More than 60 students from the College at Southwestern participated in the second annual College Retreat held at the Heart of Texas Camp in Brownwood, Sept. 11-12. Led and organized by Student Life, the weekend getaway provided opportunities to connect with fellow students through worship, Bible study and evangelism.

Garrison Griffith, Student Life coordinator, says the retreat is a great opportunity for students to focus on the Lord together as they enter the semester. “We know that students must first and foremost pursue a deep relationship with Christ in order to be successful here at Southwestern,” Griffith says. “We believe the retreat encourages them toward this and allows them to grow in community.”

Although much of the weekend was spent in Bible study and prayer, there was still plenty of time to engage in some friendly competition. Students played board games on Friday night as well as a game of laser tag in the RAC after returning to campus on Saturday night.

The retreat was a great opportunity for students to form friendships, but it was also a time for them to encourage one another in their walk with Christ. Matt Queen, L.R. Scarborough Chair of Evangelism (“Chair of Fire”), preached three sessions throughout the weekend, focusing on what it looks like to be a disciple of Christ.

“My intent was to encourage and exhort the college students to get a glimpse of who Jesus is,” Queen says. “We talked about what kinds of authority He has and how that should relate to our lives in terms of being a disciple, sharing the Gospel with others, and having a prayer life that reflects the power of God over all the problems in this world.”

After each session, students divided into small groups to discuss what the Lord had taught them during the session. Reflecting on his time with the college students, Queen says, “I was very impressed with the spiritual maturity and the passion of the students in the College at Southwestern.”

After returning to Fort Worth, teams of students put to use what they learned from the retreat by dispersing throughout the campus of Texas Christian University to take part in Southwestern’s “Going the Second Mile” initiative, evangelizing the lost at this nearby school. Griffith says, “Any time our students can join together in worship and evangelism, proclaiming with one voice that Jesus is Lord—that is a win for us. During the retreat, students were reminded of and united behind their common purpose to walk with the Lord and share Him boldly.”