In 2007, College Ministries entered into a partnership agreement with CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach). CCO is a unique campus ministry in that it grew out of a vision to partner with local churches to reach college students for Jesus Christ. They work with churches to reach students on a variety of campuses, from small private schools to large state universities and commuter campuses. They reach out to traditional 18- to 22-year-old students as well as to graduate students and nontraditional students, such as through their international student ministries. Currently CCO is partnering with churches in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. Several EPC churches are already partnering with CCO. The following is the first in a series of articles featuring these exciting partnerships.
How the CCO helps Memorial Park Church reach local college students: An interview with Lead Pastor, D. Dean Weaver
Memorial Park Church is an Evangelical Presbyterian Church located in Allison Park, Pennsylvania, a northern suburb of Pittsburgh. Memorial Park Church partners with the CCO to reach out to international students at nearby La Roche College. What follows is an interview with D. Dean Weaver, Memorial Park Church’s Lead Pastor.
Why does Memorial Park Church choose to partner with the CCO?
We love the CCO’s love for college students. We share the same desire to see transformation and value their highly relational approach. The CCO is the best fit for Memorial Park—in worldview and practice!
Why is Memorial Park Church committed to ministry to college students?
We are committed to ministry to college students because they are made in the image of God—and this may be the most strategic time in their lives to engage the whole person with the whole gospel.
What has been the benefit of having CCO staff member David Kuehl working with you and with students at La Roche College?
David and his family have become integrated into both the family of Memorial Park and the family of La Roche College, and that has helped to bridge the gap with our college neighbors. David has been a great ambassador for us at La Roche, and we love all the international students that hang out with him at MPC. It makes our community life richer!
Do congregation members participate in the ministry to international students? If yes, how? Of course, students and congregation members spend time together on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings around our worship services, as well as in our members’ homes over the holidays. But the thing I love is watching folks from MPC taking a student “under their wing” to review their resume, coach them on job interviewing, and work alongside them in outreach and mission projects. That is where the transformation occurs—on both sides!