Why College Ministry Matters

As the Coalition for Christian Outreach Turns Fifty, Its Leadership Reflects on Where God Will Move Next

March 8, 2021

PITTSBURGH The college years have often been called the bridge between adolescence and adulthood. College students are exploring new ideas, trying on new identities, weighing what they have been raised to believe with a whole range of new philosophies and worldviews.

“Over fifty years ago, a group of pastors and businessmen had a dream of building leadership for western Pennsylvania,” stated Dan Dupee, former Chairman of the Board for Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO). “There was talk of making ‘Pittsburgh as famous for God as for steel,’ and a part of that vision had to do with what was happening on local college campuses. These pastors and businessmen were concerned that high school students who had recently graduated from strong youth ministries had few resources to continue to grow in their faith now that they were in college.

“The CCO was born out of this concern. The hope was that, after these young people graduated from college, they would return to their hometowns and provide solid leadership for their churches and communities.”

Many students who are influenced by the CCO’s ministry during their college years graduate and become leaders within their communities, workplaces and churches. They are committed to service and the larger mission of the Church in the world. Former students of CCO ministries are now doctors, teachers, lawyers, artists, business leaders, spouses and parents who are influencing thousands of people all over the world.

“Fifty years seems like a long time, but in God’s economy, it’s just a blink of an eye,” continued Dupee. “I am grateful for how God used the CCO to transform my own life. I am excited to see where He will lead us next.”

The college and university campus is the most strategic mission field in the world, with only 2% 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 the students in a life-changing way.


To interview Dan Dupee or for more information about CCO Jubilee or the Coalition for Christian Outreach, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Marjorie Pratt, 610.584.1096, ext. 107, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.