73: The Emphasis on Making Disciples


What You'll Discover in this Episode:

The Emphasis of Making Disciples

An Interview with Dr. Chapin Marsh, Calvary Chapel University President

On this week’s episode, Jeff Christianson is joined by his good friend Chapin Marsh

to talk about what God is doing at Calvary Chapel University. One of the defining factors of CCU is the emphasis on making disciples. “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 all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20). CCU is a conservative evangelical Bible believing University. The biblical literacy of our culture is declining and CCU aims to raise up an army of biblically literate counselors who can share the truth with a world that desperately needs to hear it.

A formal training in the Bible can help us go deeper with God. While it is not necessary to have a degree to be a faithful Christian or a Pastor, there are many benefits. Some of the factors that may draw someone to an education at CCU are generous scholarships, affordable academic programs, a relaxed casual style, and a family of people who love Jesus.

Want to learn more from Pastor Jeff? Listen to this podcast to hear Pastor Jeff address:

  • Scroll down and leave your comment below!
  • The foundations and principles of counseling within the life of the church
  • Church life, COVID-19, and loving others through challenging times
  • 1 John 4:7 and how biblical counseling draws upon divine love in order to minister to
    others within the body of Christ


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  • Johan Alarcon says:

    Before Christ (B.C), when I was asked to serve, I could find out so many different reasons why not to give a 100 percent effort while doing so. but When the Spirit took over, all I wanted to do and still want to do is genuinely serve people. Before, My heart would dread sacrificing my time and my effort, but today how I look at “serving people” it gives me a compensation that overrides any physical action that I have to take to serve. The three “try’s” that you mentioned in the podcast video, i get the privilege to practice in real life and in real time here in Brooklyn Teen Challenge.I know that God is allowing my testimony to not be wasted but to learn from it and to be teachable to me and others. And as I am learning in the biblical counseling aspect through online courses, the content that I learn I can apply in my day to day basis here by serving the students.

    • Ritter Savino says:

      Johan, I love the “three try” they mentioned: (1) try to feed and clothe someone; (2) try to lead someone to the Lord; and (3) try to reconcile with someone. I love how they called it: “The Faith Class”. It is not about having the ability to do them, but as you said, “We get to do them” which is a privilege. The online classes are for sure helping to see God’s heart in a more intimate way and are also helping to practice our walk. It has been such a blessing! Teen Challenge is a blessing to many, and God is using you in a mighty way. I’m so grateful for CCU for all they are doing in all the student’s lives.

  • Jose Garcia says:

    2 Corinthians 1:24 is a very supporting passage. Basically what Chapin discussed- coming alongside the Christians and being a support of their joy in the faith. Not trying to pressure, but as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Amen.

  • Jose Garcia says:

    Thank you Pastor Jeff, chapin, and the rest of the team for all your support. You truly have been a helper of my joy (2 Corinthians 1:24).I’m not only in my last semester but also my last week of classes. I am graduating debt free in Jesus Name. BABS in biblical studies and biblical Counseling degree. I hope and pray to continue my masters at Veritas university. Love in Christ. Brother Jose Garcia. Keep the faith and keep up the good work. God bless!

    • Michelle R says:

      Congratulations, Jose! Praying that your hands, feet, and words are blessed. My you continue to grow in your calling as you minister to those who are seeking healing.

    • Ritter Savino says:

      Yeah, Jose, this is awesome. Congratulations! May the Lord continue to bless you in the next chapter of education and always.

  • Ritter Savino says:

    Thank you, Pastor Jeff and Dr. Marsh. I love the goal of the Calvary Chapel University, which is to have an army of Biblical Counselors. You are so right when you said that it will affect our families, our communities, even our nation. I am so grateful for this University for what they are doing. Since I was little I knew I wanted to be a counselor, but never thought about becoming a Biblical Counselor. My heart is to help people with their issues. God has opened this door and I’m glad that I listened to the 3rd voice you mentioned – His voice. I am learning to use the tools He is providing to help people biblically. It is so exciting!

