Scott Barnett just completed his 20th year on staff with Chi Alpha. In August 2001, Scott moved back to Missoula, MT to serve as a campus minister at the University of Montana while finishing up three classes he needed to complete a teaching certificate. He had just migrated from Milwaukee, where he had helped plant a church for the Assemblies of God in the suburb of Germantown. Scott only planned to work with Chi Alpha for one year, then he would probably go back into church ministry or perhaps teach high school history and coach basketball…but God had other plans for Scott’s life!
The first few months on Chi Alpha staff were a bit disorienting, as the values and strategies of Chi Alpha seemed quite different than his church ministry experience; especially the practice of weekly 1-1 discipleship with key leaders.
During that first year, two things about Chi Alpha really captured Scott’s heart. First, Scott met the Chi Alpha staff from around Montana. They had an incredible unity and comradery, lived simple, yet devoted, missional lives, and prayed passionately for each other needs.
Second, Scott discovered the incredible variety of university ministry: from teaching deep theological truths, to writing silly dorm skits about healthy relationships; from helping students encounter God’s power at a retreat, to organizing a Luau in the middle of the snow-covered campus in January. Half way through that first year, God led Scott to commit to working with Chi Alpha for “just a few more years.”
Scott became the UM Chi Alpha Director in July of 2002, led the Big Sky Missions Expeditions from 2008-2010, and in 2013, he was elected to be the MT District Director, overseeing the seven Chi Alpha campus ministries in Montana. Scott is married to Anna, who he met in Poland in 2005, while on a Chi Alpha missions trip.
They had their first child, Kuba, in 2014. Kuba was born twelve weeks pre-mature and weighed only 2.2lbs at birth. He had to stay in the NICU for seventy days before finally being able to come home. Their second child, Maya, was born in 2018.
Scott stepped down as UM Chi Alpha Director in July of 2018, in order to devote his time fully to the role of MT Chi Alpha District Director, providing training, strategic direction and personal ministry for the 30+ Chi Alpha Staff in Montana. In this role, Scott gets to now perpetuate the same ministry values that inspired him to serve with Chi Alpha two decades ago. Scott states, “I am amazed at God’s leading and provision over the past twenty years: thousands of students impacted for Christ, hundreds of students experiencing salvation and water baptism, and more than thirty students going into devoted ministry after graduation.” Scott hopes to continue to expand Chi Alpha ministry across Montana so that every four-year and two-year college in the state has a viable outreach, including the seven tribal colleges.