Posted: February 19, 2020
Fullerton, CA - Hope International University proudly announces the hiring of Joey Ross as the new Director of Campus Ministries. Following in the footsteps of Bryan Sands (BA '01), Ross assumes chief responsibility for overseeing programs and activities that foster spiritual formation among the student body.
Ross was raised in a blended family in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a “nominal Catholic,” in his words. In high school, he dated a girl who was a committed Christian, and it changed the trajectory of his life forever.
“I discovered and developed a passion for Jesus through that experience,” he said. “Although my relationship with the girl didn’t last very long, my relationship with God continues to grow deeper every day.”
Joey became involved with his church and was recruited by a church leader to help with middle school kids. By the time he was nearing the end of high school, he felt called to ministry, but wasn’t exactly sure what it all meant. At a summer camp, Ross was awarded a scholarship to attend BIOLA, and enrolled without ever visiting the campus. His years at BIOLA as both an undergrad and then as a graduate student shaped Joey’s worldview and prepared him for full-time vocational ministry.
“I was not raised in a traditional Christian church setting, so I experienced real culture shock when I began living in this kind of environment,” Ross laughs. “I had less culture shock in Africa than I did suddenly being immersed in the unique sub-culture of a Christian university campus.”
During his 10 plus years of ministry at Journey Christian Church in Irvine – eight in Youth Ministry and two as Associate Pastor – Joey learned creative ways of bridging gaps between sub-groups through activities that foster a sense of community through intentional spiritual formation.
“My hope for Hope is that our students will begin to realize that everything they do has a spiritual component,” Ross said. “They can experience God in the classroom, small groups, and at athletic events, not just in chapel. I really want every HIU student to get the profound sense that ‘my spiritual development matters, and I am truly loved.’”
Despite the fact that this important staff position has been vacant for a while, Joey commends the Student Affairs staff for the ways they have and continue to minister to students and run campus ministries. Additionally, Andy Concialdi and Brendan Wein , both HIU undergrade students, have played key roles in leading campus ministries.
“These wonderful people have kept Campus Ministries going,” said Ross. “God is already doing great things on this campus. As the “new guy,” I am getting a feel for what God is already doing and asking God how He wants to best use me.”
“I was impressed by this community and its mission as soon as I visited,” Ross commented. “It is what the Church as a whole should be, but in a University shape!”
Ross and his wife Allison live in Irvine, raising three young sons: Elias, Asher, and Levi.