    • Johan Alarcon says:

      I’ve heard several sermons, regarding the topic of “listening and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit”. As we all know, in this generation, temptation is running rampant, whether you fall for them or not, it is here, now, and in front of your face. Today’s day and age, one of the biggest schemes of the devil is keeping people distracted, and bringing forth the spirit of business as he tries to hinder this generation from hearing the Spirit of God.

    • David Bowman says:

      I would love to see an army of biblical counselors that are competent to counsel and rightly divide the Word of God. Many well-intentioned Christians are receiving pep-talks and motivational speeches instead of sound doctrine. This highlights the need for biblical counseling that makes much of Christ and makes disciples. Thank you, Ritter, for listening to the Lord’s voice and for having a heart that is willing to help those in need with the Word of God.

  • Michelle R says:

    It was great hearing form Paster Chapin this week. I loved hearing about what Pastor Jeff said that we walk our biblical counseling training. That our training is about the gospel and making disciples. Beautiful worded. As we train in biblical counseling, the goal should always be on helping those to have a more intimate relationship with God because that is where their healing comes from. Yes, we get the privilege of being the instruments as the counselor’s but it’s about the condition of the soul and helping those reconcile with their creator and God. Hearing this weeks podcast brought joy and excitement to my heart. Cant wait to for the fall module!
    Blessings everyone

    • Ritter Savino says:

      Thank you, Michelle. I love the word “reconciliation”. To help those to be reconciled with God is such a humble ministry. What a privilege that He who created us would want us to be part of His amazing plan on humanity. It is so good; God is so good!

  • Margaret Deherrera says:

    Thank you for another great pod cast Pastor Jeff, and Pastor Chapin. There were many great points in this pod cast, just as the other pod casts were informative. The thing that stood out to me was how you said when we take this classes its a great way to hold us accountable. I have seen in taking my classes that it helps me to grow in the Lord and it holds me accountable to want to get a intimate relationship with Lord and to rely on the Holy Spirit for my guidance and direction instead of trying to rely on myself, and what I think. It’s my pleasure to be an instrument for the Lord and allow Him to use me to Help others to grow in their relationship with the Lord. I have seen first hand how the devil tries to distract me especially when it’s time to sit and do my studies, but I always ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in everything I do.

    • David Bowman says:

      Margaret, I agree with your point about accountability. Surely, I could read the same textbooks and attempt similar assignments on my own. However, I am spurred on to love and good works as I submit myself to the leadership of the instructor and the pace of the course. I have learned a great deal from my fellow students and they challenge me to be a Christ-follower, not a know-it-all. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide all of us into deeper intimacy and obedience to Him.

    • Michelle R says:

      Thank you for sharing your journey. Reading about it has blessed me tremendously. I too got married young and raised 4 children. Going back to school was very scary but I knew the Lord was calling me to a biblical counselor. You have inspired to me that its never too late to get your degree. Congratulations on all your hard work! Blessings

    • Anne Marie Maguire says:

      Amen Margaret, the devil does distract as we study God’s it’s encouraging to hear I’m not the only one experiencing this spiritual warfare. I have been truly challenged by the courses at CCU to grow in Christ and I thank God for it.

    • Johan Alarcon says:

      Having Accountability has helped me in so many ways, and what I believe having one is not only important to have but essential, especially when pursuing a righteous life and being intentional when living a Christ- like lifestyle. Some people rather do things alone, and for the reason to say that they got to where they are in life only by depending on themselves with no help from anyone. But the Holy Spirit to me is my accountability and my helper, and it might sound silly to some, but the art of conviction to me is beautiful, and without it i would not be where i am today.

  • Kristie says:

    I have found my classes at CCU to be so good and valuable. I did not graduate from high school, but next week I will receive my Master’s degree in Biblical counseling. I got married at 18 years old and I have 4 children. I never expected to go back to school, but CCU made it affordable and simple. I have been so challenged and blessed by taking classes. It has been so helpful to me to continue to deepen my knowledge in God’s word. It was great listening to the podcast and hearing the heart of the school and the effectiveness of it. Praying that the school will continue to grow and prepare people to serve the Lord.

