RUF SuCo 2019 Week 2

"This seminar will was full of honesty and hard biblical truth! It spoke wisdom into my life!"

You have the opportunity to attend one 4-day seminar and two 2-day seminars from these listings. 

Cyril Chavez Teaching

4-Day Seminars

Four Day Seminars 

I Am RUF (And So Can You!) - Ben Robertson, College of William & Mary  RUF is a ministry for you. It is also a ministry through you. This seminar is for those on a ministry team or who want to be active members of RUF who contribute to RUF's mission. What do you love about your school? What grieves you about it, or how do you wish it would change? How can RUF apply the Gospel to enhance what you love and bring healing to the things you grieve? What are the mechanics of how that can come about? And what role could you play in being part of that? We'll take a bird's-eye view of why RUF exists at all (our "Philosophy of Ministry"), brainstorm ways to love our campuses well, and get some practical tools for how you personally can contribute to RUF now and the church in the future.

Dealing With Your Doubts & Defeaters - John Meinen, University of Vermont  A defeater is anything that makes Christianity seems implausible or untrue. Join us as we "shake out our shoes" and deal with some of those nagging questions and doubts that make it hard for us to follow Jesus.

Covenant Theology: Putting the Pieces of the Bible in Place - Jeff Jordan, Mississippi College - Sixty six books. Two testaments. Hundreds of laws. Unpronounceable names (ever heard of Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz?). The Bible can be overwhelming. This seminar will not answer all of your questions, but it will provide a framework that can help you make sense of what God is saying through his word.

The Good News of Sharing Christ - Ryan Anderson, Texas Christian University  Talking to others about Jesus can be confounding! Why is it SO hard to speak about Jesus to the ones we love? In this seminar, we'll look at the topic of evangelism and find a few ways to better practice it. When you're done, you'll never struggle again with it (kidding). But, hopefully, your desire to do share will grow, as you trust that Jesus is working through you.

Means of Grace - Josiah Carey, Tulane University and Ross Lockwood, Western Kentucky University This seminar will look at the ways God has given us to grow in our love for Jesus: the 'means of grace.'

Sanctification: How God Grows Us - Ben Coppedge, University of Georgia  One of the biggest questions we face is, "Can I change and grow?"  Even if you get a positive answer to these questions, even trickier questions of "HOW do I change?" pop up and unleash a flood of other confusions.  Is my growth the result of GOD working on me or ME working on me? Or both? Should I be DOING something to grow or is that legalism? If I'm alive in Jesus, why does it feel like change is either impossible or impossibly slow?  Is God disappointed at my lack of progress in the Christian life? These aren’t mere hypotheticals--they're the angsty questions all of us carry in our hearts. Join us as we explore the practical and personal ways God changes us in our journey of sanctification.

Christian Maturity - Nate Bower, University of Akron  What does it mean to be a mature Christian? Does it mean that I should be married, financially stable, involved in church leadership, and never struggling with assurance and peace? How does your conception of Christian Maturity match up with the diverse group of faithful Christians we find in the Bible? Come and hear what the Bible really says about Christian maturity and discover how we pursue maturity in Christ ourselves every day.

Love Thy Neighbor - Chris Horne, Appalachian State University and Olivia Shields, Baylor University  In a time of cultural hostility and division the Christian community has an opportunity to be a force for love, unity and truth. Join us as we explore how the church can become less judgmental and more welcoming.

Friendship - Chuck Askew, North Carolina State University and Amanda DeYoung, Wesleyan College  Ever feel lonely, even though you have lots of friends (whether Facebook or real)? Ever get frustrated about not being able to talk about certain things with your best friend? Or when thinking about who your best friend might be, do you wonder if Netflix counts? In this seminar, we'll look at the hows and whys of friendship from a Christian perspective.

The Story of The Church - Danny Hindman, University of Wisconsin Madison  This seminar is about how the Church got to where it is today: what's happened over the last 2,000 years (!) and what difference it makes for us now.  Its a messy history because it is deeply human, but its also a story of God's deep and patient love for his people. Our time together will help make sense of differences among Christians and give you a grid for deciding which church you should be a part of.

The Bible Tells Me So - Andrew Shank, Western Carolina University   In this seminar, we'll be asking two questions: what is the Bible, and why should we trust it? We'll discuss things like when and how the Bible was written, when and how the Bible was copied and transmitted to us, how translations work, and more. We'll also talk about how to interpret and study the Bible, as well as how to read it devotionally. Join us!

