Christian athletes find their purpose

California Baptist University gets ready to play against University of the Pacific

California Baptist University is an unapologetically Christian university devoted to spreading the good news about Jesus. The school emphasizes the text of Matthew 28:19-20, which reads in part, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you” (CSB).

As a university committed to the “Great Commission” of Matthew 28, CBU strives to glorify God through everything the school is a part of, including athletics. Many of the Lancer athletes are Christians, and they incorporate their faith into their athletic pursuits every day.

“Being a Christian athlete means using your God-given talents and abilities to worship and glorify him through excellence in sports,” said Trevor Van Law, senior mechanical engineering major and member of the men’s swim team.

Christians are called to bring their faith into everything they do, including athletics. Christian athletes view their athletic abilities as gifts from God, which they can use to spread the gospel.

“As a Christian athlete I see it as a blessing from God that He gave me this talent to represent Him on the field,” said Lauryn White, freshman elementary education major and member of the women’s soccer team. “Being a Christian athlete means I get to glorify God whether I am on the field or on the sidelines.”

For Christian athletes, their faith compels them to work harder, compete better and become outstanding competitors.

“Although Christian faith is not the only way to approach athletic performance, our Scriptures provide an excellent illustration,” said David Pearson, professor of kinesiology and dean of the college of health science. “The link between suffering, perseverance and hope describe our faith and is analogous to the process of preparing for physical competition.”

Many Christian athletes who come to CBU remark that their athletic journeys at CBU help bring them closer to God, and their athletic endeavors become acts of faith.

“CBU students and student-athletes definitely come to know the power of prayer during their time on campus, and I have seen so many who choose to follow Jesus faithfully and completely – in competition, in the classroom and in relationships,” Pearson said.

Athletes can also find support and encouragement from their fellow Christian teammates. 

“From weekly devotions to daily prayer to team Bible studies, being a part of a Christian team fosters a stronger and closer team culture by adding another layer of support and fellowship with my teammates, and it gives us the ability to better support each other in and out of our sport,” Van Law said.

The Lancer athletes and coaches highlight their Christian faith in everything they do. The Lancers are back in action with fall-season sports and are competing for the glory of God  to spread the gospel. 

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