Alumni in Leadership Spotlight: Stefanie Chappell
Stefanie Chappell came to Christ through the Chi Alpha ministry at University of the Pacific in California. She graduated in 1990 with a double major in Pre-Law and Psychology. During the past 25 years, Stefanie has served in a variety of positions at all levels within Chi Alpha. Now she is joining the National Chi Alpha leadership team by stepping into the position of National Field Director. Stefanie enjoys spending time hanging out at coffee shops, having dinner with friends, trips to New York City or the beach, and is the proud owner of an adorable Maltipoo named Finnegan.
Stefanie shares her testimony and the vision God has given her for Chi Alpha:
Share how you came to Christ, and the impact Chi Alpha had on you as a student.
I am thrilled to say that I am the fruit of Chi Alpha! In fact, before I set foot on my campus as a freshman, someone from Chi Alpha was praying for me! My RA was a part of Chi Alpha, and he prayed over every one of us in our hall before we arrived. He actually prayed about whom he should match as roommates. He matched me with a transfer student named Sandy—she had a church background but was not serving the Lord. However, during our second semester, Sandy gave her life to Jesus. She went to every Chi Alpha Bible study with a prayer request for me! Before I knew it, a lot of Chi Alpha was praying for me. They loved me, showed me the life of Jesus reflected through their lives, and prayed for me for three years. I like to say that they persisted when I resisted. At the beginning of my senior year I had an encounter with Christ that was undeniable. He called me to follow Him and I said Yes. After I became a follower of Jesus they just loved me some more through my messiness. The students embraced me and welcomed me into their friendships. They lived in a way that made me hungry for the presence of God. The staff mentored me and helped me see how loving God is—how He wanted to be a Father to me.
What are you most looking forward to in your new position of National Field Director? Share the vision you feel God has given to you.
The National Field Director’s responsibility is to help us outline and implement our national strategy on the field. That’s a fancy way of saying I want to help our team at every level fulfill our mission for the glory of God! The best way to describe my vision for this role is through an illustration. When God created Adam, he formed the man’s body out of the dust—He created the “structure” of Adam’s body. If God did not create the structure of the man’s body, there would be nothing to breathe life into. God would have breathed, and the breath of life would have dissipated quickly. But God breathed into a body, a structure, and that body then became a carrier and reproducer of the life of God. I love that! I see Chi Alpha wisely developing our “structures,” which are really bodies to carry the life of God (that’s really what a small group is on any campus). We have some great ideas like the new Director Approval process: It will become bodies that will help Chi Alpha carry and reproduce the life of God.
I keep coming back to this idea, but the National Chi Alpha Ministry Center works wholeheartedly to help campus missionaries fulfill our mission.
What are the previous ministry roles you’ve played in Chi Alpha over the years?
I was the Area Director for the Northeast for eight years before making this transition to the Field Director role. I have had the privilege of serving in just about every capacity since starting my work with Chi Alpha 25 years ago! I have been a CMIT, associate staff, campus director, CMIT Director, part time District Representative, and full-time District Director. Along the way I have had the privilege to serve the most extraordinary people. The Northeast Chi Alpha team, for example, is an outstanding group of missionaries whose devotion to God and love for students has formed me into the person and leader I am today.
How can alumni support the National Chi Alpha Ministry Center?
Over the years I have met more people than I can count who have told me that they once were a part of Chi Alpha. I always respond in the same way, “We’re family!” I really mean that. Certainly, giving financially is a big part of what moves us forward in fulfilling our mission. My life is the fruit of Chi Alpha—I just can’t imagine what my life would have looked like had Chi Alpha not been on my campus. Financial giving helps us plant where we’re not, and grow where we are, and that’s essential to making Jesus famous on campus. As important is when alum have gifts they can offer to the work of the ministry. Our alumni are skilled and creative, and there is room for them to continue to advance our ministry through offering their gifts. Beyond all of that, I encourage alum to stay relationally connected. We’re in this thing because we care for students, and that care doesn’t end on Commencement day.
If you’d like to support Stefanie in her new role as National Field Director, please go to giving.ag.org.