History of Campus Life

  • In 1958, Bill Eakin, a Youth for Christ director from Akron, Ohio, became Jack Hamilton’s Field Director for the high school ministry of YFC. That same year, Bill, Jack and others wrote the first club manuals.
     
  • During the early 60s Youth for Christ’s ministry was almost exclusively with Christian teens and the religiously oriented. Recognizing this, some significant changes were made.
    • Youth for Christ Bible clubs became an outreach strategy know as Campus Life, first trademarked in 1965 in San Diego, CA.
    • Youth for Christ magazine was changed to Campus Life, focusing on the four areas of a balanced life: mental, physical, spiritual and social.
    • “Teen to Teen” and the balanced life became our Biblical and philosophical base.
       
  • In 1966, Bill Eakin wrote and produced the “2 plus 2” format. This plan designed 2 meetings a month of Insight for Christian teens and 2 meetings each month of Impact for evangelism outreach. (Men that pioneered these concepts were Ken Overstreet, Jim Green, Mike Yaconelli, Larry Ballenger, and Clayton Baumann.)
     
  • In 1967, Sam Wolgemuth, president of YFC, appointed the first campus division staff. This provided for a tremendous step forward in the development of manuals.
     
  • Beginning in the early 70s and through 1980, Campus Life built upon its new name and base. This period was marked by a boom in club attendance. Many large clubs were developed and the emergence of multiple staffs took place.
     
  • In the early 80s Youth for Christ also launched a new program called Junior Varsity, which in some areas was called Campus Life / JV. There were chapters around the country that had done middle school ministry for years, but in 1983 YFC consolidated its grass roots experience into a manual called Junior Varsity.
     
  • The end of the 80s established middle school ministry as a prominent program of Youth for Christ.
     
  • In the 1990s Bill Muir, Senior Vice-President for Ministry, empowered a standing national task force to define what was non-negotiable about Campus Life. Consequently, in 1994 the Campus Life task force affirmed that “Relational Ministry Actions” (adapted from 1980s work done under the heading, "Key Result Areas") were the basic building blocks for responsible relational evangelism. Part time national directors at the time were Mick Baker (Campus Life) and Bob Craft (Campus Life JV). Kevin Flannagan and Louis Chaney, task force members during this crystallizing period of Campus Life's development, succeeded Baker and Craft, respectively, as part time national directors by the end of the decade.
     
  • In 2005, the USA Ministry Team developed the Five Essentials for faithful and sustainable ministry sites (Widespread Prayer, Loving Relationships, Faithful Bible Teaching, Adults Who Empower, and Collaborative Community Strategy).
     
  • In 2005, Dave Ramseyer was hired as the full time National Campus Life High School Director, strengthening the commitment to resource the national movement of Campus Life.
     
  • Ali King served three years as the part-time National CLMS Director. Allison Johnson is now in this position and it has moved to full-time.

Want to know more? Read the complete history of Youth For Christ

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