Campus Missionary Helps College Students Answer Tough Questions

SES Real Stories #19 by Eric Chabot

The year was 2005. I had always had a passion to share the Good News with college students.

My congregation and I decided it would be good for me to try to kickstart our outreach at The Ohio State University. Ohio State is one of the largest campuses in the nation (over 60,000 students).

I had been active in evangelism and enjoyed sharing my faith with friends and co-workers.

But I was in for an entirely different experience at the university.

I proceeded to lead our outreach by setting up tables and talking to students. But this quickly evolved into doing one-on-one spiritual surveys with students. I did this cold turkey.

Walking up to a student and seeing if they wanted to answer four to five spiritual questions was both exhilarating and challenging. But the one thing that stood out were the questions.

Yes, I had heard objections to the faith. But now I was hearing an entirely new set of objections.

Fortunately, 2005 was the year I had the opportunity become a full-time campus missionary.

I could now devote myself to the campus in even a greater way.

However, I also knew I needed to be better equipped. I had always read books on apologetics. I loved having answers to hard questions.  I decided to take a larger step and enroll in a graduate program at Southern Evangelical Seminary.

Now I was taking classes on theology, philosophy, and apologetics while doing my campus outreach.  This was a perfect match because I was able to use the information I was learning and apply it daily.

One of the most helpful classes I took was on epistemology. After all, students were constantly making comments such as,

“We can’t know if there is a God,” or “How can we know there is a God?”.

These questions revolve around how humans attain knowledge (epistemology).

Another milestone happened while I was on campus and involved with SES.

SES happened to be starting a new ministry that planted apologetic chapters on college campuses. Two staff members at SES contacted me and asked me if we wanted to start a chapter at Ohio State.

By now, this was 2008 and I was really motivated to ensure that there was enough apologetic presence on the campus.  We were also in the thick of the “New Atheism” and Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus was being discussed everywhere.

So, I gladly accepted, and with God’s grace we recruited some students and started the chapter.

We are still active on the campus and have hosted speakers such as Michael Brown, Frank Turek, J. Warner Wallace, and others. We have hosted debates and we have done weekly meetings and evangelism. We also have another chapter at a local community college. 

SES has opened doors for me and enabled me to be a more effective evangelist, writer, and speaker.

I am grateful for the experience I had as a student at SES.

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