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2009 Conversations

2008 Conversations

2007 Conversations

2006 Conversations

2005 Conversations

2004 Conversations

Alicia Chole: The truth about joy (12/28/03)

Cookies and Christmas: A roundtable discussion (12/21/03)

John Tesh: In pursuit of passion (12/14/03)

AGWM's L. John Bueno: Bread of life (11/23/03)

Teen Challenge's John Castellani: Christ breaks addictions (11/16/03)

Christian humorist Justin Fennell: Justifiably funny (10/19/03)

Representative Marilyn Musgrave: The role of Christians in government (10/12/03)

Dennis Gaylor: Fifty more campuses (9/28/03)

Kathy Troccoli: A message of hope (9/21/03)

Kristy Starling: Dreams come true (9/14/03)

CeCe Winans Love: Of Gospel and Grammies (8/31/03)

Gary Heavin: Faith and fitness (8/24/03)

Gracia Burnham: Grace in the jungle (8/17/03)

Seattle Mariner John Olerud: Hope when your health fails (8/10/03)

Chris Maxwell: Pastor recovering from memory loss (7/27/03)

Wayne Warner: Today’s Pentecostal Evangel: a historical view (7/20/03)

Paul Drost: Every church a parent or a partner (7/13/03)

Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger: What can be learned from history? (6/29/03)

Ron Drye: Ministering to the whole person (6/22/03)

Matt McPherson: Doing business by the Golden Rule (6/15/03)

The difference (6/8/03)

Fory VandenEinde: Fulfilling the Great Commission (5/25/03)

Tom Greene: The church's new generation (5/18/03)

Lisa Whelchel: Former sitcom star now an advocate for moms (5/11/03)

Tony Lamarque: Warden speaks about unconditional love (4/27/03)

Ann Graham Lotz: Just give her more of Jesus (4/20/03)

Lee Strobel: The case for Christ (4/13/03)

Randall K. Barton: Extravagant stewardship (3/30/03)

Bishop Gilbert Patterson: Bringing people together under Christ (3/23/03)

Pat Boone: A unique celebrity speaks out (3/16/03)

St. Clair Mitchell: God in Washington, D.C. (3/9/03)

Kay Gross: Ministry by women, ministry to women (2/23/03)

Thomas E. Trask: A historic General Council (2/16/03)

Denise Jones: Girls of Grace (2/9/03)

Doug Greengard: Beyond the NFL (1/26/03)

Three pro-life advocates call the church to action (1/19/03)

Chaplain Charles Marvin: The gospel in uniform (1/12/03)

2002 Conversations

2001 Conversations


Fifty more campuses

Dennis Gaylor has been national director of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries for 25 years. The ministry, now 50 years old, has official student groups on 235 secular college campuses around the nation. Gaylor recently spoke with News Editor John W. Kennedy.

PE: Tell me about the plans Chi Alpha has for establishing new student groups.

GAYLOR: We’re trying to be more strategic in starting new ministries. We’ve been challenging every Assemblies of God district to identify the next campus where they would start a Chi Alpha group if they had a qualified campus missionary and the funding. Every district is identifying one place so that they can purposely pray. We’re working in concert with the districts through our Reach the University training, nationally recognized internship programs and recruiting in order to get workers to those places.

PE: What kind of timetable do you have?

GAYLOR: We have a list of 50 campuses, corresponding with the districts, to put new chapters. We update it annually. Chi Alpha has already been pioneered in colleges like Stanford, University of New Hampshire, University of South Carolina, University of South Alabama, University of Idaho and University of North Carolina-Charlotte. This year new targets include Tulane, Duke and Columbia.

PE: Why are new chapters important?

GAYLOR: A university campus is like a city within a city. However, one third of the U.S. campuses have no Christian outreach. Those that do may only involve a few hundred students out of 15,000 or 30,000. There’s a great need to have a viable Christian influence and perspective on secular campuses.

PE: How can Chi Alpha be effective in our changing culture?

GAYLOR: Chi Alpha ministers to a segment of our population that is for the most part outside the reach of the typical church. Today you will not find the majority of college students in church on any given Sunday. These students are preparing for future leadership roles. We’re making the important connection at a pivotal moment in their development.

PE: How is the mission of Chi Alpha more challenging on today’s campuses compared to when you started?

GAYLOR: Actually, it’s easier. There’s much more openness and interest in spirituality. Collegians today, probably unlike any time before, want to see and experience authentic faith. Campus ministries, because they focus on that peer group, can bring the gospel into their context.

PE: What are some of the innovative ways the organization is reaching unchurched people?

GAYLOR: Food, fun, adrenalin and prizes always attract students. One campus group advertised a Q-and-A time with Curt Harlow, Chi Alpha evangelist. They promoted with crazy questions like, How can I get a date for this weekend? and How can I cure acne? Ultimately, questions led to explaining the gospel. At another school they used the book The Gospel According to the Simpsons in discussion groups, relating the popular TV show to faith and morality. On one campus, a guy dressed up in a devil’s suit and distributed copies of Satan: My Story. The front had been covered. It was the C.S. Lewis book The Screwtape Letters. Chi Alpha students used the book as a springboard in discussion groups to understand evil and sin. On another campus they sponsored a skit spoofing the TV show American Idol.

PE: What other characteristics do you see in today’s young people?

GAYLOR: Evangelist and apologist Ravi Zacharias says today’s youth listen with their eyes and think with their feelings. They have to see and experience the faith. The great commandment, “Love God and love your neighbor,” carries great weight with today’s students. It’s more about relationships and community. Students may go for weeks or months attending meetings before committing their lives to Christ. They want to belong before they believe.

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