In October 2017, Ratio Christi College Prep hosted their first ever Equipping Gen Z: RC's Applied Apologetics Speaker Training conference. 

Ratio Christi College Prep (RCCP) is our high school apologetics division. Conceived in 2013, this apologetics training for mentors has become highly successful, with over 30 fully functioning high school clubs today in the U.S. The purpose is to prepare youth for the intellectual challenges to their faith which they will likely face when reaching the college or university campus.

RCCP functions differently than our college chapters, which are usually led by chapter directors with certifications or degrees in apologetics or other theological fields. RCCP is training lay leaders to mentor high schoolers. Parents, grandparents, clergy, even older siblings and other college students can be trained. In fact, we’ve had some of our RCCP high school students go on to mentor younger people and start RC college chapters.

Whenever someone becomes a Ratio Christi mentor, they receive interactive training to equip them to use apologetics in youth ministry. Through hosting several previous sessions, RCCP leaders Michael Sherrard and Kevin Duffy have refined the training into a conference to improve the experience for attendees.

“We cut down the time. We really trimmed the fat. It’s a well-oiled machine now,” Sherrard explained. “It’s ready to just grow.”

Through this refining process, Duffy and Sherrard identified the need for more people to train mentors. This new training is meant to equip people who have already become mentors to train mentors. There is a lot to be excited about in the apologetics world, and we should be encouraged by the younger generation. “They are passionate, romantic, and idealistic. They think the world can be changed,” Sherrard said.

While churches may have the need for apologetics to feed the minds of their students, pastors are busy and overwhelmed. Duffy referred to Simon Sinek's Golden Circle, a method for effective promotion and marketing, and suggested that rather than telling people what you do, start with why you do it.

Duffy also referenced his Ratio Christi College Prep ministry partner, Living Out Acts: Student Apologetics, to show the effectiveness of this strategy.  “We used this strategy in our high school ministry… It worked for them. It continues to work for them… We broke it down this way: We connect with people to make an impact in their lives and change the world.’” (See what Living Out Acts is up to here.)  

Truly, that’s what apologetics has the power to do—change the world. If you would like to be a part of that experience, become an RCCP mentor! You can also donate to Ratio Christi to make a difference.