Reshaping the Church

Chi Alpha: Becoming Christ’s ambassadors in college

Posted July 19, 2023

by Caleb Gottry

College students across America wrestle with discovering and living out their faith in a new environment. Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, also known as XA, is determined to lead and equip them for Christ through mentorship and community.

Chi Alpha’s mission statement reads, “We reconcile students to Christ, equipping them through Spirit-Filled communities of prayer, worship, fellowship, discipleship and mission to transform the university, the marketplace, and the world."

Matt Liberio is the director and campus pastor for XAdenton at the University of North Texas. Before serving as director and campus pastor, Liberio was on staff for six years, and before that he was a student at UNT and a part of the ministry of Chi Alpha.

Photo by XA Denton, Matt Liberio with his wife, Allison

Liberio spoke of his experience at Chi Alpha, specifically, an encouraging and involved campus pastor that allowed him to ask questions about his faith within a Christian community.

“From then on, I just continued to progress in my own faith and in the ministry, and to receive the challenges that God had for me that would help me grow along the company of peers who were doing the same thing,” Liberio said in a phone interview.

Most Chi Alphas meet once a week for worship, teaching and prayer, and then throughout the week in smaller “Life Groups” for fellowship and discipleship in Christ.

Liberio shared how the opportunity for community and mentorship is often well-received by college students unsure of what their future holds.

“I would say, for the most part, young adults are really craving some voice in their life that would help them know what questions to ask and to know what direction to look,” Liberio said.

Chi Alpha is focused on creating intentional Christian community for college-aged students and helping them see that they are part of the Body of Christ, Liberio said.

Liberio explained the three main hopes for XAdenton students as community, devotion to Christ above all things and the kingdom mind, which he defined as “thinking how Jesus thinks and loving what he loves.”

“If we invest in the mind of Christ, and we possess devotion that’s yielded to Jesus, and we possess a value for a Christian community, then our confidence is that, no matter where they go in life after graduation in their local church, their family, their career, that they're going to be able to continue growing closer to Jesus in every aspect of their life,” Liberio said.

These values are very similar to the core values of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, those being community, creativity, diversity, excellence, integrity and servant-leadership.

Photo by Chi Alpha Promo for YouTube

As college ministries, Chi Alpha groups partner with their universities as well as local churches. While Chi Alpha does provide good Christian community within the larger Body of Christ, Liberio also sees value in being involved in a local church.

“Fortunately for us, we have a good handful of churches that our students are involved with, and we encourage them not only to see themselves as attenders and volunteers, but as contributors to the vision and the mission of the church,” Liberio said.

Liberio said the partnership with UNT is based on different grounds. Chi Alpha’s first mission is to share the Gospel, and many Chi Alpha groups are not at religiously associated schools; however, having a group on campus is mutually beneficial to the university.

“It creates emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, financial stability for university students, which creates longevity, which creates health, which creates better grades, better success, better career, so on and so forth and that's a win for university,” Liberio said.

Photo by Chi Alpha Promo

Chi Alpha Campus Ministries are all over the United States. While each campus is locally led, the groups work together, united in a common mission, according to the Chi Alpha website. Chi Alpha has also branched out internationally.

After students graduate, Chi Alpha pastors encourage them to be leaders for Christ in their lives and workplaces. Some students from XAdenton “prayerful­ly considered laying their careers second and letting the mission of Christ be first in their life” by joining a mission to plant a church in Colorado, Liberio said.

To learn more about how Chi Alpha Campus Ministries encourages college students to live out Christ’s mission in their lives, visit their website.