New York Times best-selling author Lee Strobel is teaming up with Colorado Christian University to launch an unprecedented new center for evangelism and apologetics, with the goal of fueling a spiritual renewal in America.
“Who is the next Billy Graham? It is millions of contagious Christians who are trained, equipped, and deployed,” said Strobel. “We have a vision to fulfill this mission as quickly as possible.”
The Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics will offer accredited courses on the undergraduate and graduate levels—all designed to help churches, ministries, and individual Christians share and defend their faith naturally and effectively.
CCU is the preeminent interdenominational Christian university in the Rocky Mountain region, with an online impact that spans the globe. “We stand within the great tradition of Christian universities who are serious about faith and the gospel, and we’re thrilled to have Lee Strobel join our team,” said CCU President Don Sweeting. “Strobel’s background as a former atheist, portrayed in the book and film The Case for Christ, gives him valuable insight into how to reach people who are far from God.”
Described in the Washington Post as “one of the evangelical community’s most popular apologists,” Strobel has authored more than forty books and curricula that have sold nearly 14 million copies, including The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, and The Case for Miracles. The Yale-trained former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune also has been a teaching pastor at three of the largest and most evangelistic churches in the country.
The Center’s executive director is Strobel’s long-time ministry associate Mark Mittelberg, the best-selling author of such books as Confident Faith, The Reason Why Faith Makes Sense, and The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask (With Answers).
Through their Becoming a Contagious Christian training course, Strobel and Mittelberg have already equipped nearly two million Christians worldwide in how to reach others with the gospel. They have also led the outreach and apologetics efforts of one of the largest and most outreach-oriented churches in America, and for three decades have innovated evangelism and apologetics conferences, training seminars, national simulcasts, and outreach events.
Strobel explained that the word apologetics comes from a Greek term used in the Bible for defending the faith—something, he added, that’s needed more than ever in our increasingly skeptical nation. “We’re focusing on what we’re calling ‘applied apologetics,’ which means we’re going to equip Christians who will be actively engaged in the marketplace of ideas—in local churches and communities, in the media, in the entertainment world, on the Internet, and throughout popular culture,” he said.
Strobel and Sweeting agreed that CCU is the perfect home for the new center. Explained Sweeting: “It is a Strategic Priority of Colorado Christian University to share the love of Christ on campus and around the world, and to teach our students to be evangelists. The Strobel Center at CCU is an incredible vehicle to enable us to make new strides to achieve these priorities.”
One of the Center’s unique objectives is to train and certify evangelism directors for local churches, who will serve full-time, part-time or on a volunteer basis in partnership with the senior pastor in order to mobilize the church to reach their community for Christ.
“We believe in the power of leadership,” Mittelberg said. “The senior pastor can’t do everything himself. We want to equip, mentor, and deploy leaders who will work creatively and effectively under the direction of the senior pastor to reach everyone with the gospel.”
To facilitate that training, the Center’s courses will be offered through CCU Online so that people from all backgrounds and stages of life can study from the convenience of their own home. “The Center will feature the latest and most creative technology, the most current and proven content, and live interaction with passionate and credentialed educators,” Strobel said.
Other unique features of the Center include organizing a Think Tank, composed of leading Christian scholars, innovators, and practitioners, to collaborate on fresh ways of explaining and spreading the gospel, as well as hosting national conferences to share best practices and encourage churches in saturating their communities with the Christian message.
Founded in 1914, Colorado Christian University provides Christ-centered higher education that transforms students to impact the world with grace and truth. Located in Lakewood, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, CCU is consistently ranked in the top 2 percent of colleges nationwide for its core curriculum by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.
CCU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees for traditional and adult students through its College of Undergraduate Studies and College of Adult and Graduate Studies. More than 8,000 students attend the University on the main campus, in regional centers throughout Colorado, and online. The Strobel Center’s courses are expected to begin Fall 2020.