(405) 425-5070
A group of students at the University Center play a game of Spoons.
Views
Photo from facebook.com/UCatOKSTATE

He leads me beside Stillwater

Helping students find faith, whether at a state school or a Christian university, is kingdom work.

lot of young people choose a college based on family loyalties to a university or great scholarships.  

For me, neither was the case.

I didn’t grow up with any real allegiance, so to speak, to any university. So when it came time to enroll I decided based on one thing … my best friend. 

Chellie Ison and her friend Becky during their freshman year at Oklahoma State University.

Chellie Ison and her friend Becky during their freshman year at Oklahoma State University.

Her family was and is “loyal and true” to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla. There was never a doubt in her mind where she would go. So I went with her.

It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I wanted a new beginning. I wanted a place to call my own, a place where people didn’t have any preconceived ideas of who I was based on the mistakes of others — where I could be me or, at least, try to find out who “me” was.

Ultimately, my life, my faith was changed for the better in my four years at OSU.

I grew up going to church, but I can’t say I ever had a faith of my own. 

In college, that changed. The University Center at the Stillwater Church of Christ became like a home to me.

I grew in ways I never could have imagined, in ways I still struggle to put words to, but I can feel the impact deep in my soul.

I was baptized there. I met new friends and my husband there (fun fact: we got married on campus). I learned to pray with others and live out my faith daily. I learned how to study my Bible. I learned how to serve others. I traveled overseas to teach about Jesus. I found out what it meant to trust God and truly turn my life over to him.

I grew in ways I never could have imagined, in ways I still struggle to put words to, but I can feel the impact deep in my soul.

My experience at a state school was made better by campus ministry.

I think often times state school campus ministries don’t get the recognition they deserve. They are fighting a valiant battle, a battle in a place full of worldly temptations, a battle for souls. And many are fighting those battles on very limited resources.

The latest statistics show there were more than 25,500 students enrolled at Oklahoma State University last year. Students make up about one-third of the Stillwater population.

The campus ministry is supported by private donations and the Stillwater Church of Christ. It’s housed in a building that is now 50 years old (though the ministry has been around much longer). 

Student pack into the University Center near OSU for a weekly Praise Service.

Student pack into the University Center near OSU for a weekly Praise Service.

The building is bursting at the seams with students. Each week the student ministry hosts meals, Bible classes, activity nights and worship services. The facilities are far from fancy. There are plans for a bigger building, but fundraising is never an easy task. It’s not something one church can fund. It takes a village.

“… have you or your congregation ever considered helping a state school campus ministry? I guarantee you it’s worth your time to consider.”

It’s not uncommon for churches to support Christian universities. However, have you or your congregation ever considered helping a state school campus ministry? I guarantee you it’s worth your time to consider.

You see, both are doing amazing work in helping students find their faith as they prepare to head into adulthood.

I recently heard that one of the presidents of a university associated with Churches of Christ encouraged others to support campus ministry — whether at a Christian university or a state school. His point was that both are doing kingdom work.


Related: Why attend a Christian university? Here’s an answer you weren’t expecting.


I agree, and I appreciate his words. I want to echo his encouragement by asking you to consider supporting some type of college ministry. 

Whether it’s at a state school, like the University Center, or a Christian university, your dollars could go a long way in helping a young person come to know Christ. And that is worth every dollar you can spare.

CHELLIE ISON is digital news editor for The Christian Chronicle. Email [email protected].

Filed under: campus ministry Church of Christ oklahoma state university Opinion state school ministry Stillwater Church of Christ support campus ministry Top Stories University Center at OkState University Center at OSU Views

View Comments

Don’t miss out on more stories like this.

Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.

Did you enjoy this article?

Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.

$
Personal Info

Dedicate this Donation

In Honor/Memory of Details

Card Notification Details

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $3 One Time

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.