The Oracle

Athletes in Action

An organization intertwining religion, school and athletics.

Shanoah Harren, Reporter

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A religious-based, nation-wide organization, Athletes in Action is a collection of student-athletes who have dedicated themselves to living their lives through their Christian faith.  Their mission and purpose is “to help sports-minded people think and live biblically at the intersection of sport and Christianity” (aia.org). This group is in over 200 campuses across the country. Ashely Harris, part of Athletes in Action and full-time staff and former cheerleader at Northern Illinois University said, “Athletes in Action is the professional and collegiate athletic ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.”

Sophomore Jake Dujmovic, a reporter for Athletes in Action, said “Originally formed in 1966 by Dave Hannah in Ohio, Athletes in Action provides an environment where College Athletes can relate with their peers and grow in their faith. Today, Athletes in Action has a concentration on universities around the Twin Cities including the U of M, Augsburg, St. Thomas, and Hamline University. These schools hold local small group meetings once a week, usually organized by sports teams, and consisting of eight-twelve group members and a group leader.”

At the University of Minnesota Chapter, their mission is to make disciples who make disciples.  They hope student-athletes who involve their Christian ministry in their life endeavors will continue to do so and help spread the word to others.

Dujmovic also said, “Perhaps one explanation for the organization’s growth is the value students see in an event called Training Table. Athletes in Action holds Training Table events twice a semester. At a Training Table event, many of the local universities small groups from across the state come together at the University of Minnesota.”

Harris further described what she does when she said, “We are not student leaders, this is our gig. As full-time staff, I spend the best hours of my day making disciples of Jesus Christ. A disciple is simply a learner of Jesus. Each week, I see about 17 girls for Discipleship Group- where we review last week’s reading and engage in discussion questions.”

Sports that are officially involved include baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track, volleyball, wrestling and general sports performance.

In addition to promoting Christian athletes to grow in their faith, they also provide many opportunities for projects, camps and retreats, events and donations. These projects are like camps, where athletes register to stay in a specific place for a number of weeks at a time with fellow students in the sport. During these projects, athletes learn how to blend faith and sports during competition and training. Some projects include the Boston project, East Asia project, Extreme Challenge Puerto Rico and Urban Project – Los Angeles.

They host spring break retreats, winter retreats and ultimate training camps for high school and college athletes. These are high-intensity sports camps with discussions on motivation, attitude, perseverance, wins and losses, recreational activities, socials events and meeting other athletes.

Students who wish to get involved with Athletes in Action can contact Hamline’s group leaders Tyler Hartmann (Tyler.Hartmann@athletesinaction.org) or Shayne Hartmann (Shayne.Hartmann@athletesinaction.org).

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Athletes in Action