A Brief History of Ratio Christi
A Brief History of Ratio Christi
Ratio Christi began at Appalachian State University in the spring of 2008 as the Reasonable Faith Apologetics Club. The idea was first initiated by a conversation between two ASU students, Randy Hardman and Meridith Cheek, about the need to address serious intellectual questions raised in the university as they pertained to Christianity. After some time of prayer, contemplation, and planning the Reasonable Faith Apologetics Club became a reality. As a college junior, Randy Hardman led weekly meetings of the club in the basement of the ASU Baptist Campus Ministry house for several months. With a core group of around ten students, the group began exploring deep questions related to God, Science, Scripture, Philosophy, etc. One of the members of the group, Brendon Helms, was moving to Charlotte, NC to pursue graduate work at Southern Evangelical Seminary and wanted to expand the group to the Charlotte region.
Randy and Brendon met several times over the summer to plan an expansion. With prayer and planning a club started at the UNC Charlotte campus in the fall. In this process, they decided to form a partnership with Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES). By July of 2008, the group became known as Ratio Christi (meaning the Reason of Christ). Before long, Ratio Christi was approached by several individuals seeking to place clubs at universities around the country. By the Fall of 2009, Ratio Christi had chapters at Appalachian State, UNC Charlotte, NC State, Ohio State, and Texas A&M. Since that time chapters have expanded to other universities around the nation, and in the Spring of 2010 Ratio Christi went international with a chapter established in South Africa at North-West University.
The growing interest for Ratio Christi chapters led all involved to the conclusion that Ratio Christi needed more than the efforts of part-time students. By October of 2010, the directors decided to start the process of becoming independent of SES. In February 2011, Ratio Christi became an independent 501(c)(3) with its own Board of Directors, and a new President.
Ratio Christi is on the cutting edge of apologetics evangelism at the university. Its goal is to open Ratio Christi chapters on over 500 university campuses in the next five years. Ratio Christi still maintains close ties with SES, and is developing relationships with other educational institutions and apologetic ministries including--Biola University, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Luther Rice University, Houston Baptist University, Veritas Evangelical Seminary, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Liberty University, Reason to Believe, Reasonable Faith, The Discovery Institute, RZIM, Summit Ministries, Logos Research Associates, and many others.
At the university, Ratio Christi serves as a catalyst for apologetics-related discussion. Weekly, hundreds of students meet to discuss culturally relevant issues related to history, science, philosophy, and theology and ask how they pertain to a biblical worldview and the truth of Christianity. Further, through campus-wide events, thousands of students and faculty interact with Christian thinkers on an objective, intellectual basis. Ratio Christi serves as a platform for many Christian thinkers to interact with the academy at large. To date, Ratio Christi has brought major Christian thinkers to the university such as Gary Habermas, Norman Geisler, William Lane Craig, Michael Brown, Frank Turek, Hugh Ross, William Dembski, and many others.
Within the first 90 days of being an independent organization, Ratio Christi has received its tax exempt determination letter from the IRS, raised nearly $40,000 in pledges and contributions and nearly tripled the number of chapters. On August 15, 2011, the Ratio Christi Board of Directors approved a plan to expand Ratio Christi by developing a "supported missionary model" to provide opportunities for hundreds of trained apologists to become full-time missionaries on university campuses. (See the announcement in our August 2011 Newsletter)
In Spring 2013, Ratio Christi International was launched to facilitate interest in the campus apologetics movement in many countries around the world.
In Summer 2013, Ratio Christi established the RC College Prep program to train high school students in Christian apologetics through placement of clubs in high schools, churches and communities under the guidance of mentors who have been trained by Ratio Christi in apologetics instruction to older youth.
As of December 2014, Ratio Christi has approximately 150 college chapters in various stages of development both in the United States and abroad.
Please join us in this exciting move of God by letting us know you are interested in helping by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.