What if college wasn't just a place where you got a degree? What if it was a place where your heart was changed radically and you were sent out into the world with purpose and a mission– no matter your major or your home adress? That's what we want for every student at YSU.
College is an important time in a person's life. For many, it's where we dedcide what matters most, it's where we mature into the people we will become. These four years can set the trajectory of the rest of our lives. Even still, there are many students who wake up and go to class each day with little direction. We are here to shake things up, to ask the hard questions, and pursue more alongside our students.
We believe in the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the value of the local church. H2O YSU is a body of believers who share a common goal of bringing the local church to the students at Youngstown State University.
Our name comes from a story in the Bible about a woman who met Jesus while she was drawing water from a well. Jesus, a stranger from an outside community, miraculously and gently revealed to the woman that he knew she was lost and broken, looking for life and fullfillment in all the wrong places. Then, he offered her something that would satisfy her deepest longings, and heal her most painful wounds. Himself. He told her that He was the living water she longed for.
What she needed most was to be transformed by the God who knew her every struggle, so she wouldn't have to keep returning to the empty wells of her life. Her life was radically changed that day.
What if, just like that woman at the well two thousand years ago, Jesus wants to change your life? We are all looking for life, purpose, and belonging. We look in lots of places to find these things. But in the end it’s only Jesus, the One who made us, who can give us exactly what we are looking for.
This is the message we want to give to the students at YSU. Come to the well, seek answers to your questions in places you haven't looked yet, come discover healing from the inside out, experience rest for your soul. If you've been longing for more, Jesus is waiting.
"... but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
If you are a student at YSU interested in learning more about what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus, or you are looking for a church home on campus, we would love to meet you! Click the button below to get in touch and find more about how we are meeting throughout the semester.
Parking can be found next to Fedor Hall. Click here for directions.
Each one of us came to know Jesus more fully in college because of a campus church. For several years, we were all a part of the H2O at Kent State University and in 2020 the Lord called us to be a team that would plant the next collegiate church.
After forming our team, we began to dream about where we might go. After many campus visits and lots of prayer, He made it clear– Youngstown, Ohio is where we were headed. So, in May of 2022 the eight of us (and two babies) packed our bags, bought houses, and headed to the Steel Valley. Our church is small, but we know we serve a big God. We feel humbled to be able to be a part of the work He is doing in and around YSU and we are excited for what's to come!
Planting churches on college campuses is an ambitious mission, and we humbly recognize our need to be supported in this work. Here are some of our partners that make our ministry possible. Click the headings to learn more.
Reliant Mission is a missionary sending agency that employs each staff member of H2O Church. Reliant partners with missional churches and gospel-centered nonprofits to mobilize support-based missionaries for the Great Commission. Each staff member is supported by the generosity of individuals who give to Reliant Mission on their behalf. Through the work at Reliant Mission, we are given the opportunity to do this work full-time.
The Collegiate Church Network is our primary ecclesial affiliation. We adhere to Collegiate’s doctrinal statement and governance guidelines, receive coaching from network leaders, and enjoy close relationships with the staff of other Collegiate churches. There are currently 15 network churches on or around major universities throughout the United States.
Within the Collegiate Church Network, the H2O Network functions as a network of churches that share a common name and geographic proximity. Currently, the H2O Network is a collection of ten churches. Each church has a unique expression based on the culture of its campus, yet we share a common ministry practice and a commitment to planting collegiate churches.
One of the things we value as a church is generosity. In fact, it's because of the generosity of God's people that we are able to be on campus in the first place! If you consider H2O YSU to be your church family, we would ask you to pray about tithing regularly. You are also welcome to give a special gift to support the work being done at YSU through our church. Click the button below to give to H2O YSU.