Depression & Anxiety - David Ely, Furman University  Depression & Anxiety are 2 different, although often inter-related experiences for many of us. How is it that Jesus can forgive all my sin, and yet I still (or someone I love) experience such devastating inner pain?! What is my realistic hope for the experience of depression (whether acute, chronic, or seasonal) and anxiety (that nagging sense of dreaded anticipation) as a Christian? This seminar aims to help ground us in God's Story, and to hear personal stories, as a key way to working through Depression & Anxiety.


Staying 'Woke' with Hope - Charles McKnight, West Charlotte Church  Long before activists began calling us to “stay woke,” Jesus commanded his followers to do so. Jesus knew that the faithfulness of his followers would be seriously threatened in this world after he left. Jesus prepares them for these threats in a jarring speech given on the Mount of Olives just days before his crucifixion. In this final speech, Jesus calls his followers then and now to ‘stay woke’ to these threats with a hope in God’s promises. Join us as we explore the specific ‘wokes’ and ‘hopes’ that Jesus calls us to embrace as we look to follow him more faithfully in our world.

The Enneagrammed Disciple: A Journey of Self-Understanding as a Follower of Jesus - Sammy Rhodes, South Carolina  Whether you are Enneagram curious, or the expert that forces your friends to take tests to figure out their type, come join us as we talk about the different Enneagram types, how they tend to do life and relationship, and how a personality test can help us grow in our grasp of the love of Jesus.

2-Day Seminars

Two Day Seminars

Identity - Matt Howell, University of Tennessee Knoxville  Relating to yourself is complicated.  We are simultaneously obsessed with ourselves (‘what enneagram number am I’?) and ashamed of ourselves (‘I am such an idiot.’).  How might the gospel of grace revolutionize how you see and understand yourself? Join us as we explore what it means to find your identity in Christ.

The Sanctuary, the City, and the Street: Worship, Culture, and Ordinary Life - Joel Littlepage Grace Mosaic, Washington, DC, Melissa Littlepage, The Institute for Cross-Cultural Mission  Why do we do the things we do in worship, what do they mean, and how do they form us as the people of God? How can we pray and work towards a unified expression of worship in the midst of cultural diversity and division in 2019 America? And how can the leaders and participants of worship today reclaim a vision and practice of cross-cultural, transcultural, contextual, and counter-cultural worship? This seminar will answer those questions and equip participants with practices and resources to move our communities towards a worship that unites people along lines of difference and forms people for a life of glorifying and enjoying the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the sanctuary, the city, and the street.

The Upside Down Christian Life - Brian Sorgenfrei, University of Mississippi and Caroline White, University of Kentucky  Does trying to follow Jesus ever feel so backwards from everything else? Do you ever think, "this can't be the way it's supposed to feel?" Come and join us as we help make sense of how life with Jesus can feel so backwards. Weakness is strength, the last is first, death is life, failure can be good news.

Christianity, Art, and the Artist - John Craft, Rhodes College  Does being a Christian affect how we view art, how we interact with pop culture, and how we create art? Many believe faith hinders the creativity of artists, whether you are a painter, writer, director, musician, actor, etc. In this seminar, we will not only discuss how to interact with art/pop culture, but why it is important and beneficial for one's faith( or can negatively lead to elitism and self-indulgence). We will also discuss why we need more Christians to create great art (and not necessarily as "christian artists").

Technology: An Amplifier of the Heart - SJ Lim, Washington University  The technological revolution has arguably impacted our society more quickly and profoundly than any prior revolution. Technology has altered the way we process information, handle relationships, transact finances and economies, examine our ethical questions, and much more. Is there a biblical perspective on how should we think about and use technology in a decidedly technological world? Come explore this question with others.

Gospel and Politics - Scott Morris, University of Oklahoma  Should I even care about politics? What are my responsibilities as a citizen in a representative democracy AND the kingdom of Jesus? Politics is nothing more or less than our (flawed) human effort to build a just society: "What are kingdoms without justice? They’re just gangs of bandits." - Saint Augustine. Christians participate in politics " the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men..." (Daniel 4:17), while acknowledging that our true citizenship is in heaven with Jesus. No promises that we'll answer all your questions, but we're going to lay out a stance and a rubric for you to engage with politics as a follower of Jesus!

Beauty and Body Image - Ellie Stackhouse, University of Tennessee Knoxville  It doesn't take an in depth study to find that we are all operating out of some base layer of self-image problems. We have been told by others, cultural expectations, and most harshly ourselves that we are not enough here, too much there, or to just focus on what's inside. In this seminar we will take a break from those voices. Together we will look holistically at how God cares for and uses our embodiment, and how that then inform the way we view others, ourselves and true beauty. Women only.

