Launch blasts off on Nov. 2

“Engage launch sequence.”
“Engaging launch sequence.”
“Liftoff in 3…2…1…”

Welcome to Launch, the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) event hosted on Nov. 2 throughout the first floor of the CUB.

Launch is a mini-conference that Shippensburg University’s CCO campus ministers, along with a team of students, put together. The event is set up to mirror the larger conference held in February each year called Jubilee.

The 37-year-old Jubilee conference is held in Pittsburgh. According to the Jubilee website, students are encouraged to “talk, learn, think, and dream about the public implications of their personal transformation.”

Sam Van Eman, a speaker at Launch and a staff resource specialist for the CCO, said Launch’s purpose is to help students see that Jesus cares about right hearts as well as right minds. He added that the mini-conference is about finding healing inside and creating healing outside in the society around them.

Jubilee has an over-arching theme of “Everything matters,” while this year’s Launch theme was a spin-off dubbed, “Everything is sacred.”

“Launch is an opportunity for students to see that their work matters,” Van Eman said. “I grew up in a church tradition that saw work as a necessary evil, while my classmates saw work as the means to get rich.”

At Launch, students also learned from professionals in various fields that things that are important to them — and society — are also important to God. Speakers ranged from a professor in the SU counseling program to a recent SU alumnus working in finances. Other speakers included CCO campus ministers, a staff member with DiscipleMakers and a middle school English teacher.

“All of the speakers are presenting from a Christian perspective on topics not commonly associated with Christian thinking,” CCO Campus Minister Matthew Ramsay said. “Subjects like sex, finances, pop music, sports, and marketing are often considered secular fields of study by the church at large, but Launch exists to allow students to consider how a Biblical worldview can inform not only their academic career, but vocation beyond college.”

With topics that are directly related to careers discussed at Launch, the team wanted to stress to students who attended the importance of academic faithfulness.

Jonathan Goos, a May 2013 graduate from SU who also helped plan Launch, explained where the “Everything is sacred” theme started.

Goos described the book “Creation Regained” by Albert M. Wolters. The book contains two charts that show how the church as a whole splits the secular (the world) from the sacred (the Kingdom of God). There is a third chart that combines the world and the Kingdom of God, which is what the CCO strives to do through Jubilee.

Many of the speakers at Launch either wished someone had explained the secular/sacred idea to them or they had someone explain it, which changed their lives completely.

“Something big happens when you realize that all the time and money invested in college has more than just self at the center,” Van Eman said. “I was too immature to grasp this when I was 20. So when I see students showing up for Launch and taking notes and asking insightful questions, I get really excited. This generation is going to do even more good than mine did.”

“We think humanity was originally created to interact with the natural world in very tangible and creative ways, that the material world was originally good, but it was broken by acts of man, and that brokenness has rippled into every area of life,” Ramsay said. “Education, research, manual labor, technology, marketing, the arts, etc. can all be included in that work. If that’s true, then everything matters and we invite students to weigh these ideas for themselves.”

For more information about the CCO or Jubilee, contact Ramsay at

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