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Chesterton House

A Center for Christian Studies at Cornell

National Organizations


The CCO Staff at Chesterton House, Billy and Nicole Riley, seek to engage, challenge, and cultivate Chesterton House's community of students. Both the CCO and Chesterton House long to see Cornell students growing deeper in their faith as they commit themselves to thoughtful academic study. Together, the two organizations serve alongside one another to bring forth a community marked by a holistic integration of faith and learning.

About the CCO:

In the late 1960s, several pastors and youth workers saw a need in western Pennsylvania. Hundreds of teenagers were coming to Christ through Young Life and other local youth ministries, but when they went off to college, there were few opportunities for them to continue to grow in their faith. These leaders organized a coalition of churches to address the need for campus ministry. And so the CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach) was formed in 1971 as an interdenominational Christian ministry. What began as a group of four staff people working with college students at three schools near Pittsburgh has grown to nearly 300 staff people partnering with churches to reach students on university campuses all over the United States. 


Every February, the CCO holds the Jubilee Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Thousands of students travel to Pittsburgh to talk, learn, think, and dream about the public implications of their personal transformation. Whether students are interested in engineering and science or art and music, law and politics or medicine and mission, justice and families or college life and the years to come, Jubilee will have someone speaking about what it means to be involved in those places faithfully. Each year, the Chesterton House brings a group of students to attend the conference.

Q Union:

Q Union, an event by Q Ideas, is an evening that combines 3 nationally broadcasted talks with 3 live student talks. Participants in Q Union join with 25,000 Christians on college campuses and in U.S cities for a shared learning experience. Combining both national and student-led talks, attendees will be unified, inspired and challenged to engage culture well.

In October 2017, Chesterton Host hosted the very first Q Union at Cornell. Nearly 200 attendees filled the auditorium to hear from the national speakers and our 3 Cornell student speakers. 

Veritas Forum:

The Veritas Forum invites students and faculty to ask life's hardest questions. With a commitment to courageous discourse, Veritas puts the historic Christian faith in dialogue with other beliefs and invite participants from all backgrounds to pursue Truth together. The first Veritas Forum was held at Harvard University in 1986. By 2008, 300,000 students had attended over 300 forums at 100 campuses across the United States, Canada, France, England, and the Netherlands.