Chi Alpha is always looking to the horizon to see where the next body of students is ready to receive the gospel. We are prayerfully calling forth laborers into the rich harvest of campus ministry. Do you want to be a part of planting a new Chi Alpha group?

Pioneer Contact Form

We have identified that the pioneering process is a unique calling and that certain skills are needed to build a ministry from scratch. Secondly, we know each campus has very unique dynamics that we must assess prior to building a specific ministry strategy. Thirdly, pioneering is navigating the unknown and one should never go it alone; a team is crucial along with a coach to help navigate the path to establishing a healthy Chi Alpha group.

For pioneering effort to be set up for success, we have developed the following pathway:


Assessment Interview

The assessment interview evaluates the readiness of the applicant and identifies the people who should pioneer and their gifts. The assessment is not based on personality, but skills. Contact Delyn Cole to schedule your assessment.

Profile Assessment System (PAS)

The Profile Assessment System was developed by Dr. Charles Ridley who conducted a study of church planters in the United States and Canada. His subjects in the study represented 13 Protestant denominations. Based upon his research and subsequent field-testing, he developed a list of 13 prominent performance dimensions. For more than a decade, these dimensions have been used to select church planters.

In Chi Alpha pioneering, an assessor asks questions that cover 13 different skills the pioneer should have, and the pioneer and assessor discuss past experiences to predict the future performance of the pioneer. The following is a list of those 13 skill sets.

Behavorial Dimensions

  1. Visionizing Capacity: Builds long-lasting projects from scratch.
  2. Intrinsically Motivated: Is a self-starter. Manages time effectively.
  3. Creates Ownership of Ministry: Is able to recruit others for ministry positions.
  4. Reaches rhe Unchurched: Is comfortable being around pre-Christian people, leads them to Christ, and assimilates them into the church.
  5. Spousal Cooperation: The couple has an explicit agreement regarding each partner’s respective role and involvement in ministry.
  6. Effectively Builds Relationships: Is a relational person who builds friendships.
  7. Committed to Church Growth: Pushes through natural growth barriers.
  8. Responsive to the Community: Designs ministries that reach the community.
  9. Utilizes Giftedness Of Others: Knows how to help people identify their gifts.
  10. Flexible: Is comfortable with change. Can switch gears easily to adjust to change.
  11. Builds Group Cohesiveness: Understands people and knows how to get them to pull together as a team.
  12. Resilient: Not easily discouraged. Is emotionally and psychologically strong. Is not overwhelmed by criticism or setbacks.
  13. Exercises Faith: Has a consistent walk with God and takes faith risks when convinced of God’s calling.

Schedule an Assessment


Pioneering Boot Camps are the training ground for pioneering missionaries held across the country and strategically walk a pioneer through applying the thirteen skills of the Ridley assessment listed above.


God began to stir our hearts with fresh vision for more strategic outreach and evangelism on the campus we serve as directors. We cast vision over our leaders’ retreat and launched a yearlong endeavor to reach a few sub-populations on campus more strategically through our small group communities.

My husband and I continued to pray and ask God how we could more clearly communicate this vision and how we could focus, fine-tune, and implement these missional communities on a much larger scale. One major way God answered our prayer was through an invitation to learn from Paul Austin about campus ministry pioneering.

I learned so much in those two days of listening to Paul. Particularly though, he led a session on how to cast vision well. We ran through exercises, watched videos on those who did well in this department, and practiced how to cast vision. Later that week, Paul taught on strategic outreach to sub-populations on campus ministries. He led us in a few exercises on meeting and finding core needs for each community and using those needs as a platform for outreach, evangelism, and ministry strategy. As we closed our time with Paul, God confirmed and answered many of our questions through this boot camp, while also fine-tuning some much-needed vision casting skills.

This year, we are reaping the fruits of all that God was teaching us and moving us to do. Our small group communities are growing each week, so much so we are now working to form new strategies for small groups that are no longer small! We are seeing salvations weekly in our small groups and our large group meeting. God is on the move!

– Anthony and Michelle Saladino, Virginia Tech Chi Alpha Directors

Boot Camps Near You

If you would like to bring a Pioneering Boot Camp to your campus or area, please contact Paul Austin.


We all recognize high performing athletes always have coaches around them to help them reach their goals. In ministry—a far more significant pursuit—we have the same opportunity. A pioneering coach will help you keep your focus as you navigate the political collegiate environment, guide you through team dynamics and building student leaders. Contact Delyn Cole to find a coach.

More Coaching Info

More Information

Check out for more information about how to pioneer a campus.

Read the Fall 2013 issue of Chi Alpha Connection for stories of pioneering missionaries.

Pioneering Director Paul Austin and Coaching and Support Raising Training Director Delyn Cole champion this ever-growing component of Chi Alpha.

Paul Austin


Paul Austin, Chi Alpha’s national pioneering director, has been coaching pioneers and Chi Alpha leaders since 2012. His expertise in pioneering and broad experience working with leaders on all sizes and types of campuses gives him a unique background when wrestling with implementing growth and change in a ministry.


Delyn Cole


Delyn Cole followed Jesus’ call to disciple students and helped her husband Curtis pioneer Chi Alpha at the University of Oregon in 1988 and at the University of Montana–Western in 1991. All along the way Delyn developed a heart for strategically investing in the lives of others. As Chi Alpha’s coaching and support raising training director, she works alongside Chi Alpha’s certified coaches and support raising trainers to raise up fully funded, effective, and healthy missionaries. Delyns holds Associate Certified Coach Credentials with the International Coach Federation.

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