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Why Does Chi Alpha Exist?

Chi Alpha Campus Ministries exists to reach the strategic mission field of the university. As a mission of the Assemblies of God, we are committed to the fulfillment of Christ’s Great Commission on campus. Chi Alpha Campus Ministries is a national organization of students in higher education, with sister fellowships in many countries, who unite to express the claims of Jesus Christ to campus communities and call students into relationship with Him.

In 1953-54, J. Calvin Holsinger launched a campus ministry at Southwest Missouri State College (now University) in Springfield, MO, naming the organization Chi Alpha. The name is derived from the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:19-20, “He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

The name Chi Alpha is derived from a couple of letters in the Greek alphabet, Chi (“X” pronounced ki, as in kite) and Alpha (“A” pronounced al, with a as in fast, and fah as in final). The Chi and Alpha are the first two letters of the Greek words written in English as “Christou Apostoloi” and translated as “Christ’s sent ones.” A sent one could be a delegate, an ambassador, or a missionary.

As ministers of reconciliation, we are a community of God’s college-age people: a community of worship, a community of fellowship, a community of discipleship, a community of witness, and a community of prayer. We include the concept of “community” in all of these because of the high priority we put on coming together as a group for Biblically commanded activity. We will use the term community to stress our position that we can be more visible and effective as a group than as isolated individuals. As students graduate, Chi Alpha recognizes the mission continues beyond the campus.

We believe the most fertile atmosphere for people to come to faith and maturity in Christ is warm exposure to a group of people fervently committed to the God of the Bible, to one another, and to the task of evangelizing the campus. As a worshiping, loving, discipling, witnessing, praying community, they demonstrate the kingdom of God and most effectively enculturate others in it.

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