    • David Bowman says:

      Kristie, I share your sentiments about CCU. Congratulations on your Master’s degree in Biblical Counseling! I can definitely say that through my studies I have developed a greater love and hunger for the Word of God. I have been introduced to authors and tools that I would not have known without CCU. I too, pray that CCU will continue to grow in number and influence throughout this fallen world.

    • Anne Marie Maguire says:

      Thanks Kristie what a blessing to be able to study like this! I want to keep on learning all my life. Congrats on the Master’s degree and encouraging to hear of your progress! I have been challenged myself by the classes because they are so biblically sound which is a blessing in these days.

    • Josh Sponring says:

      That’s so awesome Kristie! I’m glad you have had an awesome experience, and I pray that God continues to use you to counsel others!

    • Ericka Tapia says:

      Kristie, I congratulate you on your decision. Your comment encourages me! I relate it to myself because I too got married at 18, had 3 kids and now I am a grandmother of 1 and 1 on the way. 18 years later I am returning to school to enhance my knowledge on how to better serve my family and brothers and sisters in Christ.

      Again, congratulations! You can do all things through Christ that gives you strength!

  • David Bowman says:

    It was great to have Pastor Jeff and CCU President, Chapin Marsh together on this episode. I have been a CCU student since 2017 and I have enjoyed the entire journey. As I close in on graduation with a degree in Biblical Studies, I can personally attest to the great love and commitment to Christ that was discussed. I am grateful for online Christian education, especially during this time of COVID-19.

    Matthew 28:19-20 states the Great Commission that is given to all believers. There is a cost to every great calling and even to the Great Commission. I have had to sacrifice in order to go to CCU, to counsel others, and to follow Christ in general. However, I wouldn’t change it for anything. Christ has done infinitely more for me than I could ever repay, so I will count the cost daily (Luke 9:23) and keep going in Jesus’ name!

    • Ritter Savino says:

      David, congratulations! I am also very grateful for the online Christian education, especially as you said during this crazy time of COVID19. You are right about the cost of every call, but what a privilege it is to follow that amazing calling of our Mighty God. God is doing amazing things in our lives starting with His sacrifice for us at the cross; and we are to continue to follow His call. All for sure in His Awesome Name JESUS! Thank you David for your sharing!

    • Josh Sponring says:

      Hey David, I have seen you in a couple of courses and I’m excited that you are almost graduated! I too am almost done with my degree and I pray that God continues to use you mightily!

  • Anne Marie Maguire says:

    Thanks Pastor Jeff and CCU President, Chapin Marsh. The university has been a blessing to me and helped me to grow in Christ and equipped me for my local ministry. I would be learning something in a course and the next week using it to counsel those in need. I’m amazed how God equips us for his work! Matthew 28:19 is one of my life verses which I live by, making disciples and that deeper relationship with the Lord. Over my year of study I have been challenged time and time again to live for Christ and not for self. Thanks so much for the opportunity to learn and grow.

  • Josh Sponring says:

    I love the emphasis Calvary Chapel University places on in servanthood and helping others discover their calling and grow in that calling. I have grown a lot in my understanding since attending Calvary Chapel University. I am grateful for the classes that have stretched me and shown me many different things about myself and ministry. I pray that many people will be able to join CCU and become equipped in their calling by the Lord. There’s a great need to have a Biblical foundation in every area of our lives, and The Biblical Studies program at CCU has been a great opportunity for me to be in a disciplined learning environment. I think Jeff’s point about accountability within formal education was a great point and something I have seen as a great thing in my own experience.

    • Michelle R says:

      I totally agree with Josh. These past eight weeks have really helped me to grow in knowledge and wisdom. It has continually encouraged me to be in the word so that I can be fill with the knowledge of God and not man’s. Thank you for sharing your journey it has been an encouragement to me. Blessings!

