CORVALLIS — LifeWay Research recently found that 66 percent of teenagers who regularly attend church no longer attend by age 22. Commonly cited reasons include time pressure due to work and studies, church members seeming hypocritical, or simply not looking for a church when moving to a new town. Regardless of the reason, it’s a tragedy that so many young people choose to stop following Jesus.
But in Corvallis, a ministry called Courtyard is helping college students stay connected to Christ and his church. Founded in 2007 and located just three blocks from Oregon State Univer-sity’s campus in Corvallis, Courtyard has provided more than 200 young people with housing, Christian fel-lowship, leadership training, outreach and service opportunities, and guidance in following Christ.
Over the years, many of these students have stayed in touch with Courtyard and the friends they made there, and are now serving God faithfully in their careers, raising their families, and serving in their churches wherever they may be.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Courtyard has completed two outreach projects. Last spring, one member 3D printed parts for face shields to donate to an assisted living facility in Corvallis. Other members assembled the shields and wrote notes expressing the love of Christ and a commitment to pray for the staff at this facility.
More recently, the members conducted their annual Oct. 31 outreach, bringing the message of the gospel along with hot cocoa, cookies, and warming fires to those out and about trick-or-treating that evening. This is in addition to community service work done in partnership with other local ministries.
Every Monday night all the members gather for fellowship and discussion of what God has done in the past week. Many Monday nights feature discussion of other relevant topics, such as the God-honoring use of social media, godly ways of managing stress, and showing love in Christ’s name to outsiders. Full-time resident ministry staff are on hand to train and equip members in leadership and ministry, as well as to walk alongside them in life.
Throughout the week, residents also plan and participate in group activities such as movie nights, games, hikes, and trips to the coast. Residents also simply enjoy spending time with one another, with meals served on weekdays and plenty of comfortable living space in which to relax and have fun.
Courtyard is one of several housing options for Christian students at OSU, including Varsity House and Antioch House for men, and House of Charis for women. Each has their own particular emphases; Courtyard is unique in emphasizing a life on mission and learning to live honorably as men and women of God in a safe co-ed setting.
Courtyard is accepting applications for new members for fall 2021, as well as the remainder of the 2020–21 school year. College students and those working through other vocational training programs are encouraged to apply. Staff also are able to advise incoming freshmen to take advantage of OSU’s exceptions to the requirement that freshmen live in the dorms on campus. For more information, visit courtyardlife.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org