There are currently 250+ Chi Alpha directors leading 300+ chapters across the United States that are reaching and equipping college students to become Christ-honoring laborers on campus and in the marketplace.

Chi Alpha’s New Director Training (NDT) looks to foster growth opportunities for even more directors to be released in pioneering new Chi Alpha chapters, and others to be prepared to assume leadership of existing chapters in a director transition. Chi Alpha is committed to the development, coaching, support, and release of new directors.

The non-residential and limited travel design of the NDT program makes it ideal for distance education and the mentoring of new director prospects. NDT provides an opportunity for new staff (i.e., second career) prospects joining Chi Alpha, current associate Chi Alpha staff moving towards becoming a director, and church staff to grow in the vision, character and skills necessary to make the transition to serve as a Chi Alpha director.


Ideal Participants

There are a diverse number of people for which this training has proven beneficial.  The most common fall into the following three categories: Emerging New Director, Second Career New Director, and Church Sponsored New Directors (volunteers).

Emerging New Directors

The Emerging New Director track is designed for an associate Chi Alpha staff who has completed Reach the University and a residential CMIT, served on staff for a few years, is an AG licensed minister, and who desires to become a director. These leaders know Chi Alpha’s values, vision, and missionary/discipleship culture, but may lack some of the sharpened skills for leading a staff team and strategically growing ministry on campus to its next levels. The emerging new directors track equips great staff to become great pioneers and/or directors of existing ministries.

Second Career New Directors

The Second Career New Director track is designed for a marketplace leader and/or veteran minister who has served the Lord through the local church or mission assignments. They desire to make Chi Alpha their career path, but are unable to relocate for a residential CMIT program as part of their entry into their service with Chi Alpha. This leader tends to be solid theologically but needs time to understand the vision, values, and culture of Chi Alpha’s transgenerational discipleship strategy. This track also serves those who have already made the transition to Chi Alpha staff, didn’t complete a CMIT, and desire further training as a Chi Alpha director. The second career new director’s track equips leaders for chapter/team leadership and facilitates their acclimation into our missionary organization.

Note: A residential CMIT program is the ideal way for any leader to transition into Chi Alpha and be prepared for staff service. The residential CMIT program will equip a leader and if applicable, their family, to the culture, demands, and mission of Chi Alpha in a way that a long distance learning program cannot. It must be emphasized that all options for participating in a residential CMIT program should be exhausted before applying for New Director Training.

Church-Sponsored New (Volunteer) Directors

2019 is a beta year of development for church leaders who wish to plant a healthy Chi Alpha chapter on a campus in their community. These leaders will encounter Chi Alpha culture and mission as well as discover skills to reach students and build a trans-generational discipleship ministry on campus.

If you are not sure where you fit into one of these categories, contact Paul Austin.

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How It Works

Distance education provides so many opportunities for personal and professional growth. Similar to a non-residential graduate program, New Director Training (NDT) utilizes both eight person cohort based learning groups, structured training experiences, self-guided learning, and relational support through monthly video conference classes and independent studies. Each of the three new director tracks will have specific curricula and a similar delivery.

Orientation and Reach the U Institute (RUI)

The whole process starts with a NDT Cohort Orientation prior to RUI in Springfield, MO. This weekend lays the relational building blocks of vision and trust needed to move through each element of the NDT experience. Those who haven’t completed RUI previously (e.g., Church Staff and Second Career participants) will finish the cohort orientation and remain to complete RUI. The Emerging participants will complete the cohort orientation and stick around a couple more days for the Pioneering track and further training.

Monthly Cohort Calls

Each New Director Cohort has a maximum of eight participants. Each person prepares and submits homework to a Google classroom from books read, videos watched, and/or other assignments, posts their work, and then joins in on monthly three hour video conversations. Their cohort experience includes opportunities for members to teach their peers and engage in conversation and application around given materials. The 11 sessions cover core leadership skills and expose each leader to a variety of veteran Chi Alpha leaders. These guided conversations and posted homework assignments allow for the instructor to gauge the comprehension and creativity that each participant is developing around core director competencies.


Each trainee is partnered with a veteran Chi Alpha coach. These conversations model a discipleship relationship and are designed to give each the experience needed to disciple students and staff under their leadership. Two learning plans are developed and implemented through the Mentor/Coach relationship that address identified growth areas of each candidate.

Campus Visits

Working with district leadership, a coach, and NDT staff, each participant will spend time on campus with existing Chi Alpha chapters. These visits are evaluated through post-visit projects and papers that reflect the experience and insights gained that could contribute to recreating similar dynamics on their campus.

