Coalition for Christian Outreach Has Steadfastly Met Students Where They Are, Even During a Time of Pandemic
PITTSBURGH — It’s a milestone we can celebrate, even in the face of humbling challenges over the past year of pandemic. For half a century now,the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO, ccojubilee.org) has dispensed staff across college campuses to build relationships with students by offering them new beginnings through Christ. Today, in 2021, after a time of change and innovation, over 300 staff and associates are reaching students on nearly 140 campuses across the U.S. These are remarkable numbers.
“Our vision is to see a generation of college students transformed by the power of Jesus Christ and His Gospel, in partnership with the local church—and reach the world for the glory of God,” said Dan Dupee, CCO’s former chairman of the board.
As CCO celebrates its 50th anniversary, its God-focused achievements over the past year are notable—along with the tremendous creativity and hard work required to make them happen. In 2020, CCO:
- Impacted 11,541 college students
- Made over 18,000 virtual calls—a first in the mission’s history
- Shared the Gospel over 1,200 times with students
- Spearheaded 14,156 Bible studies
- Created 22,219 discipleship meetings
CCO has received gratifying feedback on its outreach. Said a campus ministry staffer at Indian River State College in Florida, “In the beginning of the pandemic, students were looking for something to do, so they came to Bible study. Many are still with us today. I always encourage my students that God is still sovereign and there have been plagues, famines, and bad rulers throughout history. But God worked through the heart of His people and drew people closer to Him. God is still at work.” And a campus ministry staffer at Penn State University Abington said, “People who weren’t Christians joined in our Zoom meetings, and two students gave their lives to Christ—one was even baptized.”
CCO staff and associates always “find” college students where they are—at student centers, athletic practices, cafeterias, coffee shops, residence halls, sometimes even in classrooms. “From the very beginning, CCO staff has met students and interacted with them every day, in familiar settings on campus, in order to introduce them to Jesus Christ and walk alongside them in their faith journeys,” said Dupee. “And today, as we remember that we are not unshakeable, we know what endures. Our Sustainer has sustained us—and we give glory to God,” he added.
For 50 years,CCO staff have reached out to college students by entering into their world. But this is only part of the story. CCO partners with local churches, so that college students who connect to CCO ministries find themselves integrated into the life of their local church, where they worship in a multi-generational congregation, participate in Sunday school classes, and get to know church members over meals.
The college and university campus are the most strategic mission fields in the world, with only 2 percent of students being reached with the Gospel. CCO partners with local church congregations to help students feel a sense of belonging. A community is formed between the CCO staff and students, who are invited into the lives of local congregations. Through this community of fellowship, CCO is able to minister to students in a life-changing way.
To interview Dan Dupee or for more information about the Coalition for Christian Outreach, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.