RC at Purdue Calumet: Volunteer Spirit Gets Noticed
by Sheryl Young
Gene Calderon, our Chapter Director at Purdue Calumet in Indiana, was a “lonely apologist” before joining RC. For years he wondered how to get other Christians to wisely and logically present their faith to nonbelievers. But even for him, it was a long road to that point.
“I was raised Catholic but walked away from the faith in my teens,” he says. “I started listening to Christian radio in 2002 and heard about the book The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel. After reading it I went back and read his Case for Christ. Then I got interested in the people he interviewed in the book. So I started thinking, ‘why does everyone not know this?’ From here, I got interested in Stand to Reason and other apologetics organizations.”
Q: How did you find out about Ratio Christi?
A: I had an opportunity to go to Frank Turek’s CrossExamined Instructors Academy. My roommate there was already interested in RC and was going to have dinner with Blake Anderson (COO of Ratio Christi). They invited me along, and I realized I didn’t have to do apologetics alone. With Purdue Calumet being the closest college to my home, I applied to become a leader for RC.
Q: But you didn’t just go to the school and say “Here I am for Ratio Christi” – how did you get accepted onto the campus?
A: Well, it’s a public campus, so I just started looking online for various ministry groups and what time they met and started showing up. I volunteered to help set up rooms, pick up pizza, create flyers, and as I talked about apologetics I got invited to be on speaking panels. Soon, about five students got interested in apologetics and the idea of Ratio Christi, so we started meeting and inviting each other back and forth to the different ministries’ meetings. Now, other groups are willing to “host RC” so we can hold events without being a formal club for now. However, for our own small meetings we meet in the library or cafeteria and this works very well. Students who are walking by often get interested in the conversation and stay.
Q: Can you give us some examples of events where you’ve been able to represent Ratio Christi under the umbrella of other campus ministries?
A: Some of our outreaches include Q&A panels. I’ve been hosted by other clubs to speak at bookstores and churches, and even when I speak independently I mention RC.
Last year at this event, an InterVarsity student who occasionally attended RC openly preached on “Who Jesus Really Is.” This year that student became very ill, causing him much pain and suffering and forcing him to drop out. But the student is now returning to speak on “Pain and Suffering in Regards to the Gospel.” He specifically asked for me to be invited to be on the Q&A panel after his message. Exciting!
But the RC students also reach out to those from other clubs for our own activities. For example…
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