(For more information about Rick Howe, visit www.rickhowe.org.)
In 1983 my wife, Sue, and I moved to Boulder, Colorado, and a Christian Study Center called Dayspring opened its doors within the shadow of the University of Colorado. Its purpose was to bring Christian thought and perspective to the academic arena of a major research institution.
Several hundred students from CU and the surrounding community have taken courses in Christian studies that have been recognized and approved for transfer credit by the University of Colorado.
For more than twenty years Dayspring offered courses as an extension site for Denver Seminary. In 2004 Dayspring entered into a partnership with Northwestern College of St. Paul, Minnesota. New study centers were launched in Fort Collins and Greeley, Colorado with transfer credit arrangements with Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado.
In 2005 Dayspring changed its name to Centers for Christian Study International (CCSI) and the Study Center in Boulder became an Affiliate Center of CCSI.
CCSI is an important part of my own life and faith-narrative. Although I grew up in a family with parents who were devoted followers of Christ, my transition from “family faith” to “personal faith” was not an easy one.
When I arrived at the university as an 18-year old, not only did I not know answers to the questions my professors were raising about my faith, I really didn’t even know the questions! The challenges seemed to come from every class I took: cultural relativism in my sociology class; behaviorism in psychology, evolution in biology; Jesus-the-myth and all-religions-are-the-same in religious studies; the problem of evil in philosophy, and on and on.
In and out of school for a couple of years, I embarked on a quest to discover what I could reasonably believe. In the early 1970′s there weren’t many who could address my questions credibly and with the patience my skepticism demanded. Or if there were, I couldn’t find them.
That was the crucible in which my own faith as an adult was forged, and the matrix from which the dream of establishing a Christian Study Center at a major university emerged.
After doing graduate work at Princeton Theological Seminary, that dream came true when my wife and I moved to Boulder. The plan was pretty simple (though a herculean task in many ways): to engage the university community in serious discussion about issues of faith and reason. To come alongside students like Rick Howe.
Twenty-nine years later, this website tells the rest of the story (with much more of the adventure to come!).