Ratio Christi is a team of apologists and evangelists looking to transform culture. Our goal is to see Christianity thriving on every college campus. In the recent past it was common for people to freely express their competing ideas in civil discourse. Now it is commonplace to see professors, students, and administrations actively drowning out the voices of Christians...and it’s working. Christian college students are leaving the church at record rates. For many, this departure results from the hostile, anti-Christian environment at many universities.

For the Christian, it’s almost impossible to be heard above this noise. But change does not happen by being louder. It is instead the steady, reasoned voice of the trained apologist who will transform our culture. Join your voice with Ratio Christi by donating today. Ratio Christi has the experience and specialized training needed to debate the anti-Christian arguments inundating university students. Unite your voice with Ratio Christi and help ensure the Gospel is heard on college campuses.

The state of the college campus

Today, students at our college campuses are turning away from Christianity in droves. Statistics in various studies show that an average between 60-75 percent of students leave their Christian faith behind during college.1 The percentage is almost a direct match to the number of secular professors. Approximately 70 percent of college professors call the Bible a book of untrue fables.2 As for the high school years, the age at which many students have grave doubts about Christianity is growing increasingly younger - many students put on a good act in their high school youth groups, but admit in anonymous surveys that they don't share their parents' faith by ages 15-18.3


What can we do?

It can feel a bit unnerving when we turn on the television, pull up social media, read popular literature, or even stroll around in public. We wonder how people can enjoy what now passes as entertainment. We ask, do people really believe what they verbally espouse? These experiences can leave one with a fearful uncertainty. But as believers, we are called to engage culture, not run from it.

Let’s be clear: Each person in the Ratio Christi family has watched the society at-large and felt a pit in the stomach. We recognize our nation’s drift from its founding principles. We know our culture is comprised of individuals experiencing an emptiness that only Christ can fill. And we are spurred to action. Our RC family includes supported missionaries, national staff, volunteers, and partners offering prayer and material support. Our energy is devoted to making a difference in the spiritual lives of young Christians. These include some of our brightest minds, whether in high school, at the university, or around the world.  Our end goal is to help prepare the next generation of Christian leaders.

Ratio Christi on college campuses

           

“Being part of Ratio Christi has been very exciting for me. I finally found that there are truly satisfying answers to my questions, that there are so many more perspectives available than I thought there were, and that civil discourse is possible. Ratio Christi definitely showed me how hungry I had been for this ministry and opened many doors for me.” Jessica T., RC student at Rutgers University, New Jersey

Since 2011, Ratio Christi has worked to create a unified movement, across multiple fronts, with the goal of taking back the university for Christ. To demonstrate our unity, we created a vision statement that speaks to our ultimate purpose and goal, and how we will approach making that a reality. “Thoughtful Christianity – Transforming Lives on Campus Today, Changing Culture Tomorrow.”

It started with the establishment of campus clubs where students learned how to defend their faith. Students showed persistence even while feeling the harassment of an increasingly secular student body, and an often indifferent university system. This is the front line of our ministry, where our staff of highly trained apologists debates atheists, agnostics, and others. But our mission doesn’t end there. We don’t want to win arguments, we want to win hearts. If we can do that by sharing a meal or a hug with a student, we don’t hesitate. Our efforts have now grown to nearly 150-160 campus clubs -- from active, well-established chapters to those with growing interest -- each with a clear and united voice on their respective campuses. Currently, our plans are to double the number of campus clubs within the next three years. And we can’t do it alone. Donate today to keep the next generation of the Church from walking away.

Universities have professors, too

Bill Bright, the founder of CRU (formerly Campus Crusade) once said if he could do it all over again, he would start with the college professors. What Dr. Bright realized was that the professors have a profound influence on how students shape their worldviews.  Ratio Christi has responded to that need by developing a ministry specifically for college professors. The purpose is to develop missional professors -- those who understand and believe their work is an extension of their personal calling and ministry.

As Dr. Tom Simpson, Professor in the Department of Economics and Finance at UNC-Wilmington stated, “When given the opportunity, the argument for the Christian worldview is highly compelling on philosophical and scientific grounds. I am extremely thankful that Ratio Christi has come along to present the case for Christ effectively, and that it is building a vibrant faculty ministry to assist in its efforts to reach all corners of the campus in the United States and beyond."

Ratio Christi across the globe

RC has gone global and now has chapters in nine different countries - four in South Africa alone - and at multiple universities such as the University of Manila in the Philippines. Each year we are excited to see an increasing number of students and professors uniting their voices in proclaiming the clear and evident reasons for proclaiming Christ.

In fact, we just received this report from our Philippines Director Ramon Margallo: "We now have 26 students enrolled for 2019 to do their M.A. in Apologetics program in Manila! God is good!"

