, 1975: 232-233, 435.

Author(s) Myrna Burkholder
Date Published 1989

[edit] Cite This Article

MLA style

Burkholder, Myrna. "Student and Young Adult Services." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 22 May 2017.

APA style

Burkholder, Myrna. (1989). Student and Young Adult Services. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2017, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 861. All rights reserved.

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