Singleness - Lucas Dourado, University of Connecticut  Although Jesus and Paul were both single, and there are more single adults today than ever, single people in our culture and in the Church often feel minimized, like we have not fully arrived until we’ve found our bae. What does the Bible say about being single and how single people uniquely contribute to God’s Kingdom? How can single people live out their calling faithfully, whether they hope to be married or feel called to singleness? How should all Christians think about singleness and love our single friends?

Sexuality: Shame & Desire (women only)  - Leslie Janikowsky, Rhodes College and Laura Sharrett, Emory University  Our culture is obsessed with sex. The storyline it gives about the hook-up culture, dating, singleness, pornography, and masturbation sends us to shame and abuse rather than freedom. God doesn't hate our desires and isn't holding out on us in the Biblical ethic of sex. How does God define us and give us freedom in the Gospel and what does faithful living look like in a world that defines us sexually?

Stuck in Sin? - Heath McLaughen, University of North Carolina Charlotte  Why can't we stop doing the same sin over and over? Are we still even Christian? The gospel has good news for us too.

Modern Day Discipleship: Habits of Purpose in an Age of Contradictions - Mike Ford, University of Arkansas and Robert Cunningham, University of Virginia  We live in an age of contradictions. While droves of people are pouring themselves into their work seeking fulfillment and meaning, research reveals ever increasing levels of discontentment, emptiness, and enslavement to work. While social media and smartphones speak grandiose promises about connection and networking, research reveals increasingly strong correlations between smartphones and loneliness, anxiety, and depression. While rapid technological advancements purport to make our lives easier and better, increasingly high rates of boredom and aimlessness are reported among younger generations. We believe these contradictions are just symptoms of a deeper problem in our modern world: we've forgotten what it means to be finite, limited, dependent creatures. In the midst of this puzzling situation what's needed is a retrieval of basic, ancient Christian discipleship, habits of purpose that push against the damaging effects of these contradictions toward lives of self-giving love of God and neighbor.

Committing to the Bride of Christ - Wes Calton, Kennesaw State University  One of the ways the Bible often talks about the church is through the lens of a marriage. But do you feel like you can't stop dating the church or like that’s not even a relationship you're looking to get into right now? Why even bother? We'll consider why Jesus wants us to care about and commit to the church and some practical ways to go about finding a church.

Work Matters - Shane Hatfield, Oklahoma State University  Many college students struggle to answer basic questions about picking a major, career, job etc. God's plan for their future seems confusing, mysterious and worrisome.  In this 2 day seminar we will spend the first day exploring the Biblical theology behind work and the second day getting practical about work- finding a major, a job and a career that fits our identities in Christ.

Asian American Christianity: A Varied and Nuanced Story - Mike Park, Grace Mosaic, Washington DC The conversation on racial reconciliation is a much-needed one. However, the black-white binary obfuscates the larger issue, one that requires other voices to better reflect the glorious church promised in the new heavens and the new earth. With Asian Americans being the fastest growing racial group in the United States, and with a significant percentage of Korean Americans in our denomination, PCA must meaningfully engage Asian American Christians to live out the Great Commission together as a diverse Body of Christ. The first step to gospel-partnership is knowing the Asian American history, including the various immigration experiences, that have shaped the Asian American identity. In this seminar, we will unpack the complex story of Asian American Christianity and the different ways you can know and love Asian American Christians on your campus to partner with them for the Kingdom.

Biblical Missions: Called to Care for Our Neighbor and the Nations - Dale Hollenbeck, MTW  A biblical journey to discover what God has revealed about His purpose through the story of the Bible. His purposes become more clear when they are seen in the timeline of the Bible's story.  We will see how our biblical calling comes from our purpose, and shapes how we love our neighbor, and the nations.

God's Cross Cultural Community - Russ Whitfield, Grace Mosaic, Washington DC  No matter where you are headed after graduation, you will be walking into an ever- diversifying context. God has called his church to be a missionary community in the midst of these multi-ethnic places of work and culturally diverse neighborhoods. But how can you be faithful to God's calling over your life as you live in this globalized society? How can you grow in the grace of the Lord and advance his kingdom through engaging cross-culturally? Have you considered the fresh gospel- perspective that opens up when you see life and Scripture through a cross-cultural lens? Join us as we consider how the gospel equips us to build, and belong to, God’s cross-cultural community.