Riley Ranzau: A Christian Concern

I, Wesley, met Riley Ranzau in Manhattan, Kansas while I was working to get a Ratio Christi club started at Kansas State University. Riley became one of our first club officers and helped the student organization operate and get recognized as an official student club on campus. 

Riley immediately stood out as a student who was able to take on responsibility and leadership. She was always excited to dive into the intricate discussions and eager to give a presentation on the scientific aspects that show Christianity to be true. I was impressed with her ability to take a resource and distil it to understandable and relatable chunks for her fellow students to understand the argument being made. 

One of the best attributes I see in Riley is her sensitivity and empathy toward others. She is a strong Christian and holds her Christian convictions deeply but never harshly or rudely when conversing with non-believers who would come to our club to discuss apologetics. One of the best presentations she gave at our club was on how to navigate difficult conversations in a loving and productive way. 

When did you come to Christ as Lord and Savior, and how did that come about? 

I grew up a nominal Christian but came into a genuine relationship with Christ during my freshman year of college after becoming involved in campus ministry and seeing the love for Christ and eternal purpose that my peers had because of their faith. I spent some time examining my own beliefs and soon after was able to get baptized, develop consistent time in the Word, and grow deeper fellowship with believers around me. 

In your high school church youth group, how much did you learn about the Christian faith and reasons to believe? 

I don’t recall ever spending time learning about apologetics or specific reasons to believe the Christian faith during youth group or church. During that period of my life, I think the rationale behind my willingness to accept the tenets of Christianity was limited to 1) my family claiming the Christian faith, and 2) my perception of Christianity as a beneficial to a person’s life. 

How did you become interested in apologetics, and how did you get involved with Ratio Christi? 

Prior to Ratio Christi, I hadn’t heard of apologetics, but since our chapter began I’ve grown to love it. A few years ago, Ben Pankratz, who started our chapter at Kansas State, sent out messages in group chats about starting an apologetics club. I googled the definition of apologetics, showed up to the first meeting, and the rest is history! 

What impact has the Ratio Christi College ministry had on your walk with God and your ministry? 

Ratio Christi has helped me significantly to better understand the reasoning behind my faith and expand the strength and depth of my convictions. It’s also increased my love for Christ and my eagerness and ability to help others know God too. The more I study apologetics, the more my sense of awe for who God is and what He’s done grows! I’m also now more equipped and 

confident in my ability to defend the Christian faith and to make the most of every conversation I get to have with people. 

What is this RC chapter like? 

Our chapter at K-State emphasizes not only building a solid defense for the Christian faith but also applying what we learn in conversations with people whose worldviews are different than our own, and doing so in a Christlike manner. That’s one of the things I appreciate and admire most about our members! We also engage in quite a bit of discussion regarding differing viewpoints on theology among ourselves, and that’s been a great way to learn too. 

What were some of your favorite areas of involvement with your local RC chapter? 

Many of our chapters’ meetings include discussion among members where we’re able to share different ideas and learn from each other, and that’s something I really appreciate. We’ve also been able to table at university events and evangelize on campus, and the times that I’ve gone were really great, and I appreciated being able to discuss some of these things I’m passionate about with a wide variety of people. A few of our members have also been active in talking to LDS members, and the times I’ve done that were difficult but undeniably meaningful and educational as well. 

What does your Legatus Christi award mean to you? 

I’m incredibly grateful to be receiving the Legatus Christi award! It gives me confidence that my involvement in Ratio Christi has had a tangible difference in my life and my ability to defend Christianity in love. 

How do you envision taking the apologetics you have learned through Ratio Christi into your future endeavors? 

I hope to continue applying apologetics by being intentional during the conversations I have with people around me who don’t know Christ. My goal is to make the most of every opportunity I have to talk to someone about their worldview, being wise to discern where they’re at and then do what I can to help them progress toward Christ. 

What are your short and long-term career/ministry/mission plans? 

I’m hoping to go to PA school and eventually work as a physician assistant, but I plan to continue sharing the gospel and truth of Christianity with friends, family, and people I meet in the workplace and surrounding community. Another thing I’ve really enjoyed throughout my time at college has been investing in international students, and I hope to continue that in some capacity too. 

Would you consider returning to work with your RC chapter, starting one at another school, or working with RC in any other capacity? 

I would definitely consider working with Ratio Christi in the future, although I’m not exactly sure what that would look like. In any case, I would love to contribute to the mission of RC wherever I am, whether that be through formal association with the organization or simply 

continuing to study apologetics, teach others, and encourage evangelism among the people in my life. 

What would you say to other students who might be considering getting involved in Ratio Christi, whether they be skeptics, seekers, or believers? 

Don’t hesitate to get involved! If you’re a skeptic, you will find a group of people eager to engage with you and explore different ideas for the purpose of seeking truth together. If you’re a seeker, you will find people who have and still are working through some of their own doubts and who would love to walk through and study some of those things with you. And if you’re a believer, you will find a community that cherishes deep spiritual and intellectual conversations, is growing in Christ, and is eager to share gospel with the world!

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