Some people call us career-changers. The “professionals” call it being a “bridger.” Regardless of the name, making the move to join a nonprofit ministry organization is a big step. We’re glad you have stopped by to check us out.
You should know that you are not alone. Over half of our applicants are people making a career change, often from the for-profit world. Many of those same people go on to rewarding careers making a difference in the lives of college students with the CCO.
We’re here to help you walk down the path of discernment, to see if joining the CCO is right for you. We know you have lots of questions, and we’re happy to answer them in person. However, here are some of the common questions we hear from people considering a career change to the CCO.
Yes. Realistically, you should know that salaries for nearly all nonprofit organizations are below the pay for comparable work in the for-profit sector. However, our salaries are competitive with similar organizations. Our staff members buy cars and houses, send their children to college, and save for retirement. The key is to recognize that an important part of the total compensation package is the reward of doing something in which you believe deeply.
Yes. We call it support-raising. It’s a biblical pattern of ministry that is repeated throughout the Bible. If you would like to study it, we recommend Scott Morton’s Fundraising Bible Study. You can download it here. Scott’s work with a similar ministry organization, the Navigators, is a central part of our support-raising training.
We have two staff members who have extensive training and experience in support raising. You will receive in-depth assistance that will help you understand why we raise support, and how to do it in a low-stress, no-pressure manner. Throughout your first year on staff, you will have opportunities for additional training each month. CCO Staff members have been raising support for more than 40 years. You will be able to draw upon that experience as you develop your support-raising skills.
That question is more complicated that it might seem. One of the strengths of the CCO’s business model is that campus staff members have a lot of freedom to contextualize their ministry to the school. You will find campus work to be very entrepreneurial in that respect.
Of course, you will have a supervisor who will be your primary resource as you define your ministry. In general, you can count of meeting lots of students, probably drinking lots of coffee, eating pizza, and having serious conversations about the purposes of God in our world. Sound intriguing?
Yes. We do not require any formal biblical training to work for the CCO. Of course, we do expect that all staff members have a solid theological base and a desire to continually grow in knowledge of God’s word. If you’re curious about what we stand for, take a look at our Statement of Faith.
Our hiring process is probably different from what you’ve experienced in the past. Our hiring decisions are made in a two step process: (1) Candidate Acceptance and (2) Position Placement. When you apply, you enter the Candidate stage. There are three parts to the application stage, including an online application, a resume, and recommendation forms. You’ll find all the materials here.
After we review your application, we will most likely contact you to set up a personal interview. Following that interview, a decision will be made on whether you will be accepted as a candidate. It’s important to understand that being accepted as a candidate is not the same thing as being offered a job. Instead, it means that we believe you have the “right stuff” to be a campus minister.
At this point, you enter the placement process. This period of time, which can last several months, is when we will work with our partner churches and other organizations to match you with our available positions. As those matches are made, you will interview with our organizational leadership and any applicable partners before a placement decision is made.
A. Yes. The CCO employs Staff Directors, Accountants, Recruiters and Partnership Coordinators, who are responsible for developing new ministry opportunities for the CCO. We would be happy to speak with you about our non-campus opportunities.
Should you elect to apply for a non-campus position, you will find that process is similar to most other hiring process: apply, interview, and if the fit is good, receive an offer.
Well, some things won’t change. You’ll work hard, maybe even harder. You’ll have good days and bad days. You won’t feel you have all the technology or the budget you would like to have. In short, don’t come to work wearing rose-colored glasses. it’s a great place to work, but it is still a workplace with many of the joys and aggravations you might find in any business.
But what you might find different is the commitment to a mission that is not oriented solely to the bottom line on the financial statement. We clearly operate in a fiscally-responsible manner, but we are a ministry, so our bottom line is more than financial.
You will also find that few people specialize in a nonprofit firm. You will find yourself periodically working outside of your job description. That could happen in a project, a special event, or something that “just needs to get done.” Some people find that variety to be energizing.
You may want to contact a member of our recruiting staff. We also recommend you read the stories of those who left other careers to join the CCO. They tell you how others have experienced this career change.
In addition, there is a fine organization, Bridgestar, that has put together some resources for “bridgers.” Here are some links to some materials: