The greater Philadelphia area is home to 80 colleges and universities with approximately 500,000 students. The burden of Chi Alpha Philly is to establish ministries at four major schools in Center City Philadelphia. The University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Temple University and the Community College of Philadelphia are home to 120,000 students. These four campuses are closely arrayed around the central business district of the city. The three universities have nationally recognized hospitals and medical schools; have outstanding colleges of business with Penn being home to the world-famous Wharton School; and international students from every part of the world are studying at these institutions. It is a stirring experience for us to be on campus for their “move in days” each fall to witness the energy and excitement at the start of the year. In the midst of the enthusiasm of the day, we are deeply moved with compassion for the multitudes without Christ.
The 2014-15 academic year was our first year to be a recognized ministry at the University of Pennsylvania and 2016-17 at Temple University. God has blessed us with dynamic students who join for weekly prayer, Bible study and one-to-one mentoring. Pray with us as we are in the process of approval so that a Chi Alpha chapter can launch at Drexel University in Spring 2019 and the Community College at a future date to be determined.
The focus or area of mission of Chi Alpha is to reach the lost; reach international students; protect our youth; and develop leaders. Each of these elements is central to the ministry of Chi Alpha Philly. One additional focus is to minister to faculty and staff on these campuses. Christian men and women in leadership on these secular campuses are seeking meaningful relationships to help them grow in the Lord in their academic environment. Interestingly, the four areas of mission stated above are exactly consistent with the needs of faculty as well.
One vital element to the success of Chi Alpha ministries on these campuses is the connection to and collaboration with local churches. We are blessed by the faithful support of God’s people as partners in reaching these campuses for Christ.
Philadelphia is home to one of the great symbols of American freedom – the Liberty Bell. Just as the inscription on the bell echoes Leviticus 25:10, “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” Chi Alpha Philly will proclaim liberty in Christ to all the inhabitants of Penn, Drexel, Temple and the Community College of Philadelphia!
Philip and Valerie McLeod,
Chi Alpha Campus Missionaries
Val and Phil McLeod are currently Assemblies of God U.S. Missionaries serving as Chi Alpha Campus Ministers to the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University in Philadelphia. This is a role they have filled for the past 5 years. The development and direction of educational ministry and leadership in the local church and Christian colleges for more than 40 years prepared them well for their role in campus ministry. Their ever-growing love for university students fuels their passion to see students transformed by the power of God. They have often echoed the words of the Chi Alpha National Ministry Director, E. Scott Martin, that "we find, feed and fight for the lost lambs of God."