Scott Sankey remembers attending a Jubilee conference many years ago and hearing Tony Campolo ask the question, “Do you want a title or a testimony?” Years later, that question continues to reverberate.
“I have a lot of titles after my name,” Scott says. “But they don’t matter to me as much as the testimony.”
Scott made a commitment to Jesus Christ at church camp when he was 13 years old, but he didn’t get involved in campus ministry at Carnegie Mellon University until his sophomore year, when CCO staff member George Foose paid him a visit. A civil engineering major at CMU, Scott did not grow up in a church-going family, but because of a cousin’s invitation, he went to church camp as a kid, and he attended church on his own when he could. “I had attended Shadyside Presbyterian Church at some point, and George followed up with me,” Scott remembers.
Scott accepted George’s invitation to get involved in the CCO fellowship out of the church, and he stayed connected for the rest of his college years and beyond, when as a graduate student at Pitt, he continued to worship at Shadyside and volunteered with the youth group.
Scott moved away from Pittsburgh to pursue a career as a statistician and professor in Alabama, Michigan, and Titusville, Pennsylvania. He recently returned to Pittsburgh to work as a statistician and data manager at the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social and Urban Research. An expert in biostatistics, he hopes to get back into teaching as well, and he looks forward to reconnecting with a church community and investing his time in a congregation.
Even with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, Scott insists that the titles are less important to him than the testimony, and he seeks to apply what he learned as a college student to how he lives his life today.
“The Jubilee conference, like the rest of the CCO’s ministry, convinced me that my faith needed to inform every area of my life, including my vocation and career,” he says. “The college years were a real time of growth for me. Friendships I made through the CCO fellowship have lasted for decades. Without the CCO, I probably would have kept to myself more, and I would never have been the leader I became—leading Sunday school classes, small groups, youth groups.”
Scott continues to view his entire life as belonging to God, and he seeks to live out his Christian faith everywhere—at work, at home, in church, or hanging out in a local coffee shop. In his spare time, he and a friend are co-writing a book, a study of Paul’s ministry and an approach to current issues in the church.
“My faith was there before I graduated from high school, but college was a real education. The CCO brought maturity to my faith, convinced me of the importance of fellowship, developed me as a Christian leader, and gave me a Christian perspective on all of life.”
That is Scott’s testimony.