The benefit of partnering with an organization that shares your worldview and goals is huge! We have confidence in going to our members and demonstrating that we have been good stewards with their resources in the advance of the Kingdom of God in our midst. Practically, we get to see a bunch of international students integrated into the life of our congregation, which literally brings the world to our doorstep and helps to transform us into global followers of Jesus. And many of our MPC kids end up either at Jubilee or the Beach Project and have their lives forever changed by the gospel. That is pretty amazing stuff.
Whether it is at Memorial Park, reaching out to international students at La Roche College, or at our new church plant in downtown Pittsburgh called New City Church, reaching out to students at Point Park University and the Art Institute, it is all about joining God in His Kingdom Advance in our own Jerusalem, Judea/Samaria and to the Ends of the Earth. The CCO helps us to do that!
D. Dean Weaver
Lead Pastor, Memorial Park Presbyterian Church
Allison Park, Pennsylvania
The CCO is one of the first parachurch organizations I’ve talked to who understands the importance of the local church in students’ lives. So many groups present themselves as a substitute for the church; the CCO encourages students to stay connected to the church.
CCO staff members have access where we don’t. We might see students once a week, maybe twice, at the church, but if something happens on campus where they need us, we have access through the CCO. It offers a two-fold approach to ministry—at church and on campus.
Dr. Keith A. Troy
New Salem Missionary Baptist Church
As a church, one of our mission fields is the campus; reaching out to students has always been important to us, given our proximity to Penn State’s campus. We decided to partner with the CCO because it makes sense. Our ministry is integrated with that of the CCO and other campus ministries on campus. It’s not about our turf or your turf, but about what we can do together to reach college students in the name of Jesus Christ. The CCO offers great resources to Erica for her growth and development, and that helps our church. This partnership is a great handshake between CCO and Calvary. The partnership has been a great experience for us, and we hope we’ve added to Erica and her ministry as well.
Calvary Baptist Church
Partnering with the CCO has allowed us to have a full-time minister focused upon reaching out and discipling college students. We have a heart for the next generation to know and live for Christ. This is happening in great part because Mike Barnhart, a CCO staff member, is on our staff. Without a person focused upon college students and young adults, I do not believe we would have connected with as many as we have. Mike is a mature young man who is obviously called to minister. He is a great fit, and I do not believe we would be reaching the number of young adults we are if he were not here.
Dr. Craig Cramer
Pilgrim has benefited through a formal partnership with the CCO in lots of ways. We’ve been relieved of the delicate matter of how best to remunerate the staffer, how to train the staffer, and how to put the staffer in accountable and nurturing staff relationships. Using CCO as a ‘third party’ has solved those issues in a blink. We know what the staffer expects from us, we know what the staffer expects from the CCO and we know what the staffer expects from campus life. Also, the pastor benefits by directing college students in need to Amy, our CCO staffer. One student wanted to talk with me, the pastor, on a pressing matter but had little relationship with Amy and even less with myself. By directing her to the staffer on campus, the matter was able to percolate a bit and the student will get better long-term care in a relationship with the campus worker.
Having a CCO staff person working with us has provided an excellent connection to our local university, and allows us to reach people on campus who normally would never come to the church. Heather Strong communicates the Gospel of God’s grace in Christ well, she’s an excellent apologist, and builds up leaders. We wouldn’t have a solid connection to SRU without her!
The Rev. Ethan J. Magness
Grace Anglican Church
Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
For over thirty years the CCO has been the bridge between our congregation and college students who live a few miles away but in a different world. As they, and we, cross this bridge, we meet the same Savior.
Shadyside Presbyterian Church
Ascension is delighted to partner with the CCO here in Oakland. Surrounded as we are by thousands of college students, it is great to know that we have the support and expertise of such a great organization, as together we seek to share the transforming love of Christ with many of those who will be shaping this and other nations in the future. Jonny Cagwin, our CCO staff worker, is a much-valued member of our staff team, and he and his wife, Emily, are a great asset to us in our efforts to reach college students.
The Rev. Jonathan Millard
Rector of Church of the Ascension
Our CCO workers are a vital link from our congregation to the university community surrounding our building. The CCO workers are not merely our “representatives to the university,” but they encourage and equip our congregation to join with them in their campus ministry role. Through our congregation’s CCO partnership, we have been able to maintain a constant, high-profile presence on the Gannon University campus. The University trusts the quality and integrity of the workers that the CCO provides. It is this constant emphasis by the CCO to have workers be always-growing and maturing that makes our CCO partnership so attractive. No church staff member could afford the same mentorship time and energy that the CCO invests in its workers. We are assured of having campus ministers who are current on ministry trends, campus culture and growth accountability.
Joseph “Seph” Kumer
Director of Youth and Family Ministries
First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant
We love that the CCO is church-based. We love to see students get a vision of what Jesus calls the church to be and do, and then we love to see students jump in!
liberti church east
Elliott Simko’s service here has spawned new ministries, enlivened traditional practices, and challenged us in leadership towards levels of excellence in media outreach and communication. I cannot overemphasize the strength and impact CCO’s presence has brought to our church.
Manoa Presbyterian Church
With Elmira College right across the street, our church knew that the campus should be a part of the mission. But our people were frustrated with not knowing how to begin to do campus ministry. They wanted relationships with students and opportunities to follow up. There was no time for me to do it and no time to train the congregation how because of more pressing needs. The CCO helped us develop a relationship with the college. What our CCO staff worker did would have taken us years, because he was trained and coached and he had the time. He became the concrete embodiment of our vague vision.
North Presbyterian Church
Elmira, New York
Hiring a CCO staff person has given us a greater awareness of our community. Shippensburg University is just a stone’s throw from our church, and it’s really the backbone of our community. It would be a huge disconnect for us not to have a presence on that campus. We had just started a contemporary service about a year before hiring our first staff person, and maybe three or four college students were attending. Once we had someone on staff whose focus was outreach to the university, student attendance shot up, and now 50 or 60 students worship with us each week.
Having a CCO campus worker on our staff has helped us to figure out how to care for and support students, to enfold them into the life of our congregation. Not only are students worshipping with us and attending Sunday school classes, but they have gotten involved in our music ministry, as well as our youth and children’s ministries. They bring a lot of energy to everything they do.
We have these students in our midst for such a short period in their lives. While some have graduated and stayed in Shippensburg, and continue to worship with us, most move away after their four years of school. We have a small window of time during which we can pour into their lives. They come here for counseling, and some of our older members become mentors to these students. We want to equip them to be sharing their faith with their peers, and we want to give them an opportunity to be connected to the larger body of Christ.
In every way, partnering with the CCO has been an extremely positive experience.
Shippensburg First Church of God