The University of Olivet prides itself on providing its students with a safe and inclusive environment. This means that students are welcome to show up and be themselves while learning about others who might be different from them. As a result, Olivet has many clubs and organizations where students can find community.
One such club is C3, or Christian Comets Connect. Founded in the spring of 2021, the group has seen steady involvement and growth. Jacob Richards, community service coordinator and director of the Difference Maker Program, is a The University of Olivet alum (’18) and the advisor for C3. He shared, “As an Olivet Student (from 2014-2018), I received a lot of spiritual guidance from Campus Minister Mike Fales, which eventually led me to receive a call to ministry.” He is now a seminary student pursuing his master’s degree in divinity, which is basically the standard degree for aspiring pastors or ministers.
When Jacob was younger, however, he didn’t find the kind of Christian community he craved. He said being a Christian can sometimes feel lonely, so his hope with C3 was to create a space where Christian students could find that community: “I wanted to form a group whose focus was connecting with other Christians, hence Christian Comets Connect.”
Student president Kennedy Karns commented on why she values the group, “It is extremely important for our students to have a place to practice their faith and grow in it. Our Olivet Compact talks about learning, growth and service, which are all things C3 can or will provide.”
During the semester, the group meets weekly to learn from the Bible, discuss tough questions or hang out and play games. The meetings range from silly to serious, but the aim remains to connect with each other and learn about God.
The group is excited to come back in the fall stronger than ever. They plan to continue their weekly meetings and expand to better meet the spiritual needs of the Olivet student body. C3 is not affiliated with a specific denomination or church and welcomes all students.
Jacob went on to say, “Without a supportive community, many feel they are alone in their faith. Many college students lose their faith because they lack a community on campus. I wanted to give these students a community where they could feel at home, a community that supports one another like family. A place we can all grow our faith together rather than abandon it. My hopes for C3 are that we can become a light to this campus which spreads hope to all who desire it and, in this way, glorify God.”
Weekly meetings are every Tuesday night from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm in the basement of the Congregational church. Contact Jacob Richards at JRichards@uolivet.edu or Kennedy Karns at KPKarns@uolivet.edu to find out how to get involved.
This feature was written by Savannah Baker, a senior studying English and business. The former editor of Olivet’s literary journal, Garfield Lake Review, Savannah now pursues her interest in writing and editing as a marketing intern with The University of Olivet.