  • Josh says:

    When we look at the example of Jesus we see how different His ways are vs. the ways of the world. He was always building up His ministry to the time when His disciples would have to take over His work, and go out into the world with the redeeming Gospel. This plan was progressively made clear as they followed Him. The patience with which Jesus brought this out to His disciples reflects upon His consideration for their ability to learn. He was never premature in His insistence upon action. The first invitation to the disciples to follow Him said nothing about going out and evangelizing the world, although this was His plan from the beginning. His method was to get the disciples into a vital experience with God, and to show them how He worked, before telling them they had to do it. Jesus did not discourage their spontaneous reactions to bear witness to their faith, and in fact, He seemed delighted that they wanted to bring others to know what they had found. Andrew got Peter, Philip found Nathaniel, Matthew invited his friends to a feast in His house-and Jesus responded to these new introductions with gladness and on several occasions, Jesus specifically asked those who were helped by His ministry to say something about it to others.

  • Josh says:

    also, He kept the vision before them by His activity, and in His call of the four fishermen He reminded them that following Him they were to be fishers of men (Mark 1:17; Matt. 4:19; Luke 5:10).

  • Kyle Fox says:

    I’ve been taking classes here for a few years now and it has become such an important part of my life. I’m thankful that I can continue working towards my degree while serving here in Brazil at the same time. The emphasis about making disciples is absolutely essential. This is what we need to be all about, all the time.

  • Tom Zimbelman says:

    Simply Jesus. Jesus-centric. Disciple-making. These are tremendous descriptors of CCU and why I am so encouraged to be a student. Thank you, Jeff, for this podcast with CCU’s President Chapin Marsh. I have grown in the Lord through these studies thus far and am so thankful.

    Chapin spoke of the faith class and it’s required practical exercises: feeding/clothing someone in need; trying to lead someone to the Lord; and reconciling a broken relationship. That takes faith, which undoubtedly helps deepen the application of this class.

    I am in Michigan and can’t wait to get back into the swing of things after accreditation is finalized, which I continue to pray for.

    • Ericka Tapia says:

      I really like your comment. I completely agree that the descriptors offer great encouragement to be a student in the things of God. The practical exercises activate us and encourage us to be more Christ like and I love it! Faith is an action word not meant to be stagnant. Blessings.

  • Doug Gehm says:

    I think one of the greatest strength’s of the CCU program is it’s accessibility. It truly is a requirement for today’s world in education, discipleship, and the church as a whole. I resonate with what Chapin Marsh said about it in this podcast. As a Husband, father of 4, and working full time – life is full, time is fleeting, and any organization or individual who recognizes that and acknowledge’s the struggle has my appreciation.

    The other dynamic that was revealed in this interview that almost slips by so quickly it could go un-noticed was the reference to David Guzik as a board member actually attending courses himself. I don’t take for granted any leadership who is actively submitting themselves to the fruit and form of their own guidance. I think it’s a great embodiement of the principles of striving for Biblical literacy and implementing discipleship dynamics into an academic program. I very much appreciate this from the leadership of CCU.

    I’m looking forward to growing as I pursue continuing education.

  • Caleb Franks says:

    Thank you for the awesome podcast! The heart of both Jeff and Chapin for encouraging and drawing people into Calvary Chapel University is so inspiring. Hearing the statistics about finishing debt-free, more conservative, and stronger in the Lord even further solidified my decision to attend CCU. Leading up to my enrollment and subsequent acceptance into the college, I was antagonized with thoughts of discouragement, uncertainty, and intimidation. I was enlightened by Chapin’s explanation of our flesh and the devil’s voice which promotes things such as despair, despondency, depression, discouragement and death; and that we must not submit to those thoughts. I am so thankful that God has set His path before me and has allowed me to enter into this education through CCU.

  • Ericka Tapia says:

    Thank you so much for this information Pastor Jeff and Pastor Chapin. I truly struggled with the decision of obtaining a formal education in the word of the Lord. I was that self studying person and felt it very effective, except I always ended up wanting more. Every new thing I learned was a wow moment for me so I really felt the Lord pushing me to seek more. I battled with all 3 voices Pastor Chapin spoke about. The Me said there is no way I can manage it into my busy life, the discouragement of the devil and also the wisdom of James through those that surrounded me. After finally deciding to pursue a formal education I struggled on the best place to do it, one that was Christ centered, affordable and that I would be able to fit into my already hectic schedule. I thank God because after hearing your love and passion for making disciples through your teachings, and also the approach family and informality, I just know that the Lord never fails and guided me to the correct place. I am thrilled to be here. Blessings.

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