“I attended a high school youth group. During this time of my life, however, I was ignoring my faith and drifting away from God. As a result, I was not engaged or eager to learn about the Christian faith.”

So says Jordan Andershock, but God had a plan for him. Jordan went on to become interested in apologetics. He later joined Ratio Christi at the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK ), became student president of that chapter, and has now been cited as one of RC’s outstanding students for 2017!

Jordan recently received our Legatus Christi certificate, a recognition of our students who prove themselves to be exceptional in their application of Christian apologetics as well as how to approach people and apply it to their own lives.   

Anna Kitko, the chapter director, explains why Jordan received this certificate:

“Jordan was chosen as our Legatus Christi recipient due to his outstanding perseverance in the study of Christian apologetics. Not only does Jordan regularly employ apologetics outside of club meetings, but he is also considering formally pursuing the study. Jordan possesses a heart for God and a mind for truth and we are so very pleased to commend him for this designation.”

Rather than labeling the LC certificate as an “award,” we consider it a challenge to go forth as an ambassador for Christ. We spoke with Jordan about his background and experience with learning apologetics.

Q: When did you find Christ as your Savior and how did that come about?

A: I became a Christian when I was eleven years old. From what I recall, I just felt convicted about what I was hearing at church on Sundays. I talked with my parents about it and we did some additional studying. I eventually just decided that there was no point in waiting anymore and got baptized. I don't remember the specifics that led to my decision, but I do remember after being baptized feeling the Spirit moving in me. I don't really know how to describe it other than I was the same person, but somehow different.

Q: How did you first get interested in apologetics?

A: During my first two years at college, I really struggled with my identity. I had learned things during my early Christian walk but was being challenged with many new worldviews. It was in this period where I began to search for meaning in life. I simply wanted to know if anything I did mattered. I tried to find purpose in many places such as my friends, different collegiate clubs, and success in academics. Everywhere I looked, however, failed to give me any meaning.

I vividly remember the moment when I realized that I didn't have to look for purpose. I had it all along in the person of Jesus. At that moment, I was literally changed. It was as though a fog had been removed. All of the pieces from throughout my fledgling Christian walk now came together and made sense. I had taken hold of my faith and was now actively walking with God. But I still needed answers. In fact, it was as I began to explain to my non-Christian friends what I believed that I realized I would need to do more research. I found many of the answers I was looking for through Ravi Zacharias' YouTube channel. This was my first experience with apologetics.

Q: Great! And then how did you get involved with RC?

A: It was about a year and a half later that the Ratio Christi chapter at the University of Tennessee was started. I hadn't found a dedicated apologetics club at UTK during that time. Ratio Christi's arrival was definitely a blessing to me, and I immediately joined once I found out about it. The rest is history.

Q: Describe what goes on in your chapter for us.

A: The UTK chapter is generally pretty flexible about what we cover. Our weekly session always starts with a pre-planned topic, but we never rush to finish the material at the expense of intergroup dialogue. Our group will explore and discuss as it is presented. For some topics we might not have any questions. Others will evoke hour-long debates about the material. If we find that there is a topic which we all really want to discuss, we will add it to our curriculum to be discussed during a future session. Our chapter has about seven or eight regular attendees. This makes it very easy to engage with other members, and the small size is something I love about our chapter.

Q: What does receiving the Legatus Christi certificate mean to you?

A: I am honored to have received it. Given the caliber of our students, I think anyone in our chapter could have received it. Most of the time I was being taught by my peers about the intricacies of some arcane subject in the field of apologetics which I had scarcely even heard about! To be chosen from among these outstanding servants of Christ is truly humbling, and I will do my best to live out this accolade daily.

Q: That brings up the challenging “Exponential Evangelism” component to Legatus Christi – i.e., that recipients of LC should have certain goals of using their apologetics for witnessing and building up others to follow them. How would you view this?

A: I didn’t really know about this before receiving the recognition. But honestly, I believe that supporting and building up others is the next logical step once you have answered your own questions through apologetics. In my own words, "Exponential Evangelism" is sharing your knowledge of Christ with others with the intent that they will be able to share it with even more people. This component of Legatus Christi is something I believe that every Christian should strive for in their faith.

Just as in the parable of the sower, we spread the Gospel far and wide with the knowledge that only a few will actually hear our words. The ones that do thrive in turn produce much fruit. This idea was recurrent in Jesus' ministry and is something he points to often. Thus, "Exponential Evangelism" is not something to pursue once you have attained a mystic-guru status, but rather it is the most basic command for all followers of Christ. 

Q: In what ways has apologetics enriched your life, your own faith and your witness to others?

A: Apologetics had enriched my life mainly through giving me truth and a way to share that truth with others. As Solomon says, "The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly." Making knowledge acceptable is always the hardest part.

Q: How do you think you will carry the apologetics you’ve learned into your future endeavors?

A: I am a computer scientist, so I mainly work and talk with highly educated individuals. In order for me to be an effective witness in this field, I must be able to respond to very complex questions about the Christian faith. This is how I see apologetics serving me in my future.

Q: Are you graduating now, or will you be back in RC next year?

A: I have graduated, so I won’t be returning to RC at UTK. My degree is in computer science. I do not plan to pursue further education at this time. But I would love to be able to plug into any RC chapter wherever I happen to find myself.

Q: Tell us anything else you’d like our readers to know:

A: I would like to give a shout out to my fellow club member and William Lane Craig doppelganger Davis Perrigo. Without his initial effort, the University of Tennessee Knoxville chapter of Ratio Christi would not exist. I am very grateful for the gumption he displayed in initiating our group.

Would you like to help support this chapter at UTK? Go here