Team members of Ratio Christi have also traveled to such distant places as Russia, Indonesia and England to be with and support their local brothers and sisters in Christ. Whether in their humble villages or the large cities, there is always a unity of thought and spirit that can only be realized through Christ. It is inspiring to realize that on each Sunday, as the world turns to face the light of the new day, each nation, each town, and each village brings forth songs of resounding praise for our Savior. Though miles apart, we still unite our voices as one people with one message. We at RC are humbled and honored to be a part of making these voices a bit stronger and louder, not only for this generation but for generations to come.

Preparing students before college

The work of Ratio Christi doesn’t just occur at the university, but with high school students in our local communities. The unsettling statistics show that many first-year college students walk away from their faith because they are unequipped to stand firm from an earlier age. This is heightened by the pressures of secular thought. To counter this challenge, Ratio Christi has developed a division of the ministry specifically geared to high school students. We call this RC College Prep, or RCCP. We partner with local churches to prepare students. They learn how to handle the scientific, philosophical, and historical reasons for Christ. They master the skills of countering the skeptics, agnostics, and atheists in a thoughtful and civil way. As Madison B., an RC Prep student who attends a church-affiliated group in North Carolina stated:

“Learning apologetics has not only helped me grow in my personal relationship with Christ but has also helped me have numerous conversations with unbelievers and given me compelling evidence for the existence of God, the reliability of the Bible, and so much more!  I strongly believe that if it wasn’t for apologetics, I would not be an effective witness for Christ.”

So here we are, coming full circle with the mission and vision of RC. Back to the university and the nearly 200 campus clubs that serve as a light in an increasingly dark and hostile environment. As Glenn Smith, our Regional Director and RC Chapter Director at Texas A & M, aptly observed, "The war for the mind has no more intense battlefield than on the university campus. The students are surrounded by a screaming chorus of voices, which do their best to drown out the still, small voice of God. Just this week a new student showed up at our regular meeting, telling us that she was a Christian, but most of her friends were atheists or agnostics. She was familiar with the arguments from the skeptics and was searching for a well-reasoned defense of the faith. She was hungry for answers, and before she found Ratio Christi, had not found anywhere else that could supply them.”

In reflecting beyond Texas A & M, Glenn went on to say that, “These types of students are everywhere, because the university campus is permeated with every kind of worldview, and few sources for a reasoned defense of the Christian faith. Apologetics on campus is one of the greatest challenges in our world today and has a great potential for reward."

As a part of the work of RC on campus, we work to identify specific students who excel in learning to skillfully apply their apologetics training. For these students, special recognition is given in the form of being awarded the Legatus Christi certificate. For many, their dedication and calling lead them into full-time ministry, some with Ratio Christi. But joyfully, it can even mean the salvation of one more soul entering into eternity. 

For Zachary L., an RC student at Texas A & M, it meant just that. In his words, “Apologetics brought me to faith and made me a much better thinker in all areas of my life. My time in Ratio Christi has been one of the most fulfilling parts of my college experience.”

What greater purpose can a ministry serve than to provide the environment for unbelieving students to come to faith and for Christian students to be strengthened and equipped? As a result, these students are becoming the next generation of Christian leaders and will help to shape the culture tomorrow. Will you help?

Unite with Ratio Christi to help bring the Christian worldview back to universities and high schools. UPDATE: Matching Grant available! For a limited time, we have an offer from someone to match all donations, dollar for dollar up to $22,000! 

 




(In the photos: Top photo - RC leadership team at University of North Carolina-Wilmington in March 2018; center photo left - RC students at Colorado State in August 2017; center photo right - RC chapter meeting at Clemson University in fall 2018.) 

Footnotes: 

1 (a) "Youth Exodus Problem," Dr. Frank Turek, CrossExamined.org, https://crossexamined.org/youth-exodus-problem/, Retrieved 10/17/18; (b) "Ministries tackle 70% rate of college students leaving faith," One News Now, Michael F. Haverluck, 8/13/17, https://www.onenewsnow.com/church/2017/08/13/ministries-tackle-70-rate-of-college-students-leaving-faith, Retrieved 10/17/18; (c) "Connecting youth to college ministries," Campus Renewal Ministries, citing Gallup and Barna polls, https://www.campusrenewal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Campus-Renewal-Campus-Link-Grant-Proposal.pdf, Retrieved 10/17/18.

2 (a) "Liberal professors outnumber conservatives nearly 12 to 1, study finds," Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, 10/6/16, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/6/liberal-professors-outnumber-conservatives-12-1/, Retrieved 10/1/18; (b) "Psychologists are the least religious of American Professors," Patheos.com, Epiphenom section, 5/30/09, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/epiphenom/2009/05/psychologists-are-least-religious-of.html, Retrieved 10/17/18; (c) "How Religious are America’s College and University Professors?" Neil Gross, Solomon Simmons, Social Science Research Council, 2/6/07, http://religion.ssrc.org/reforum/Gross_Simmons.pdf, Retrieved 10/17/18.

3 (a) Ibid, 1c; (b) "Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity?" Cold Case Christianity, J. Warner Wallace, 1/29/18, http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/are-young-people-really-leaving-christianity/, Retrieved 10/15/18.