Are you in Canada? Click here to proceed to the HK Canada website.

For all other locations, click here to continue to the HK US website.

Human Kinetics Logo

Purchase Courses or Access Digital Products

If you are looking to purchase online videos, online courses or to access previously purchased digital products please press continue.

Mare Nostrum Logo

Purchase Print Products or eBooks

Human Kinetics print books and eBooks are now distributed by Mare Nostrum, throughout the UK, Europe, Africa and Middle East, delivered to you from their warehouse. Please visit our new UK website to purchase Human Kinetics printed or eBooks.

Feedback IconFeedback
Sports Ministry

Sports Ministry

$124.95 CAD


Product Format
    The hope of the Gospel is a universal message, and sports are arguably the universal language. Sharing the former through the latter is a powerful combination for changing lives. And for students with a heart for both, the field of sports ministry presents compelling career opportunities.

    Until now, there has never been a college textbook devoted to the subject. With the arrival of Sports Ministry, college and university instructors have a dedicated text for educating students on the how-to process of developing viable sports ministry programs that share the Word and positively influence the world in which we live.

    The book begins with a description of what sports ministry is and a historical overview of the sports ministry movement, including stories of prominent individuals and organizations past. Students will learn about the many sports ministries serving today at the local, national, and international levels, such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, and Missionary Athletes International. Through each chapter’s Sports Ministry in Action and Interview With a Professional sidebars, students will get a glimpse into the lives and ministries of individuals and organizations working in sports ministry and learn about the career opportunities available in the field.

    The underpinnings of sports ministry are evangelism and discipleship, and to that end students will learn various methods for Gospel communication within the sports context. The book also deliberates the intersection of sports and faith, weighing the positive and negative aspects of competition and whether competitive sport is compatible with faith. Included are six principles for making decisions regarding sport participation and a three-step process for using biblical precepts to determine ethical behavior in sport.

    Chapters dedicated to finances, facilities, and legal considerations inform students on the corporate aspects of running a sports ministry program. These include the five main approaches for securing financial resources, a framework for planning and selecting the right facility, and strategies for mitigating risk.

    The final section of the book looks at the implementation of sports ministry programs locally and internationally. Four common types of local church-based events are discussed—onsite, community, jaunt event, and short-term missions—with examples of each included. Students will gain an understanding of key administrative responsibilities for organizing international missions. The cross-cultural nature of sports ministry—both locally and abroad—requires students to cultivate an awareness of and respect for other cultures to foster friendship evangelism, essential to any successful sports ministry.

    Sports Ministry is the definitive resource for building an effective sports ministry program. When done right, sport is a powerful platform that God will use to transform lives for His eternal purposes. With Sports Ministry, students will gain the knowledge and tools to share their faith and offer hope to others through the universal language of sport.


    Textbook for courses in sport management or sports ministry at Christian and faith-based colleges.
    Part I. Sports Ministry Primer

    Chapter 1. Introduction to Sports Ministry
    Introducing Sports Ministry
    A Vision for Sports Ministry
    Why Sports Ministry?
    The Universal Power and Popularity of Sport
    Youth Sports
    Sport Helps Define the World
    Defining the Term Sport
    Harnessing the Power of Sports for the Gospel
    Sports Ministry Defined
    Review and Discussion Questions

    Chapter 2. A History of Sports Ministry
    Historic Integrations of Faith and Sport
    Muscular Christianity
    Sport: A God-Given Ability or a Deterrent to Faith?
    Review and Discussion Questions

    Part II. Contemporary Approaches to Sports Ministry

    Chapter 3. Sports Ministry in the United States
    Understanding Sports Ministry in the United States
    The Beginnings of Organized Sports Ministry in the United States in the 20th Century
    The Values and Goals of These Sports Ministry Organizations and Initiatives
    Approaches and Methodologies
    Additional Significant National Sports Ministry Organizations
    Review and Discussion Questions

    Chapter 4. International Sports Ministry
    Why Minister Internationally?
    Where Sports Ministries Have Gone
    Review and Discussion Questions

    Chapter 5. Faith Considerations
    Designed for Play
    The Problem of Competition
    The Potential of Competition
    The Bible and Sport
    Assessing Sport as a Place for Ministry
    Review and Discussion Questions
    Chapter 6. Gospel Communication
    Gospel Communication
    Biblical Narrative
    Prayerful Dependence on God
    Review and Discussion Questions

    Chapter 7. Ethical Considerations for Christians in Sport
    The Hammer Analogy
    A New Christ-Centered Ethos
    A Work in Progress
    The Tension Between Competitive Sport and Christian Faith
    The Compatibility of Competitive Sport and Christian Faith
    A Divide Between the Sacred and the Secular
    Sportianity: A Critical Review
    Christian Ethics Through a Biblical Lens: Linville’s Three-Step Process
    Governing Principles for Ethical Behavior in Sport
    Ethical Consideration One: Pagan Associations With the Origins of Sport
    Ethical Consideration Two: Sport and the Sabbath
    Ethical Consideration Three: Considering Gamesmanship
    Winning and Losing
    The “Salt and Light” of Christian Influence
    Review and Discussion Questions

