Bob Anderson graduated from Clarks Summit University in 1993 with a degree in Bible and an emphasis in student ministry. He and his wife, Heather, who also attended CSU, have been married for 25 years. They have two adult daughters, Tori and Hailey.
Anderson is the founder and director of Slingshots, a non-profit organization that has been reaching teens in Chicago, Illinois, since its inception in 2014. Slingshots helps teens hit their target in life by providing an after-school program and aiding students in sixth through 12th grades with spiritual growth, education, vocational training and emotional support. Anderson is also a co-senior pastor at the North Side Gospel Center, the founding church of AWANA, in Chicago. He has written 15 different books for student ministry, including inductive Bible studies inspired by Dwight Peterson, game books, devotional books and art books that help teens learn about the Bible through art. Anderson also functions as a Youth for Christ representative in Chicago.
In high school, Anderson was challenged by his youth pastor, Dwight Peterson, to consider what God would have him do with his life. Under the ministry of Peterson, who is now an assistant professor at CSU, Anderson learned how to study his Bible and seek God’s plan for his future. After graduation, God called Anderson to minister to teens, and he has been a youth pastor ever since. “I love it,” he admits. “I can’t see myself doing anything else.”
Anderson was highly involved while at CSU. He recalls winning a lip sync contest with his friends for their performance of “The Champion” by Carman. This contest inspired a student ministry event he’s hosted called “Give your Parents Lip Night,” where his students and their parents would enjoy the performance together.
A Ridley Hall resident, Anderson was in charge of running the men’s intramural sports and was a member of the three-time national champion Defender soccer team. His coach, Roger Jacobs, had a great impact on his life. He will never forget the lesson he learned from his coach, “Never walk over a piece of trash—pick it up.” To this day, every time Anderson walks past a piece of trash, he envisions Jacobs watching to see if he will pick it up. This life lesson reminds him of the John 13 passage where Jesus does the “dirty work” of washing the feet of the disciples.
Anderson is thankful for CSU and the professors who taught him the word of God. He believes he is a better student of the Bible because of what he learned at CSU. Through numerous opportunities, CSU helped him stay focused and prepared him for the life ahead of him. Anderson says, “I couldn’t wait to graduate and get started with a life of ministry. The practical experience I had during my four years is what kept me going.” He encourages students to study the word of God and continue to fall in love with Jesus.
-Colleen Noll is a Communications-Writing major from Spring Brook Twp., Pennsylvania, who plans to graduate in 2019.