So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers. –Acts 16:5
Bill Johnson, founder of Campus Ambassadors
In the mid-1960’s, college ministries across the United States were reporting great success, with many students across the country giving their lives to Christ. However, one of the ministers working with college students, named Bill Johnson, began to notice that students who were making the decision to follow Jesus were not becoming active members of local churches.
After pursuing alumni from his ministry to learn of their ministry involvement since graduation, he discovered to his great alarm that many of the students who had come to Christ through their campus ministry had not made the transition to the church upon graduation. Johnson realized that this was the fault of the campus ministries; they had never truly invested in modeling the importance of the church for the healthy spiritual walk of Christians.
In 1965, Johnson was approached by members of the Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society (now called Missions Door). They wanted to start a new campus ministry and sought his opinions on how to start one correctly. Johnson wanted a ministry that did all of the evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development of the other campus ministries, but also emphasized the importance of involvement in the local church, so he set the goal for this new ministry to “Win, Build, Relate, and Send.”
Thus, the initial vision was cast and in 1965 the Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society approved Bill Johnson as the first Campus Ambassadors minister, located at Northern Arizona University.
Since then, the ministry's vision has been further refined, and Campus Ambassadors has grown to over ninety full-time ministers and interns on over thirty campuses.