By Sam Ojeda / Sports Editor
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1954 by Don McClanen. FCA is an essential organization in colleges because it provides a platform for athletes and coaches to connect with each other and develop their faith. College can be a challenging time for young people, and athletes often face unique pressures, including balancing their academic workload with their sports commitments. FCA provides a community of support for these athletes, helping them to navigate these challenges and grow in their faith.
One of the ways that the FCA supports athletes is through its chaplaincy program. The chaplains are trained to provide spiritual guidance and support to athletes and coaches, helping them to integrate their faith into their daily lives. The chaplains also organize Bible studies, prayer groups, and other events that allow athletes to come together and grow in their faith.
Hutchinson Community College freshman baseball player Cole Hillman enjoys weekly meetings from local FCA chaplain Aaron Glendening.
“Aaron comes every week to the baseball team and always gives a message that sticks with me,” Glendening said.
Rece Wilson is another freshman baseball player who is one of Aaron’s active listeners
“He makes it so relatable and finds a way to reach the people who do not even want to listen,” Wilson said.
Hillman and Wilson gave props to FCA for helping keep their faith in college.
“It engages me and gets me asking questions daily about my faith,” Hillman said.
“It helps me to keep loving Jesus,” Wilson said.
FCA’s primary aim is to reach out to athletes and coaches across all levels, helping them to grow in their faith and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others.
The organization has grown exponentially over the years, and today it has a significant presence in colleges across the United States.
In addition to its chaplaincy program, the FCA also organizes events and conferences that bring together athletes from different colleges. These events are an opportunity for athletes to network, learn from each other, and grow in their faith. The FCA hosts national conferences every year, which attract thousands of athletes and coaches from across the country. These conferences feature keynote speakers, workshops, and worship services, all aimed at helping athletes to deepen their faith and develop their leadership skills.
Another way that the FCA is important in colleges is through its emphasis on character development. The organization believes that athletics provides a unique platform for teaching values such as teamwork, discipline, and perseverance. The FCA encourages athletes to apply these values to their lives both on and off the field, helping them to become better people and leaders.
The FCA also emphasizes the importance of serving others. The organization encourages athletes to use their platform to make a positive impact in their communities. Many FCA chapters organize service projects, such as volunteering at local food banks or working with underprivileged youth. These projects provide athletes with an opportunity to give back and make a difference in the world around them.
The impact of the FCA on college campuses cannot be overstated. The organization has been instrumental in helping athletes to grow in their faith and develop their leadership skills. The FCA has also been a positive influence in many communities, encouraging athletes to serve others and make a difference in the world around them.
In addition to its impact on individual athletes, the FCA has also had a broader impact on college sports culture. The organization has helped to promote the idea that sports can be a positive influence in society, and that athletes can use their platform to make a difference. The FCA has also helped to promote a culture of respect and sportsmanship, encouraging athletes to compete with integrity and respect for their opponents.
As college sports continue to grow in popularity, the role of the FCA in shaping the character and faith of athletes could become increasingly important.