Campus Crusades for Christ


My daughters swim coach wants her - well, the whole team, actually - to attend a swim camp at a nearby University. The camp is run by the local Campus Crusade for Christ there on campus. Our coach will be one of the coaches at the camp.

It’s for one week in June. They swim all day and in the evening have christian related activities that are some how tied in to the sport.

Should I be concerned from a theological stand point? Does anybody know anything about these Crusade for Christ college groups??

Could I contact the Neumann center at the university and get more info from then??


Depending on how strong your daughter is in her faith, there might be cause for concern. On my campus (University of Illinois), the Campus Crusade group is very heavily into “saving” Catholics. Obviously they disbelieve in Purgatory, and they also preach one-time, faith alone, completely assured salvation. On the other hand, at one time they did have a very faithful Catholic priest come and speak at one of their events, so a lot depends on what the activities will be and how your local Campus Crusade group views Catholics.


I forgot to say that my daughter is only 13 and this camp is for kids ages 10-18.

I made my concerns very clear to the coach and she said she understood, but that it would just be covering broad christian values and not honing in on specific theological stuff.

I still wanted to know more about the organization itself, though.


When I was in the Air Force, the woman I was dating was very much into CCC on the Oklahoma State University campus. I even went to one of Josh McDowell’s talks. (I still have a copy of his Evidence That Demands a Verdict around here somewhere.). They definitely try to convert Catholics. But, whay my GF’s affiliation caused me to do is to go over why I believed what I did. It strengthed my faith, and they stopped trying to convert me. We did talk about the Lord a lot, though.

It’s one week, I wouldn’t worry about it. Talk to your priest if you want to feel a little better about it.


PS: Why not go to their website and look around? They were founded by Bill Bright (who died in 2003).


But will they try to convert a bunch of pre-teens and teens or will they hold true to their word and “keep it light”?? That is what I would like to verify!



I have been a camp director for camps in other organizations. It wasn’t too unusual for me to field calls from parents before the activity. Ask the coach for the camp director’s name and number and express your concerns to the director directly (so to speak). If you feel better after the call, let her go.



I know people who are very active in, and give a heavy percentage of their income to, Campus Crusade for Christ. These same people believe (because their church teaches this belief) that Catholicism is a cult and that Catholics are not Christian. (A belief I find fault with on a number of levels, but I’m just reporting here!) Whether your daughter can withstand a week in such an environment is an individual decision you need to make.


I would be wary of the campus crusaders…they’re a rather radical group that has low tolerance for different religious beliefs. I’ve had numerous run ins with their members because I was seen at a Freethinker’s Alliance meeting, and they’re constantly bashing the FA. Which is just silly, we don’t do anything that would cause them to get riled. The only thing we’ve done this semester was cook dinner for the homeless…and a group that they actively support “Young Americans for Freedom” just earned a spot on a list of hate groups, its the first group connected with MSU to earn the title of a hate group.

I don’t think I’d want any of my kids hanging around those people…even if I were religious


My sister has been pretty active with Campus Crusade for Christ both in high school and college, and really enjoyed it. She still ended up going through RCIA in college, and is able to defend her Catholic faith to any Evangelical who wants to “save” her.


My husband works at our local university which has an active Campus Crusade for Christ group. It is very anti-Catholic on our campus. There are over 5,000 Catholic students at the university, however, and so the local parish is really nothing more than a campus ministry itself, so none of the Catholic students on campus get involved with CCC.

For preteens and teenagers, all of my experiences with CCC and Young Life groups and camps have proven to be anti-Catholic and heavily swayed towards getting the young person to get “saved” around a campfire. There is a lot of emphasis on personal testimony, etc., and usually the religious beliefs of the individual leaders are thrust upon the participants, even if they try really hard not to. They just can’t help themselves.

Personally, as a mother of three boys, based on my experiences with CCC and Young Life, I would not send a 13 year-old who is very subject to peer pressure away for a week with essentially staunch, anti-Catholic, evangelicals. I guess it really depends on how well you know all of the people your daughter will be associating with if she goes.

Question: if the situation were reversed and it were a Catholic oriented camp, do you think the other kids’ parents and the coach would encourage them to go away for a week with a bunch of faithful Catholic camp leaders?

In Christ,


is it anti catholic like the SDA’s who are positively unashamedely hostile towards catholics, (my catholic friend and I attended their prophecy seminar.)

Anyway a girl that worked for me attended their college for a yr and went on missions for part of that. It was a positive experience and I didnt notice anti catholic anything with her. But shes a loving indivudual perhaps it depends what “baggage” a person brings to the Campus crusade.

They could be like this person I know, or they could of brought those views with them. She told me alot of what they were taught, it didnt seem anti. Maybe opposing but not anti, at least in the SDA way.


Here, whatever the official organization teaches, it is run by college students of all denominations and they bring with it whatever baggage their denominations bring. If your area is replete with ‘non-denominationalism’ you’ll get a lot of non-denominationalism theology. If your area is laced with anti-Catholicism you’ll get anti-Catholic sentiments from the teens and college students that have the day to day contact with your daughter.


I would not, at least not with a 13 year old. I would be willing to bet a chocolate bar that they will try to convert her. Is this a public school? I would be surprised at a public school pushing such an activity.


