College: “It’s a wonderful time in somebody’s life where everyone is really trying to figure out – not only who they are, what they’re going to do for the rest of their lives – but ‘what is truth? What is the meaning of life? Why am I going to college spending exorbitant amounts of money to get a degree…what is it for in the end?’” Duncan Chance sees young people processing all that as director of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries in Greeley, Colorado. That’s the home of the University of Northern Colorado.
“Sometimes the narrative is that college students are kind of antagonistic against the Gospel, and while there is still some truth to that, there’s a lot of students really just hungry to know just what this whole thing (life) is about.”
The recent pandemic stirred up a lot of questions. “There were people really questioning about, you know – ‘Is this the end? Is this how we all go?’ and a lot of questions on ‘why and why now’… people lost loved ones. And so, yes, people are definitely open more than before.”
How does Duncan and his Chi Alpha team answer some of these hard questions coming from students? “From a Christian perspective, of course, we believe that – ultimately – that we were created to worship God, to give him glory and to enjoy him forever,” explains Duncan. “You are meant to have a relaxed love relationship with your Creator, with Jesus…and he knows you…and he has been orchestrating your life to this point.” The whole idea of relationship with Jesus is explained.
Much of the faith conversation comes by way of friendship. “Really, college students are looking for friends. Not just friends that agree with them, that just want to be in their bubble, but they’re looking for friends that really care about them, that care more about their future than their feelings.”
Why is college ministry so important? People who get a college education are likely to be the leaders of tomorrow in business, government, education, medicine, media – everything. And sharing Jesus at the University of Northern Colorado can have significant influence on culture and the nation. “It’s one of the top teachers’ colleges in the nation. So, we believe that if we can…introduce a student to Jesus before they enter the classroom, we really do believe that we can change the world.”
In our complete podcast interview below, you can hear how Duncan and his team help students overcome skepticism about the supernatural world and Christ. Also, learn about one special student who came to Jesus via Chi Alpha and is now teaching pre-school and kindergartners and influencing them toward the good.