Avila University
AU Spotlight
Submitted May 14, 2009
Avila’s Campus Minister uses humor to share God’s word

David Armstrong,
Director of Campus Ministries and Mission Effectiveness
Member of Avila since 2002

Avila University’s Director of Campus Ministries and Mission Effectiveness David Armstrong combines dedicated service and encouraging fellowship with clever wit and relatability.

Armstrong said that his desire has always been to help others, and in the early ‘80s, Armstrong found his calling in lay ministry. Working in ministry at the University of Kansas, the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., and the University of Saint Mary, Armstrong was no stranger to working with students. He eventually made his way to Avila University, joking that he was in it for the money.

“Seriously though, Avila is a wonderful place to be,” Armstrong said. “I love working with every person here as each strives to make this university a wonderful experience for each and every student.  It is easy for me to be the director of campus ministries and mission effectiveness at a place where there is so much love and compassion.”

While Armstrong brags on the university, his focus is the students – inspiring them to be who they truly are and who God created them to be.

“I want the students to be confident and strong in their identity as a child of God so that they can reach out to the world as a healthy person who is willing to serve,” Armstrong said. “I want them to learn servant leadership here so they can develop it as they leave Avila and move into their own church and parish communities.”

Seeing the light bulb go on in the students’ heads is Armstrong’s favorite part about working at a university. He said that with so many students involved in campus ministry, they keep him busy.

"I want the students to be confident and strong in their identity as a child of God so that they can reach out to the world as a healthy person who is willing to serve."

“I am challenged to offer them better training in leadership development,” Armstrong said. “One exciting thing that I look forward to next year is the promotion of peace through displays, exhibits and active peace making.”

When he’s not working with students, Armstrong keeps himself busy with a few interesting hobbies.

“I have been known to wrestle a mean alligator now and then at the Kansas City Alligator wrestling club,” Armstrong said while laughing. “But more recently I received a really nice camera for my birthday.  It’s not a hobby yet, but I see beautiful things in God’s creation, and I would love to put them in photos.” 

Armstrong is also gearing up for his annual summer trip to West Virginia with his kids Jessie, Erin and Michael. The family visits Nazareth Farm to work with other families to learn about simplicity, living catholic social teaching and serving the local community through home repair and remodeling. Last year, the family added white water rafting to their trip and loved the adventure.

Whether working with students, faculty and staff or spending time with his family, Armstrong reminds everyone, “Don’t take yourself too seriously.”

For more information about campus ministries on the campus of Avila University, please visit http://www.avila.edu/campuslife/campus%2Dministry/. AU