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In the late 1960s and early 1970s, God’s Spirit was at work in vibrant ways. The “Jesus People” grew as a colorful subculture, the Civil Rights Movement fused faith to action, the Catholic Church saw pockets of charismatic revival, and targeted outreach—to high school students, steelworkers, and country-club businessmen—bridged “Sunday morning Christianity” to the rest of people’s lives.  

It was truly a time of revival.

But churches noticed a disturbing trend—teenagers were discovering  Jesus in high school, but losing their faith in college. In response to this need, the Coalition for Christian Outreach was born in March of 1971. Its goal was “to provide trained Christian leadership for the college campus” with the hope that “the body of Christ will be the vehicle of a Christian revolution.”

For the past 51 years, the CCO has always been about Christian revolution on campus—though this language is admittedly more evocative of the 1970s! Today we talk about “transforming college students to transform the world,” or “calling students to serve Jesus Christ with their entire lives.” 

The revolution continues because the Spirit is still at work, and—we believe—with the coming of GenZ to campus, the opportunity for revival is before us once again

Our history makes us ready. 

A commitment to the incarnational proclamation of the Gospel, deep partnership with the local church, and an unbroken continuum between evangelism and whole-life discipleship—these elements of the CCO’s DNA equip us to participate in what God will do next, in this generation.

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