    Chapter 8. Financing Sports Ministry
    Financial Considerations in Sports Ministry
    Financial Management in Sports Ministry
    Basic Elements of Financial Management in Sports Ministry
    Understanding Financial Challenges in Sports Ministry
    Review and Discussion Questions

    Chapter 9. Sports Ministry Facilities
    The Importance of Planning for the Right Sports Ministry Facility
    Determining What Type of Sporting Facilities Are Available for Effective Ministry
    The Process of Creating a New Sports Facility: From Concept to Completion
    Additional Sport Facility Construction Considerations
    Maintaining a High-Quality Sports Facility
    Review and Discussion Questions

    Chapter 10. Legal Considerations
    A Basic Understanding of the U.S. Legal System and Legal Terminology
    State Legal Systems
    Additional Legal Considerations for Sports Ministries
    Key Legal Issues Facing Sport Ministries
    Lack of Understanding and Knowledge of Legal Elements and Responsibilities
    ADA Requirements for Sports Programs and Sports Facilities
    The Importance of a Proactive Risk Management Program
    The Importance of Accountability
    Review and Discussion Questions

    Part III. Developing a Viable Sports Ministry

    Chapter 11. International Sport Mission Trips
    Benefits of Short-Term Sport Missions
    The Importance of Partnerships
    Types of International Short-Term Sports Ministry Trips
    Short-Term Sports Ministry Precautions
    The Importance of Service and Relationship Building
    Administrative Responsibilities
    Pre-Trip Team Training and Post-Trip Debriefing
    Helpful Travel Tips
    Review and Discussion Questions

    Chapter 12. Sports Ministry in the Local Church
    Assessing Ministry Mission and Objectives
    Assessing Church and Community Demographics
    Four Typical Church-Based Sports Ministry Locations
    Hosting Events
    Funding Church Sports Ministry
    Church Sports Ministry Resources
    Equipping Responsibilities for the Sport-Minded
    Developing Church Sports Ministry Leadership
    Examples of Local Church Sports Ministries
    A Precaution
    Review and Discussion Questions

    Chapter 13. Sports Ministry Organizations
    SMO as Parachurch
    SMO Examples
    Review and Discussion Questions

    Chapter 14. Cultural and Leadership Considerations
    Cultural and Cross-Cultural Considerations
    Jesus Adapts to Cultural Norms
    Sports Ministry Application
    Women as an Example of Cultural Norm
    Discernment Implications
    Defining Nonnegotiables
    Support for One Another
    Leader-Led Teamwork
    Review and Discussion Questions
    David Lewis, DMin, is a sports ministry practitioner and educator, presently serving as associate professor at Huntington University in Indiana, where he oversees the sport management students. He is also an adjunct professor in the graduate program at Milligan University in Tennessee. Prior to Huntington, he created and directed the academic sports ministry minor at Houghton University in New York and developed and taught sports ministry courses.

    His own sports ministry practice began as an undergraduate at The King’s College in New York, where he and his college roommate organized an informal weightlifting ministry, combining strength demonstrations with Christian testimony and biblical instruction. A collegiate All-American soccer player, upon graduation Lewis moved to southern California and served full time with Athletes in Action Soccer, the sports ministry arm of CRU. Lewis has actively used sport, recreation, and camping as ministry tools in the local church. He has served as a youth pastor, associate pastor, and senior pastor at churches in Massachusetts and New York.

    Since 1991, Lewis has coached women’s soccer and is among a small group of collegiate women’s coaches to achieve over 400 career wins. In 2015, he led the Houghton University women’s soccer team to the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division I national championship, becoming the first and only NCAA Division III team to win the title. He was subsequently named the NSCAA/NCCAA Division I National Coach of the Year. Believing that one learns about ministry by doing ministry, he has led his soccer teams on multiple short-term soccer-specific sports ministry trips to 11 countries on five continents in partnership with ministries such as SCORE International, Missionary Athletes International, Sports Friends, Surge International, and Global Partners. An ordained minister, Lewis has performed the weddings of more than two dozen of his former soccer players.

    After earning a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy from The King’s College, Lewis earned master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts.

    Dave Irby, MAT, is the founder of Surge International/Surge Soccer, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit sports ministry that has virtual offices in the United States and Liberia.

    A native of southern California, Irby played soccer on the inaugural varsity team at Azusa Pacific University, which was his first time playing organized soccer. At the age of 23, he became the head coach of the Cougars, twice being named Coach of the Year, while playing with the Athletes in Action soccer team during the same time period.