Read their statement of faith in which all “true Christians” generally agree:


The church I grew up in is the home church of the current president of Campus Crusade for Christ (Steve Douglass).

Mr. Douglass has been on CCC staff since I was a kid in that church. (I’m now 49).

Do some googling on Campus Crusade for Christ and Catholicism.

It might make you feel better to know that Dr. Bill Bright, the founder and president of CCC until he died, was an enthusiastic signer of the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document.

He took IMMENSE criticism for this from many anti-Catholic Protestant leaders.

A few years ago, there was a wonderful article in Christianity Today (a leading evangelical Protestant magazine) that told how Dr. Bright partnered with Bishop Karol Wojtyla of Poland to bring Bible studies material into Poland for use by Catholics. I wish I could find the article online.

I know at least one couple, Jay and Gail Caress, who were CCC staff members who have since become Catholics. Their story was on “Coming Home” on EWTN. I’m sure they didn’t learn Catholicism from CCC, but the point is, the Holy Spirit apparently wasn’t hindered by CCC.

I agree that it is probably risky to send a 13-year old off to CCC camp. Is she very knowledgeable about her faith? Is she a strong Catholic? If so, it might be OK. But if she is a typical 13 year-old, she is very impressionable and will want to “fit in” with all the other kids. CCC can use some pretty strong emotional appeals to get kids to “make a decision” for Christ.

IF the CCC camp staff leaders are true to the goals of CCC, they would not try to persuade your daughter to leave the Catholic Church. Dr. Bill Bright would definitely not approve! Rather, they would encourage her to make a decision to serve Jesus, and go back to her church and become the BEST Catholic Christian she can!

But I fear that they would probably see a Catholic as a non-Christian, and therefore would try, not necessarily interntionally, to get her to go to a real “Bible believing church.”

I agree with those who have suggested that you call the people who are leading the camp and set up an appointment with them. Talk to them face to face. Tell them about Dr. Bright’s support of Evangelicals and Catholics Together and ask if they are in agreement with their former President’s stand that “Catholics are Christians, too.” Show them some of the stuff that you google that demonstrates that CCC is traditionally supportive of the Catholic Church. Ask them point-blank what they intend to teach.

VERY IMPORTANT: Ask them to give you the materials to take home and study over with your daughter. I can guarantee that Campus Crusade for Christ always uses WRITTEN materials to teach from, so you should be able to get copies of it.

If you feel inadequate to the task of studying the materials, ask a Protestant convert in your church, preferably a convert from evangelical Protestantism, to study over the materials with your daughter. They will pick up on the anti-Catholic teachings, if any, in the material.

Good luck to you.


I can say that it could be a problem. I was in Campus Crusade for awhile. There is an anti-Catholic bias there. Many will admit you can be Catholic and Christian, but they seem to believe that it is difficult. There will be a push to “accept Jesus” their way. Possibly some staff will be critical of the Church and encourage switching to another one. Frankly I would hesitate to send a child unless he or she was very well informed about their faith and anchored in it. The emotional pressure to conform can be intense.


I always find it absolutely amazing that people such as the Campus Crusade & other fundamentalists/evangelicals can actually assert that Catholics are not even Christian. I can understand them having different beliefs, but to me, for them to assert that Catholics are not Christian shows a fundamental ignorance on their part of the source of their OWN religion. Catholic is the “original” Christian. All other Western Christians are protestant offshoots/breakaways. That’s just a fact. So I can accept that they do not believe as I do on every point, but you completely lose me when you assert that as a Catholic I am not Christian.

When someone says Catholics are not Christian, and I’ve heard many do so, I immediately understand that such a person is so ignorant, not only of my faith, but of their own, that they are not worth discussing religion with on any level. I have nothing against them, and I don’t think badly of them, but I also don’t believe discussing religion with people who have no idea what they are talking about to be a good use of my time.

I wouldn’t send my child to this camp.



If she goes, make sure and prepare her well ahead of time. And arm her with some CA tracts. :thumbsup:


As a former Evangelical who is now a Catholic, I can pretty much assure you that they’ll try to “save” her. She’s going to hear a different “Gospel”, and she’s going to hear how “simple” salvation is…meaning she’s gonna be hearing basic Protestantism. She’ll be there when they do an “altar call”, or someone will discuss the “4 spiritual laws” with her, and THEN ask her if she’s ever heard of the “Sinner’s prayer”, and THEN they will ask her if “she’s ever accepted Jesus in a personal way”, and THEN they will ask her if she wants to do so. Been there done that. I used to “Poach Catholics” when I was an evangelical, it was so easy it was like shooting fish in a barrel.

While I have great love for Protestants and Evangelicals, their theology is opposed to the Catholic faith, and so I wouldn’t send my child to that camp for all the money in the world.


The acceptabilty of Catholics as true Christians as been growing over the years to the point that the Catholic Church and CCC have done joint ministries together as noted in another post. One the ministries, which I have a freind that works in, is the Jesus film project. They gave the Catholic Church permission to use their film the Jesus Film and use it in a Catholic sanctioned approved ministry which distributes the movie.

Take the suggestion about calling the camp director. Do you trust the swim coach? Is your child strong in her faith? are other Catholics on the swim team? Most of the evening activities most likely will involve praise worship, I suspect, which is just music? don’t run in fear, but prepare her to share her faith with other Christians.

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