Matt Howell serves the CCO as our Manager for Professional Development Training. He focuses on developing leadership skills in the CCO’s executive staff while strategizing how to offer continual education to campus staff. Before joining CCO staff, Matt worked in a variety of roles on an assortment of campuses, including Dickinson College, The Ohio State University, Grace College and Carnegie Mellon University.
When I first saw the CCO ad on a job board, I wondered if making the move to a ministry-based organization was worth the bother.
I had 27 years experience working in both private industry and higher education. The thought of ministry was tempting, but I wasn’t sure. I had heard the horror stories of people going into the nonprofit world and leaving six months later, thoroughly disillusioned. They assumed nonprofit work would be more rewarding. The experience was not commensurate with their hopes.
So, my first day on the job, I carried all those doubts with me. Happily, they quickly dissipated.
What I have found most rewarding about working with the CCO is the focus on the mission. Every place I’ve worked had a mission statement. I even helped write some of them. But the CCO really believes in its core purpose of transforming college students to transform the world. We make decisions based upon that statement. We talk about it, we pray over it, and we do our best to live it out.
In some ways, working for the CCO is like every job; some days are great, some could be better. Support-raising is challenging and nearly scared me off. The thought of raising support while raising two teenagers made me think twice. I’m glad that didn’t stop me from joining the CCO.
The critical difference for me is our commitment to the mission and our love of college students. It is challenging to invest my work day strategizing how we can more effectively reach what I believe is the most vital mission field in the world: the American college campus. The world comes here to learn. Thanks to our impressive campus staff, many of them leave with the Great Commission stamped all over their education.