THAT EVERY STUDENT SHOULD KNOW
by Becky Hobbs
Above, Mike, with wife, Molly, and children from top: Jonathan (18), Amy (14), Sarah (11), and Mary Kate (9).
Above, Marc with Patty and children, from left, Jeffrey (8), Allison (12), Shannon (8), and Catherine (6).
Above, Mike, on left, with students at the University of Bologna, Italy. Haswell Beni, right, is Crusade Director in Italy.
Meet Sara. She is a sophomore at a large U.S. university. Brought up in an upper middle class family, she's never wanted for anything materially. But she's rarely gone to church, and a few years ago her parents divorced. She's sexually active but is afraid of getting AIDS or some other sexually transmitted disease. Her main question about Christianity is, "What does Jesus have to do with my life?" Above all, she's looking for people who are real, who connect with her, who give her a sense of community.
Sara is the new college student of the '90s, variously labeled Baby Busters or Generation-X. Some think of them as the "survivor generation." They have survived abortion -- Sara probably realizes that some of the students she would be going to college with didn't make it; they were killed before they were born. A high percentage of them have survived broken homes. Some have survived the AIDS epidemic and other ravages of the sexual revolution; some haven't. Many, like Sara, have no church background and are unfamiliar with the Bible; they've survived spiritually by buying into the relativism of the postmodern age.
That's where RTS grads Marc Rutter (RTS '94) and Mike Tilley (RTS '97) come in. They are veteran staff members with Campus Crusade for Christ and have a burning desire to lead as many students like Sara to the Lord as they can. Marc is Director of Leadership Development, which includes training both current and new staff. In partnership with Mike and other directors, he also seeks to develop new leaders. Mike is on the National Campus Team and directs the Catalytic Ministry, which is Crusade's expansion team, developing new campus ministries and leaders all across the United States.
"What's exciting about today's student is that he or she really values authenticity, relationships, and community," reveals Mike. "In Acts we see a transformational community described, which is exactly what students today are hungry for. Also, in the past students asked very objective questions which could be answered by traditional apologetics -- "Is there a God?" and "Did Jesus really live?" Today the questions are much more subjective -- "If all of this is true, what difference does it make in my life?" We feel we are well-positioned to reach students today because of what the Gospel has to offer -- a guide to authentic relationships and community by the Author of all relationships. With each generation, however, we just have to find innovative ways to reach them."
And they've come up with some fairly creative methods. One is a freshman survival kit; 70,000 of them have already been distributed on campuses. The kit contains a music CD, Josh McDowell's book More Than a Carpenter, a can of V8 Splash, a Bible, and Internet web sites for students to respond.
RTS AND CRUSADE TEAM UP
But much bigger innovations are already taking place as Crusade works with RTS/Orlando in several different ways in the area of staff training. Campus Crusade staff can now receive graduate credit at RTS for the courses they take through Crusade. The combination of Crusade's School of Leadership courses with RTS's Summer/Winter program, which includes on-campus work and Distance Learning classes, allows staff to pursue a Master of Divinity or Master of Arts degree without leaving their field of ministry. In a recent survey, Crusade leaders found that eighty per cent of the staff wanted to earn graduate credit for their staff training.
Mike and Marc could be poster children for the new program. Each has been pursuing a seminary degree parttime since graduating from college, all the while holding down a fulltime staff position with Crusade.
Another advantage of the partnering relationship is the access it gives Crusade staff to the teaching of RTS professors. Dr. Richard Pratt, Professor of Old Testament at RTS/Orlando, has already taught courses in Crusade's School of Leadership, directed by Marc. More RTS professors will be teaching in the near future. In addition, Marc is talking with Dr. Allen Mawhinney, Academic Dean at RTS/Orlando, about the possibility of a New Testament Survey course customized specifically for Crusade staff.
"Campus Crusade has three goals in ministry," says Marc. "First, the staff should be theologically and biblically trained. They must grow in their trust of God and be full of faith, willing to take risks. Second, they should be effective and adaptable leaders, able to determine what it will take in their location to reach every student for Christ. Third, they must have communication and evangelism skills on a professional level. Our partnership with RTS helps meet these goals."
Dave Patchin, Mid-South Regional Director for the Catalytic Ministry and a student at RTS/Orlando, is one staffer who is enthusiastically taking advantage of the program.
"It's a great opportunity to be able to minister fulltime and work parttime toward a degree. The education is crucial for long-term ministry in having a solid biblical foundation to help students apply truth to their world. While I have been able to point them to Scriptures that are relevant to their lives, I haven't had the framework to help students think deeply about God's working in their lives and in the world around them. In addition, the education itself is highly stimulating to me in developing my own personal walk with God and in wrestling through life issues."
Adapting to reach students in a postmodern culture, Crusade will also spend more time training staff in areas which will have the most impact on the student of the '90s.
"We're teaching our staff to be principle-oriented but very intellectually flexible --understanding that strategies which worked five or six years ago may not be effective today," says Marc. "In the next five years we want our staff to understand more about character development. We can't have authentic communities if people aren't authentic and growing in character. We're spending a great deal of time teaching our staff what biblical growth is, how the sanctification process works, and how transformation of the heart takes place. We're making sure they know that the Gospel is not only for pagans, but for us as believers. And the way we change everyday is based upon how we experience the grace and truth of that Gospel."
ENLISTING STUDENT AND CHURCH HELP
Training new leaders is not the only area where Crusade is seeking partners. They are reaching out to students and churches as well. As head of the exciting Catalytic Ministry, Mike heads a team trying to accomplish an awesome goal --to establish 2000 new campus ministries in the United States.
The mission encompasses three different strategies
"The country has been divided into ten regions each with directors responsible for assembling a team of catalytic staff who will plant 200 ministries in the United States," says Mike. "We now have 500 and are trusting God for 1500 more."
"Our dream is that in a few years a college freshman will be able to show up on any campus in the United States and be a part of a transformational community that is giving everyone a chance to hear about Christ, come to Him, and grow in faith."
Above, Marc (right) and his executive assistant, Mike Knox, help lead a team which trains new CCC missionary staff.
Above, Marc speaks to new staff this summer at Rollins College in Orlando.
Above, Dave Patchin (center) discusses student goals with Drs. Allen Mawhinney and Richard Pratt (l to r).
Mike (bright blue shirt), with Catalytic regional directors. Each region is trusting God for 200 new campus ministries.
Students and churches interested in knowing which ministries are available on campuses throughout the nation or in starting a Campus Crusade group on a certain campus with the help of a trained consultant, call 1-800-678-LINC (5462). You may also visit the website http://rq.godsquad.com for that info and more.
If you'd like to know more about Campus Crusade's programs or to contact Mike Tilley or Marc Rutter, call 407-826-2000 or write them at
You may also visit Campus Crusade's website at http://rq.thecampusministry.com.
Return to REFORMED QUARTERLY FALL 1998 CONTENTS
Return to RTS HOME PAGE http://rq.rts.edu/fall98/student.html
Last updated 09-22-98.