    A pioneer of the soccer ministry movement, Irby has crisscrossed the globe as a soccer player, coach, and speaker. He founded the Seahorse soccer team for Missionary Athletes International and was the first full-time staff member. This experience would provide the inspiration for the founding of Surge International in 1992. Irby and the soccer teams he has led have traveled to 32 countries to play in a variety of settings, including prisons, jungle villages, and national soccer stadiums. His multinational teams have helped with reconciliation in Uganda after that country’s civil war, were on a peace tour to Sudan during their civil war, and traveled to Burundi to help with civil war prevention. More recently, from 2016 through 2019, Irby oversaw a soccer ministry project in Austria where he and his multinational colleagues used the platform of soccer to help refugees integrate into European society and to share Christ’s love with them. Surge has extended their work to Liberia with the launching of Surge Soccer Liberia, an initiative that is training leaders, assisting in educational development, and shedding light on the great needs of the country. Surge Soccer and their mascot, Sammy Surge, have visited over 150,000 children in four states and four foreign countries.

    Irby has self-published two books on Amazon: Undefeated, a compilation of four soccer-specific devotionals, now in five languages; and Sammy Surge in Study Hard, Play Fair, Help Others, a children’s book featuring life principles taught by Sammy Surge, the world-traveling mascot of Surge Soccer.

    Irby is a U.S. Soccer A-licensed coach. He has a master’s degree in teaching from University of La Verne in California and has a bachelor’s degree in social science and a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Azusa Pacific University in California. He is a member of United Soccer Coaches and Toastmasters International.

    Irby resides in Salem, Oregon, with his wife, Susan, and has three grown children and three grandchildren. He has attended five World Cups and enjoys hiking, reading, and travel, which has taken him to 47 countries and counting.

    William Galipault, DMin, is the executive director for the Seahorse Soccer ministry, a division of Missionary Athletes International (MAI). Seahorse Soccer has youth camps and clinics, a youth league, an urban youth program in the Los Angeles area, and an under-23 team in the United Soccer League (USL2), and they do international trips each year to Japan, Cuba, and the Czech Republic. He is also active in education as an adjunct professor with The Master’s University and Houghton University and as the director of the master’s in sports outreach program at Barclay College.

    Galipault’s career in sports began at Nyack College (now Alliance University) in New York, where he was the men’s head coach for seven years and earned coaching honors at the district and regional levels while completing a master of professional studies degree at Alliance Theological Seminary and a master of science in education for physical educators at Lehman College. Along the way, he added experience as an assistant athletic director and a PE instructor, ran soccer camps at the school, and took his players internationally, which is where he caught the attention of MAI and was recruited to join its staff.

    Bringing his experience to MAI, Galipault was involved in all areas of the ministry while also helping oversee the mission’s finances. He and his family spent six years in the Czech Republic, where he held ministry training conferences for Czech Christian athletes and led a small team from the United States and England in helping Czech churches learn how to use sports ministry as part of their work with their communities.

    Throughout his career, Galipault’s focus has been ministry training coupled with theoretical and philosophical underpinnings when working with young men and women coming into various ministries. His desire to make this same training available in universities is what prompted Galipault to obtain a doctor of ministry degree; his doctoral project was titled “Spiritual Formation in the Team Sport Environment and Its Application for Churches.”

    Wayne Rasmussen, EdD, is the program director of the new sport management major and an associate professor in the School of Business and Communication at The Master’s University. He plans to blend an academically challenging curriculum with valuable practical experiences that will prepare university students to serve in all levels of professional, collegiate, and youth sports in the areas of administration and management. He also serves as the faculty athletics representative. Prior to this, Rasmussen enjoyed a successful five-year run at Columbia International University in South Carolina, where he created, launched, and directed the school’s undergraduate sport management program in their School of Business in the summer of 2015.

    Rasmussen’s career began at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he was an assistant soccer coach before leaving for a head coaching job at Creighton University in Omaha. He later held positions on the administrative staffs of the Olympic and U.S. men’s national soccer teams as well as roles with three Major League Soccer clubs. Notably, he was the LA Galaxy’s director of operations and player development during the team’s inaugural MLS season in 1996 in the Rose Bowl. Rasmussen had a stint with the Tampa Bay Mutiny before becoming one of the founding members of the Philadelphia Union.

    During his career, Rasmussen has also been an athletic director and head soccer coach at Eastern University in St. David’s, Pennsylvania. He has organized sports ministry trips and has led multiple cycling tours and wilderness adventure trips.
    “Experience matters, and that is proven throughout this effort, written by men who know sports ministry and management. Absolutely should be a core resource or requirement in any sports ministry major or minor curriculum. I so appreciate the collaborative effort of these heroes of the faith.”
    —Dan Wood, Executive Director of National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA)

    All ancillaries are free to adopting instructors through HKPropel.

    Instructor guide. Includes a sample syllabus and chapter-specific files, including chapter summaries, learning objectives, abbreviated outlines of key content, suggested supplemental resources, assignment suggestions, recommended responses for the book’s review and discussion questions, and recommend responses for the book’s case study discussion questions.

    Test package. Contains 20 questions per chapter in true-false, fill-in-the-blank, and multiple-choice formats. The files may be downloaded for integration with a learning management system or printed for use as paper-based tests. Instructors may also create their own customized quizzes or tests from the test bank questions.

    Customer Reviews

    Be the first to write a review