Frequently Asked Questions
Our Focus: Alumni as they begin their careers
Our Call: One-on-one discipleship
Our Team: Volunteers committed to one-on-one mentoring
About Alumni Connect
What is your specific mission?
So you're a campus ministry?
No. We initially meet seniors through existing campus ministries, but our work is with alumni after they’ve left college.
Are you connected with a specific church/ group/ "parent" ministry?
We work closely with a variety of campus ministries, local churches, and marketplace ministries, regardless of denomination or affiliation.
How it works…
How do you meet soon-to-be alumni?
We have forged strong partnerships with national campus ministries and their local directors and are introduced to seniors through them. Specifically, Gary and Joani, and our other Regional Directors host college senior Bible studies in their homes. Additionally, they get referrals from other sources –alumni referring their friends, parents referring their children, and others that know of us and what we do.
How does someone join Alumni Connect?
We do not have a membership program. We make personal introductions between alumni and mentors.
How do you stay connected with alumni after they leave campus?
For Alumni Connect, that’s when our work starts! We do not offer discipling or mentorship before graduation (college seniors usually have some form of mentorship through their current campus ministry). Once the graduate relocates, Alumni Connect communicates primarily through phone conversations, emails, and texts until alumni connect with mentors in their new locations. As the local relationship increases, Gary and Joani’s input decreases. However, our mission is to get alumni established in a solid growing relationship with the Lord and a mentor in their new location.
How do you find mentors and do hire mentors?
We work with existing relational networks – personal, professional, ministry related, word-of-mouth – to recruit local volunteers committed to discipleship.
Do you have an online database of mentors?
We personally introduce alumni to mentors in their new locations, knowing that this personal connection builds trust and stronger relationships.
Do you connect mentors and alumni by alma mater or campus ministry?
We connect an alumni with an independent local seasoned believer in their area, regardless of affiliation or profession.
Do you connect alumni with other local alumni?
While we encourage peer friendships, our mentors are older Christians, empty nesters, and business people.
Do you host networking events for local alumni?
We focus exclusively on 1:1 discipleship, and do not have a membership or group approach to ministry.
Are you just helping those who are going into the mission field?
Actually, about 99% of our work is with alumni who are part of the general workforce. Furthermore, we believe that these men and women are entering their “mission field” at their work, in churches, and in their social life. Our mentors affirm value to their new careers as genuine contributions to society and help bring clarity to diverse, God-given talents.
Do you have a database with a list of local churches?
We encourage our alumni to ask their local mentor for suggestions, and we seek out help from business networks and other acquaintances in an alumni’s new location to help them get connected.
Do you have a curriculum or meeting schedule?
We believe everyday life provides enough content for discussion and maturity. We rely on the Bible as our main text for gaining perspective and giving advice in mentoring/discipling. Mentors and alumni set their own schedule and typically check in with each other between meetings through text or phone calls.
When and where did Alumni Connect begin?
Gary and Joani Brown started Alumni Connect in 2011 in State College, PA working with Penn State alumni.
How long have Gary & Joani worked with alumni?
Gary and Joani have been serving collegiate alumni for over 30 years in a variety of real-world contexts. You can read more about them on the Who We Are page.
What are your plans to expand?
Currently, we have replicated our work in the Northeast and are looking toward replication in other parts of the United States.
Where do you get your funding?
How are donations handled?
Where does Alumni Connect operate?
We are headquartered in State College, PA, but our team is spread from New Jersey to North Carolina to Indianapolis.
What is your accountability structure?
How often do you talk/ meet with your board? How does your board function?
Do you hope to expand?
Why haven't you started your own 501c(3)?
What about continuing education for Alumni Connect staff?
How do I get involved?
Do you have materials that I can hand to my friends/ upperclassmen?
We do! Please fill out the contact page, and we’ll give you exactly what you need to get involved!
Got a question we haven’t covered?