Two student-run clubs are available for individuals interested in Christianity and are active throughout the school year on campus.
The Catholic Student Association (CSA) and the non-denominational club, Campus Church are communities that allow students to build friendships and learn about faith with like-minded people.
The CSA is run through the Catholic Church’s Oshawa Chaplaincy and is mentored by two campus ministers. They also receive weekly visits from a local pastor Rev. Dave Twaddle.
Students have the opportunity to participate in mass every Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. in room 217 at the Student Centre. Following the mass, the CSA plays board games and provides cookies and coffee.
On the second Saturday of each month, the CSA invites students to join them for a social night at St Joseph the Worker’s Church at Beatrice Street East and Mary Street North. Dinner is provided and the night is filled with games and discussions.
James Sullivan is a 25-year-old youth minister for the club. “It’s just a bunch of students who want to share their faith together but also want to have a good time,” he said.
The group offers faith studies online and in person for those who want to learn more about the Bible and what the Catholic Church teaches.
Sullivan went to a similar group when he was in university. He said that groups like this are a great way to meet like minded students and “form lifelong relationships.”
The CSA also organizes inter-chaplaincy retreats where students from the Archdiocese of Toronto gather for a weekend at a lodge.
And for people who love Jesus but the Catholic Church isn’t their thing, the student-run Campus Church has daily events throughout the school week.
Friday evenings, the group hosts what they call refresh. The night starts with worship songs and guests sharing their testimonies.
They do break-off groups to discuss Bible verses and faith. At the end of the night, the students play games and snacks are provided.
Chimamaka Okechukwu, a 16-year-old software engineering student at OTU, said people who are curious about Christianity should “come and see what a church can be like, and what a true church community looks like.”
Isaac Wilson, 19, is in his second year of the Life Science program at Ontario Tech University. He’s one of the student organizers of the group. His father is a pastor at Life Church in Claremont.
Wilson often leads the group in worship songs and prayer. “There’s a lot of joy in the group, and of course, learning about Jesus, I believe, never hurts,” he said.
Michelle Chant, a 19-year-old kinesiology student at the university, co-runs Bible studies on Mondays. “Campus Church is a community of students who are really eager to make new friends, get to know new people, and just share the love of Jesus,” she said.
Campus Church is partnered with Power to Change (P2C) , a ministry rooted in an international student movement founded at University of California and Los Angeles in 1951 called Campus Crusade for Christ.
Campus Crusade played a role in educating preacher Lonnie Frisbee. The recently released movie Jesus Revolution is based on Frisbee bringing thousands of people to Christianity during the early 1970s.
Students can find clubs like this by visiting the Durham College website and looking under the Durham College Student Association tab.
Campus Church can be found @mycampuschurch on Instagram, while the Catholic Students Association is at @OshawaCatholic on Instagram.