The University of Central Florida Canterbury Club is ministry of the Church of the Incarnation and the
Diocese of Central Florida. It serves the students of UCF and draws in students from Valencia
Community College and Seminole State College as well as local young adults and alumni of these
schools. Started in 2007, it has grown from one intentional community of young adults into two. The
ministry is overseen by its chaplain, Fr. Jose Rodriguez, and a faithful team of lay ministers who are all
alumni or current students of the schools we serve.
The Community of St. Augustine of Canterbury meets at the Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center
on Monday nights and is facilitated by a team of lay leaders. This group mostly serves the non-
residential students of UCF and the local community colleges. The Community of St. Anselm of
Canterbury was started by Philip Nunez in 2014 who now serves as Youth Minister at Holy Trinity
Episcopal Church in Melbourne. This group sets is schedule each semester and is now facilitated by Sam
Nunez who serves as its Peer Minister on campus. Under Sam’s leadership this group continues to grow
and serves residential students at UCF.
Through partnership with other Christian organizations the UCF Canterbury Club developed an extensive
relationship with KYX Christian Fraternity and Theta Alpha Christian Sorority. Both fraternal
organizations have also developed extensive relationships with the Church of the Incarnation which the
fraternity calls its “home church” and where the sorority contributes extensively to the church’s Nursery
Ministry. Formally inviting the fraternal organizations into the life of the Church of the Incarnation was
one of Fr. Rory Harris’ first initiatives as vicar, now rector, of Church of the Incarnation.
For the past eight years I have been involved in a ministry that is, for the lack of a better word,
unique. This ministry is dedicated solely to college students and young adults. Canterbury Club
was started by Fr. Jose Rodriguez, while still a graduate student at UCF, and Nathan Adams,
then at Reformed Theological Seminary and now a seminarian and future priest in the Byzantine
Catholic Church. It was a place where the young adults that attended the Church of the
Incarnation could gather to eat snacks, read and study the scriptures, and enjoy fellowship. Good
healthy discussions ensued, sometimes taking us into the wee hours of one or two in the
At first, the group was primarily composed of members of the Church of the Incarnation in
Oviedo along with local seminarians. As then the mission Church of the Incarnation grew, new
faces from UCF started showing up on Sunday mornings and incorporating themselves into the
group. Fr. Jose and his wife Heather opened their home every single Monday night in order to
supply a place for the young people to meet.
When Church of the Incarnation moved from holding services at RTS to the Canterbury Retreat
and Conference Center, so did the group as it had outgrown the Rodriguez living room. The
conference center has since been a generous partner in support of student ministry. Students
from all walks of life and backgrounds are welcome.
As our group has grown so have the ministry’s needs. For the Community of St. Anselm,
Monday night dinner has become an important part of our outreach to local students. By
providing students a meal, many began staying for scripture study and prayer. According to a
report in The Washington Post, in 2014, hunger due to the rising costs of education has caused
college students to become part of the hunger related statistics. Monday nights have become a
place of feeding, both spiritual and physical. The local congregation has stepped in to provide
home cooked meals. The Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center has also been generous in
providing meals. In other places members of the church have been partnered with this ministry
to provide clothes, job referrals, and mentorship.
From the beginning of his episcopate, Bishop Greg Brewer, has made his support of this ministry
felt. He and Laura Lee paid us a visit on December 8, 2014 for our Christmas celebration. In the
spring of 2015 he came back for a celebration of student leadership at Canterbury alongside
leaders of the Community of St. Augustine and St. Anselm, KYX Christian Fraternity, Theta
Alpha Christian Sorority, our clergy and UCF President Dr. John Hitt. This year we received a
leadership grant from the Episcopal Church and we have recently partnered with a young adult
group in the Anglican Church of Canada at Taloyoak, Nunavut. We continue to grow locally by
expanding our relationships with others within the Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican
The work involved is hard, the field is plentiful at UCF with 50,000+ students, and the harvest is
and will be great! Out of this group we have grown and strengthened the Kingdom at UCF. We
have had baptisms, confirmations and weddings. Already for 2016 we have three Canterbury
Club weddings on the books, college students preparing for confirmation, and we’ll close off
2015 with the baptism of a child born to a Canterbury Club family. Please join us in the UCF
Canterbury Club Prayer, recited every Sunday at the Church of the Incarnation in the Prayers of
Want to provide more help?
A gift of love in the form of financial support for this ministry will go a long way in providing
home cooked meals and programming for young adults in the UCF area. We are also in need of
talent should anyone want to participate in meal preparations on Monday nights. If you would
like to know more, you may contact Erick Perez at the Diocesan Office or Fr. Jose Rodriguez.
You may also visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UCF4Christ you can also
write to us at [email protected] or at UCF Canterbury Club, 1601 Alafaya Trail,
Oviedo FL 32765.
By Erick X Perez