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April 26, 2022

Werchan ’23 Emerges as a Leader for CU Martus 

By Tom Campisi, Staff Writer

 

Seth Werchan appreciates every moment he can play baseball this spring, whether it’s using his speed to stretch a single into a double or roaming the green grass of the outfield and camping under a fly ball.


A member of the University of Pennsylvania baseball team, Werchan is a junior, but feels more like a rookie at times, considering that the 2020 season was canceled due to Covid, and last year the Quakers played an abbreviated schedule. 

1 a seth Werchan.jpg SIZEDSeth Werchan, a junior outfielder, lays down a bunt for the Quakers.

“It’s awesome playing games basically every other day and not practicing constantly like we did the past two years,” he said. “Playing in front of school fans and friends is so much fun and I am learning so much about myself and the team.”

Werchan is also hitting his stride as a valuable leader for Christian Union Martus at Penn. He founded a Bible course for baseball players, along with CU Martus buddy Leo Chen ’22. After being a member of a Bible course during his freshman and sophomore years, and having upperclassmen and Christian Union faculty members catalyze his growth as a Christian, Werchan felt a burden for his teammates. In the summer of 2021, he approached Chen ’22 with the idea of creating a Bible course specifically for the baseball team. Chen was impressed with Werchan’s zeal and faith and was all-in.

“I saw Seth’s heart for it. I knew this was something that Seth wanted to do—he had tasted and saw Christ (after being in a Bible course for two years),” said Chen. “That’s the whole point. You can’t just keep it to yourself.”

For Werchan, starting a baseball course for his teammates was a “big step in my faith.”

“I was not really an open Christian with the team, and then I put myself out there, (thinking) ‘Whatever backlash I get, it’s part of being a Christian.’ I took that step and I got a lot of positive feedback,” he said.

Chen knew how challenging it was for Werchan to be a Christian at Penn and on the baseball team: “For him to have the courage and the love for his teammates…to take a stand for what he believes and also be willing to get into other people’s lives—I was like, okay, this is kind of a no brainer.”

The baseball Bible course was focused on Philippians and in the fall semester on Romans in the spring.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” Werchan said. “A lot of these guys have very little faith experience; some have a lot. We’ve been asking some hard questions, really gone deep with them, and we have grown a lot throughout the semester.”

“I want to give these guys the honest truth.”

Corey Lotspeich, Christian Union’s ministry director at Penn, has been impressed with Werchan’s leadership and how the Bible course is impacting the team.

“Seth has been the one to hold and carry out this vision of having a baseball Bible course. He has single-handedly recruited twelve guys from his team,” he said. “Most of the students are freshmen. Seth exhibits compassion for his teammates, and steadfastness in the face of a 'work hard, play hard' culture to persevere in the things of God.”

In high school Werchan was a three-sport athlete. He played baseball, football, and ran track at James Bowie High School in Austin, Texas. Even though he was able to play football in the “Friday Night Lights” atmosphere unique to Texas, baseball remained his favorite sport. In his senior year, he was the captain of the Bowie baseball team that captured a district championship. 

At Penn, Werchan is seeking to not only play winning baseball, but to lead by example as a Christian. He has grown as a leader by facing uncomfortable situations, and also due to the mentorship of Chen.

“The CU Bible course has thrust me into uncomfortable situations,” he said.

“My confidence has grown so much this past year thanks to my fellow leader and Bible course mentor Leo. He is a great guy to help lead with and I’ve picked up so many things from him.”

Werchan was also quick to give thanks and credit to the mentorship of Tucker Else, Christian Union’s former ministry director at Penn; Fuji Kim, a former ministry fellow; and Lotspeich.

“Tucker has been my biggest mentor. He is a big giver and has taught me to love everybody and grow deep bonds. His faith is incredible and you can feel the Holy Spirit flow through him; Fuji was the one who brought me into Christian Union. His authenticity, care, and love are the standard for CU that I fell in love with and strive to achieve every day,” Werchan said. “Cory is new and has stepped up big in his role. He is an incredibly disciplined and hardworking guy. We are both from Texas and both relate to tough team environments (him in the Marines and me as a baseball player).”

Regarding the Penn baseball team, Werchan is hopeful that the Quakers can contend for the Ivy League title, but is respectful of other quality teams in the conference. 

“We have a really good team this year. We have lost a few games early on that we should’ve won, but we are learning and growing every day,” he said.

Learning, growing, and believing—the same could be said for Christian Union’s baseball Bible course and also for Werchan, a student leader who is trusting God for great things.

RELATED: Want to go deeper in your faith? Click here to receive a free download of Christian Union’s "Seeking God Lifestyle” Bible Course Manual.

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