James Madison University
Although he uttered a “sinner’s prayer” as a Baptist youth because he feared going to hell over unconfessed transgressions, Joshua Moran rarely attended church. Parties where he got drunk and swore a lot turned out to be more frequent gathering places. But soon after he began attending college, his life turned around.
“Chi Alpha found me at the University of Virginia (UVA),” Josh says. “I felt the Holy Spirit in a way I did not have the vocabulary for at the time.” His grandmother Wanda Sears bought him a leather-bound study Bible, he joined a Chi Alpha small group on the campus in Charlottesville, and he ceased imbibing and cursing.
The self-confident Josh had lofty goals. He wanted to become a lawyer, be elected senator, and then run the free world. His Chi Alpha involvement altered his goals to other means of persuasion. He switched his major to religious studies and graduated in 2007. He responded to the Chi Alpha student missions challenge to “give a year and pray about a lifetime. The following year, Josh and Katie
Summers became the first UVA Chi Alpha Campus Missionaries-in-Training (CMIT), the nationally recognized internship program. Josh and Katie married in 2009.
“During the Chi Alpha CMIT program, I grew in ways I could never have imagined,” says Josh, 36. “It was one of the most formative years of my life in learning as I was repeatedly challenged to be a disciple-maker. I knew I wanted to do Chi Alpha forever.”
The Morans, who are both ordained AG ministers and U.S. missionaries, started the ministry on campus in 2019 and shared responsibilities. The COVID-19 pandemic hit that first school year, forcing the Morans to be creative in their outreach efforts. Gatherings had to be held outside, with participants wearing masks and staying 10 feet apart.
Josh anticipates a time of growth at JMU’s Chi Alpha in 2021-22.
“This could be our first normal year,” he says. “We will have unrestricted social events for the first time. But small groups will still be the heartbeat of who we are.”
Katie grew up in the AG and always wanted to be a part of Chi Alpha. Josh says in their first two years at JMU she discipled the majority of the staff and led the bulk of the meetings. He says the Church shouldn’t lag behind the business world when it comes to promoting women leaders.
“For years, the Assemblies of God has said we are pro-women in ministry, but that is not always the reality,” Josh says. “The task is too great for half the population to remain on the sidelines. This is biblical; we need all hands on deck”
Since 2017, in addition to the campus, Josh has served as Chi Alpha director of the Potomac Ministry Network.
This article was written by John W. Kennedy titled “Lifetime Leaders” in the AG News and has been condensed for this website.