Areopagus, the campus ministry at Iowa State University, takes its name from the hill on which the apostle Paul reasoned with Greek philosophers and leaders.
Partially funded by Christian Reformed Home Missions, this ministry is headed by Tyler Helfers, the newly appointed director. His mission is to “reflect the ongoing relevance of the Christian faith, and the gospel in particular, to all parts of life for the students and the faculty.”
Helfers focuses the ministry on teaching, service, and fellowship. Areopagus hosts Tuesday-night Bible studies, volunteers with Food at First (a local food pantry), and has regular fellowship and a partnership with local Trinity Christian Reformed Church, where the group joins in worship on Sunday mornings.
Areopagus is invested in spreading the Word on a larger scale alongside making God known on the Iowa campus.
Last spring break, a group of four students traveled to West Jackson, Miss., with Helfers to restore homes in the area. The students experienced transformation in the neighborhood as well as in themselves. The relationships they built with the community there opened their eyes to what God is doing in the world.
One student came back with a changed heart. After her return, she donated $100 worth of backstocked seeds from the garden store where she worked to the community in Mississippi. Talking to her afterward, Helfers was happy to hear her say, “I’m just excited because [those seeds are something] they can use in the neighborhood, and when we go back down there, we can see how they’ve been used to help further the community.”
That kind of passion and vision for engaging the community and working alongside each other across cultural boundaries is exactly what Areopagus is all about.