Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), also known as Raiders United, exists on campus to bring students from different groups together in one place.
The group is called Raiders United to accomodate for members that are not athletes.
“FCA is a campus group open to anyone, and strives to challenge students to serve and glorify God in everything they do,” student leader Brady Timmer said. “This includes sports, school, work, etc. It is also a group that strives to bring teams and groups on campus together in a fun environment.”
FCA started at Northwestern in the fall of 2011 by a group of six athletes representing five different sports. They wanted to build a relationship among different teams to challenge athletes to grow in their relationships with God.
This enables athletes to build a friendships beyond their own sport.
“NW athletes tend to develop strong relationships with their teammates, but not as strong of relationships with other athletes on campus,” student leader Karisa Fuerniss said.
These friendships are encouraged through weekly meetings called “huddles.”
“Each Thursday night we hear from a coach, an FCA leader or a student who shares a message based on the theme we have lined up,” Timmer said.
Raiders United members also grow closer through many additional activities.
“We do events like coach’s talk, team spotlights, game nights, bonfires, Halloween and Christmas parties, sporting tournaments and our annual Fields of Faith event and the Gennis tournament,” Heard said.
The group is hoping to host an ultimate Frisbee tournament this year along with a persecution night that entails a tag-like game and a reflection time to think about Christians that are being persecuted for their faith.
The FCA mission is “to present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenges and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.”
“FCA strives to accomplish this mission through four ministry areas: coaches, campus, camp and community ministry,” Fuerniss said.
Most of the leaders of Raiders United were involved with their FCA group in high school.
“My FCA huddle in high school provided an environment where I could grow in my faith with other athletes,” Fuerniss said. “Because FCA was so impactful for me in high school, I knew it was something that I wanted to be involved with at NW.”
However, it isn’t only students who want to be involved in this organization.
“I enjoy interacting with students outside of the classroom,” faculty advisor Ray Gibler said. “I love the opportunity to have meaningful conversations about eternal matters with students and to both encourage others and be encouraged myself to grow in relationship with God and each other. I love the fact that I get to know some of my own students better, but also get to interact with students who I would not otherwise have a change to meet in an academic setting.”
The leaders of FCA have many goals they want to accomplish this year.
“We want to reach many different students on campus and provide them with an opportunity like this for them to grow in their faith and knowledge of glorifying God in what they do,” Timmer said. “One of our main goals is to bring the many different teams and groups on campus together to get to know each other better and share personal faith.”
Fuerniss said that another goal of FCA is to practice living in the way that God is calling us to live rather than what culture defines as normal.
“My personal goals for FCA this year is to help make the leadership team for FCA as successful as it can possibly be,” Gibler said. “Our student leaders have set some very definite goals that they would like to achieve as a huddle and on campus. I believe my purpose is less to be a leader of this huddle and more a developer and encourager of the student leaders God has put in place.”
FCA meets every Thursday night from 8-9 p.m. in the Ramaker classroom.