Chi Alpha is alway 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. We have a three pronged approach to strategically identifying leaders and preparing to launch on target campuses. First, we have a clearly defined approval process that helps ensures those desiring to are in the right season of life to pioneer. Secondly, we walk them through the pioneering process with the Pioneering Boot Camp. Thirdly, we walk beside them for their first two years on campus through a coaching relationship as they navigate the unknown on the campus.

The following campuses will be pioneered in the 2017-2018 academic year:

  • California Polytechnic State University | San Luis Obispo, CA
  • California State University Chico | Chico, CA
  • University of Pacific | Pacific, CA
  • University of Georgia | Athens, GA
  • University of New Mexico | Albuquerque, NM
  • New York City (3)

Pioneering Director Paul Austin and Coaching and Assessment Specialist Delyn Cole champion this ever-growing component of Chi Alpha.

Paul Austin

Pioneering Director

The Pioneering Director enhances our culture of local group multiplication through resourcing area and district leaders, training, equipping teams, and coaching pioneers.


Delyn Cole

Coaching and Assessment Specialist

The Coaching and Assessment Specialist promotes coaching as a valuable leadership skill, makes coaching training available, and coordinates the activity of coaches with national Chi Alpha; and determines the curriculum and directs a delivery system for the on-going personal and professional development of our missionary affiliates.



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.

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.

Behavioral 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 The 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.


Students’ artwork adorns the walls like wallpaper and the smell of Play-Doh and markers is unmistakable. Poster boards of students’ timelines with colorful sticky notes border the walls, and long sheets of paper with the outlines of the students’ bodies for their “body maps” accompany them. The teacher helps students discover their talents and how to work with others.

This might describe a local kindergarten class, but it is actually a scene from one of the many Pioneering Boot Camps—the training ground for pioneering missionaries—held across the country. The training received at the boot camps strategically walks a pioneer through applying the thirteen skills of the Ridley assessment listed above.

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


Coaching occurs once a misssionary steps foot on campus and lasts about two years.

Pioneering Stories and 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.

Find A Chi Alpha Group Near You