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Christian Union
November 8, 2014

Columbia Pitcher Is a Leader with Christian Union

by Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer

Columbia-Baseball-PlayerA pitcher on Columbia University's baseball team recently paused to reflect on his faith after he was among 11 players to win All-Ivy League status.

Adam Cline, who touts Christian Union's leadership development ministry at Columbia among his favorite collegiate activities, received the honor in May, less than a week after the Lions clinched the Ivy League Championship for the second season in a row.

"I pray before every game," said Cline, who also spent the summer playing for the Northwoods League's La Crosse Loggers. Headquartered in Minnesota, the summer league features top college players.

As for his first All-Ivy League selection, the Washington native earned honorable mention in a reliever role, despite spending part of the season battling a misaligned hip. The Lions' Ivy League Championship was especially sweet to Cline.

"It really brings you close with all of the guys on the team," said Cline, a junior who also serves as a vice president of Kappa Delta Rho. "It's a really great group of guys."

More importantly, on the field and across campus, Cline aims to reflect Christ, a goal he regularly discusses with Jim Black, his spiritual mentor and Christian Union's ministry director at Columbia.

"The guys on the team know about my faith," said Cline, who participates in Black's Bible course and attends services at Hillsong Church NYC.

Arriving at Columbia University proved a culture shock for Cline, who attended a tiny Christian high school near Seattle. Nonetheless, "I knew it was where the Lord wanted me," said the right-handed pitcher, who plans to pursue a career in the financial arena.

Since meeting Black late in his freshman year, Cline has turned to the ministry director for regular mentorship.

"He gives good advice you can trust," said Cline, noting the pair often explore Scriptures and discuss the leadership issues he encounters as a student-athlete and officer in his fraternity.

Not surprisingly, the political science major deals with the pressures of hectic practice and game schedules during the spring, while also juggling intense coursework.

Black noted Cline lives out his faith before his fraternity brothers, teammates, and classmates.

"Adam is a very beloved and trustworthy guy in the social scene," said Black. "He's a kind, genuine guy. He is making a deep, personal impact in the lives of lots of young men and women at Columbia."

Adam-ClineCline reflects remarkable Christian devotion on a campus almost devoid of Christian influence, in what is already an intensely secular city.

"He has a genuine love for the Lord and for the students at Columbia. He's making a noticeable difference," Black said.

Cline expressed gratitude for his peers and the Christian Union ministry fellows in the ministry at Columbia who have provided a source of refreshment and encouragement.

Another baseball milestone for Cline occurred when Columbia trekked to South Florida to participate in the NCAA Division I Regional Championship, despite a loss to Texas Tech in the first round on May 30.

While losing is tough, "it was a lot of fun to go down there and compete at that level," said Cline.

All things considered, Columbia's baseball team has emerged as a shining light for the university's athletics program. "Adam has played a role in that," Black said.

As for the new academic year, Black looks forward to Cline continuing to reflect his faith on the Lions' baseball team, while playing a more senior role as an upperclassman.

"He's living faithfully in that scene," Black said. "The next two years will be the time for him to make a larger impact on the culture of Columbia."
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