NDT Intensive

All participants converge on the National Chi Alpha Ministry Center (Springfield, MO) for intentional relationship time, training, and exposure and connection with the entire National Chi Alpha Team (residential). This time also includes presentations and projects by each trainee demonstrating their skills as a director, small group leader, and one-on-one facilitator.


January 15-February 28 Applications accepted (Cost: $120. Apply here.)
February 28-March 31 Application processed and assessments administered
April 2019 Mentor/coaches assigned to each trainee
May 2019 Initial Mentor/coach and learning plan conversation
June 1-3, 2019 New Director Orientation (Springfield, MO)
June 3-10, 2019 Reach The U Institute (Springfield, MO)
June 4-5, 2019 Pioneering Boot Camp and Training
July-May 2019 Monthly Zoom Calls
March 25, 2020 Final payment due for program
November 9-13, 2019* Emerging New Director Intensive (Springfield, MO)
November 11-16, 2019* Second Career and Church Staff (Springfield, MO)

*Subject to potential change

For further information or questions contact Paul Austin, Mike Olejarz, or Jerry Gibson.


The non-refundable, non-transferable application fee is $120.00 Once accepted into the program, the cost is $1,900 for the year. This includes all on-site costs for the cohort orientation and NDTI, books, materials, coaching, and RUI. This does not include travel costs to and from the cohort orientation/RUI and the NDTI events in Springfield, MO or the campus visits. Payment options are:

  1. Pay the $1,900 in full when accepted or
  2. Pay a deposit of $400.00 by April 15, and 10 monthly payments of $150 afterwards.


Not all get ribbons for participation. The New Directors Program is not an event to experience, but an evaluated training with strong recommendation upon completion. The extensive application and assessment process at the beginning builds expectation and focus for growth for each leader who enters. At the end of the program, each participant will receive a letter of recommendation and affirmation based on the objectives of the training, which reflect the skills identified through a Chi Alpha Director job description. Candidates receive one of the following recommendations:

  1. Full recommendation to direct a Chi Alpha chapter and host a CMIT program when able.
  2. Endorsed to direct a local Chi Alpha chapter but recommend further development prior to applying to host a CMIT.
  3. Not recommended to be a director and encouraged to complete a full CMIT or further experience under a veteran Chi Alpha Director in a healthy chapter prior to directing.

Meet the Faculty

Paul Austin

Pioneering Director

Paul has served as a Chi Alpha missionary since 1990 on campuses in Montana and Idaho and five years as the Big Sky Area Director. Currently Paul serves as the National Pioneering Director and directs the New Director Training Program.  Paul spends his time training and coaching leaders, developing pioneering strategies. When out of the office is chasing down golf balls on his favorite golf courses. Paul and Jenny live in Springfield, MO with their youngest son Thomas. Their regular adventures include hiking, a little fishing and a lot of Andy’s custard.


Delyn Cole

Coaching and Assessment Specialist, Coach

The Coaching and Assessment Specialist coordinates and promotes national Chi Alpha’s Coaching and Pioneering Assessment program with emphasis on recruiting, training, and networking qualified coaches and assessors to address personal and ministry needs in the field.

Jerry Gibson

Local Church Specialist

Jerry Gibson serves on the national field team as point person for church-sponsored Chi Alpha ministries. Jerry has spent his adult life serving others. He and his wife Gwen served 24 years as missionaries, building ministry teams; in Mexico, United States and Spain. Jerry’s passion has always been to help people grow and fully engage in their God-given purpose. He has serve four years as campus Pastor at Horizon Community Church in Tualatin, OR. He is a certified facilitator for Transformational Leadership with Ford Taylor. Jerry holds a Masters of Science in Administrative Studies from Missouri State University and a BA from Northwest University in Kirkland, WA.

Jerry enjoys riding motorcycle, playing golf, and hunting big game.


Mike Olejarz

National Field Specialist

Mike has served as a missionary with Chi Alpha Campus Ministries since 1982. He directed Chi Alpha at Ohio University from 1982-1990, served on the first national staff team as the Eastern U.S. Director from 1990-1995, wrote the first support raising materials in 1991, directed Chi Alpha in Boston, MA and Southern New England from 1996-2011, and rejoined national Chi Alpha leadership in 2011. He has been married to Barbara since 1982 and they have two adult children, Sarah and Josh. Mike enjoys golf, biking, and racquetball, reading Jack Reacher books by Lee Child, Spiderman comics, and watching The Profit on CNBC.


NDT Application

Applications are being accepted from January 15, 2019 to February 28, 2019 for the New Director Training. Start the process today!

Apply Now

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