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? : Christou Apostoloi (Christ's Ambassadors) ["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." (2 Corinthians 5:20)]
Chi Alpha | , sometime XA or SfC, officially known as Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship), is an international and interdenominational student Christian Fellowship on college campuses, sponsored by Chi Alpha Campus Ministries and local churches, it is open to college students of all backgrounds. Even though the national governing organization is a ministry of the Assemblies of God, membership at local chapters are cross-denominational, including many students of varying denominations.
Chi Alpha is also known by many local chapter names like, University Christian Fellowship, Chi Alpha Life, Campus Christian Fellowship, "[Insert School-name]" Christian Fellowship, "[Insert School Abbreviation or Short-name]" Chi Alpha on some campuses, or also by the organization's older name 'Christians in Action,' the current name used throughout most of Europe 'Students for Christ,' or several other local or regional names. Despite its name, it is not a fraternity or sorority.
Depending on the chapter, Chi Alpha stands for either "Christians in Action" and/or "? (Christou Apostoloi | Christ's Ambassadors)". The name "Christou Apostoloi" is said to come from 2 Corinthians 5:20 in the New Testament of the Christian Bible which states that "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." However, according to Strong's Greek Concordance, the exact Greek word in that verse corresponding to the English "ambassador" is ' (presbeuó)' in the conjugated form ' (presbeuomen)' which means "we are ambassadors." The English-to-Greek equivalent ' (apóstolos),' which in its plural form ' (apóstoloi)' can be translated back into English as 'apostles,' does not actually occur in the original Greek verse at all but could be a modern Greek translation of an English translation.
There are many different variations of the logo, and some of them are university specific or city specific while others keep the original national affiliate's logo.
The mission of Chi Alpha is to reconcile students to Jesus Christ, thereby transforming the university, the marketplace, and the world. Chi Alpha's mission motto is "Every student goes, every student gives, every student prays, and every student welcomes."
To this end, the organization is committed to a fivefold philosophy: being a community of worship, prayer, fellowship, discipleship, and mission. The core values are Community, Creativity, Diversity, Excellence, Integrity, and Servant-Leadership.
The Assemblies of God began a ministry (Chi Alpha Campus Ministries) to collegians in 1947 at the urging of J. Robert Ashcroft (father of John Ashcroft), which consisted of a newsletter sent to college students to encourage them in their faith.
It soon became apparent that a newsletter by itself was inadequate, and so in 1953 Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger chartered the first Assemblies of God student group at Missouri State University (formerly Southwest Missouri State University) in Springfield, Missouri where the Assemblies of God headquarters is located. The movement quickly spread to other campuses. For example, the first Chi Alpha to own property was the UC Berkeley chapter, which purchased a house next to campus in 1964.
The name Chi Alpha was inspired by the contemporary Assemblies of God youth movement, Christ's Ambassadors (a phrase in 2 Corinthians 5:20). The initials "CA" were changed to Greek initials "" in order to resemble the names of other college organizations.
Chi Alpha began its development internationally in the 1970s, establishing chapters in Europe under the name Students for Christ, and also into Latin America under various names.
In 1977, the first ever Chi Alpha internship was launched at Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham, Washington by the WWU Chi Alpha campus director Brady Bobbink. Since its inception, the internship, known as Campus Ministers in Training (CMIT), has spread to many of the college campuses that Chi Alpha is involved with. CMIT is an internship in which students, after having graduated from a University, dedicate a year of their lives as missionaries to a college campus and receive intense training on how to be an effective missionary for the rest of their lives.
In 1978, Dennis Gaylor became national director of Chi Alpha, and served until April 2013. Chi Alpha is currently led by Scott Martin.
There are now Chi Alpha ministries and fellowships on over 310 campuses throughout the United States involving roughly 28,000 students, and many more in sister organizations around the world.
In the 2014-2015 school year, Chi Alpha at CSU Stanislaus was removed from campus because they required that their leaders be Christians. The case gained national attention and was covered on Fox News. The chapter was eventually reinstated.
The chapters at Georgetown University and the University of New Hampshire were highlighted in a 2003 article in The New York Times entitled "Of Bart and Homer, and the Many Ways of Faith" - an article about their use of the Simpsons as a Bible study tool, and in 1986 The New York Times mentioned the chapter at Columbia University as representative of a trend of growing Christian fellowships on campuses in the northeastern United States.
Annie Dillard wrote a widely reprinted essay, "Singing with the Fundamentalists", about her experiences singing with a group of students from the Chi Alpha chapter at Western Washington University (a chapter which operates under the local name of Campus Christian Fellowship).
^Bixler, Frances (2002). "Chi Alpha". In Stanley M. Burgess (ed.). The new international dictionary of Pentecostal and charismatic movements (Rev. and expanded ed.). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House. p. 521. ISBN0310224810.