Christian group offers different kinds of fun

Catrina Cieslik

Live bands, parties and spring break trips are three activities that are not commonly associated with just any religious group.

The Dive members want to break the stereotype of being straight-edge because just like anyone else, they like to party.

The Dive is the largest Christian-based religious group on campus. The Dive originated on campus in the late ’80s from a much bigger group that is nationally recognized as the Campus Crusades for Christ, said Eric St. Jean, one of the leaders of the Dive and a staff member for the Campus Crusade for Christ.

“We try not to be a holy huddle of Christians,” St. Jean said. “We are very sensitive to other beliefs, and we just want to be a place for people to come.”

On average, the Dive gets 10 new members a week that want to explore their curiosity and discover what the Dive is all about. The new people that arrive are welcome into the group and, as a token from the Dive, member appreciation gift certificates are raffled off to the newcomers.

“(The Dive) is not going to create friction with people that are different than us,” St. Jean said.

There are two different types of meetings that take place each week. One gathering is called a “life group meeting,” which is for smaller-scaled Bible studies that take place in campus dorm rooms. The other meeting is the main meeting that brings everyone together to challenge and interact with each other Thursday nights at 9 p.m.

“It provides an alternative for people on a Thursday night (other) than partying,” St. Jean said.

At every main meeting, a live band of the group’s members plays popular music.

“We are a band of students that are actually pretty good,” St. Jean said. “We have even played at the Battle of the Bands several times.”

After the band plays, there is a guest speaker who gives a speech designed to challenge the Dive members to grow and learn.

The Dive does not just preach about Christianity — it tries to present the Bible in a way that applies to the college student, St. Jean said.

“The people from the Dive are like my family,” said Gary Congin, senior philosophy major. “It is on a deeper level than just a friendship.”

The members of the Dive not only attend weekly meeting but plan trips throughout the year.

“I have been a life group leader since the fall of ’06 because it is a great experience and we really have a lot of fun,” Congin said.

Contact religion reporter Catrina Cieslik at [email protected].