|Headquarters||Kansas City, Missouri|
President and CEO
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is an international non-profit Christian sports ministry based in Kansas City, Missouri. FCA was founded in 1954. It has staff offices located throughout the United States and abroad.
FCA's mission is "to lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church." Its vision is "to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes."
FCA was founded in 1954 by Eastern Oklahoma A&M basketball coach Don McClanen, who later resigned to become its full-time director. After watching sports stars use fame to endorse and sell general merchandise, McClanen wrote to 19 prominent sports figures asking for their help in establishing an organization that would use the same principle to share the Christian faith. Among the first supporters were Baseball Hall of Famer Branch Rickey, who was most known for breaking the MLB color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945, and professional athletes including Otto Graham, Carl Erskine and Don Moomaw. FCA held its first advisory board meeting in September 1954 and was officially incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in November.
After two years in Oklahoma, McClanen moved FCA's headquarters to Kansas City, Missouri. That year (1956), FCA also conducted its first national camp, then referred to as a national conference, which drew 256 athletes and coaches to Estes Park, Colo. The ministry continued its expansion by adding additional camp locations, establishing a national magazine and beginning school campus groups called ,"Huddles," within 10 years of the first camp. In 1979 FCA completed and dedicated a new headquarters facility overlooking Kansas City, Truman Sports Complex, and the building was officially renamed the FCA National Support Center in 2011.
After 65 years of operation, FCA has developed into a global Christian sports ministry reaching more than two million people per year at the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth sports levels. As of 2018, FCA included a staff of over 1,700 ministry personnel in more than 450 U.S. offices and 62 countries.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes operates according to an internally written statement of faith. This statement consists of nine points based on Bible teachings and Christian principles. Each point has a corresponding scripture. All staff and ministry leaders agree with and operate according to the FCA statement of faith.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes lists four core values for its ministry: Integrity, Serving, Teamwork and Excellence. Each core value has a corresponding scripture.
FCA pursues their vision and mission through the strategy of "to and through the coach". We seek ministry first to coaches hearts, marriages and families. Then, when ready, we minister through coaches to their fellow coaches, teams and athlete leaders.
Billy Graham said, "A coach will impact more people in one year than the average person will in an entire lifetime." With the influence of a coach, FCA recognizes the most strategic way to reach more athletes is to first reach the coach.
As FCA matures, we seek to make disciples through our methods of engaging, equipping and empowering coaches and athletes to know and grow in Christ and lead others to do the same.
Engage (1 Thessalonians 2:8) FCA engages relationally by connecting with individuals and through events in many different environments by building genuine trust, sharing our lives and sharing the gospel. FCA strives to connect with coaches and athletes where they are on their spiritual journey.
Equip (Ephesians 4:12) After cultivating relationships and once coaches and athletes come to faith in Christ, FCA wants to equip them with Christ-centered training, events, resources and on-going support in what it means to be a follower of Christ, growing in God's Word and applying it to life.
Empower (2 Timothy 2:2) Once equipped, FCA empowers faithful leaders who desire to use their time, talents and treasures to help other coaches and athletes experience the gospel, grow in their faith and share Him with others. FCA desires to develop disciples who make disciples, assisting them so that they can in turn engage, equip and empower others to know and grow in Christ and lead others to do the same.
Sport-Specific Ministry FCA targets athletes and coaches in baseball, cheerleading, endurance sports, golf, hockey, lacrosse, motocross, surfing and wrestling.
The first SSM was FCA Golf, which was established in 1977. It was followed in 1989 by FCA Lacrosse.
Since 2012, FCA has expanded efforts around the world. As of 2018, FCA International is serving in 60 countries through 242 FCA International leaders who spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. FCA supports initiatives and partnerships that provide opportunities for leaders in sport ministries within their own countries by equipping them with the programs, services, support, resources and tools to grow their ministries. FCA hosted 304 camps outside of the US with more than 30,000 campers in 50 countries. Additionally, FCA International Huddles grew to 1,775 with 35,000 in attendance; more than 6,900 made decisions to follow Christ.
At the executive level, FCA operates under the direction of a president/CEO and an executive team that meets with a board of trustees.
FCA requires leaders to agree with its vision, mission and statement of faith. All adult leaders must complete a Ministry Leader Application. Applicants must agree with its vision, mission, statement of faith, non-denominational statement and sexual purity statement. All leaders must also pass a criminal background check and have their complete application approved by a local or regional Field Staff employee.
In September 2015, Roanoke City and Roanoke County, Virginia public schools ended FCA ministry to football players following at least two complaints. In an FCA activity referred to as the "Watermelon Ministry", the organization had visited public high school student athletes at team practices to offer watermelon slices and tell players that all the talents they have come from God. Two FCA videos from August 2015 of the now-halted program show public school coaches standing behind their team while an FCA evangelist sternly warns them that to be good players they must have a Christian faith and read the Bible. In a third video, numerous Virginia public high school coaches speak about how the FCA helps them recruit students to Christianity. One coach, for example, states: "We teach them not only about sports and how to live your life, but how to live your life as a Christian. I think that's really important, for us to just have a chance to relate with all different kinds of kids, not just the ones who go to church, but maybe the ones who don't go to church. It allows us to draw them in in a relaxed environment and really speak to them about the Gospel, which is the reason we do what we do. We want to bring kids to the gospel and see them follow after Christ." 
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national nonprofit organization, referred to the activities as "predatory," "illegal" and "unconstitutional"  in letters sent to superintendents of two of the largest Virginia jurisdictions involved.
School officials responded they were unaware that the coaches were hosting the proselytizing, and immediately stopped it. The Roanoke County superintendent stated "Roanoke County Schools believes in the separation of church and state. We want to maintain and ensure that that practice is being followed." A city of Roanoke spokesman said "When this information came to our attention, we responded immediately. We met with the appropriate people and made it very clear that separation of church and state is the law of the land. We feel the matter is under control and we will monitor this very closely."
Through its media office, FCA issued the following response, "Every student athlete has the right and the freedom to participate in activities according to their individual religious convictions. There are no repercussions for students who decline to participate in FCA activities."  The FFRF letters, however had noted that repercussions may take the form of pressure from peers and coaches, alienating non-Christian students, and usurping parents' authority.
The FCA sexual purity statement has been criticized because it includes statements against homosexuality, which must be signed by FCA representatives of the ministry including staff, trustees and adult volunteer ministry leaders. Student leaders sign a Student Leader Application when serving in leadership roles within the organization, but this application does not require signing the sexual purity statement.
Since 1954, professional athletes and coaches have taken part in FCA through ministry events, speaking engagements, FCA camps, volunteer opportunities and ministry leadership roles. For approximately six decades, athletes and coaches from both major and minor professional sports and top-tier college programs have engaged with FCA to communicate their Christian faith and participate in community outreach opportunities. Among those who pioneered the organization were former stars Otto Graham, Branch Rickey, Bobby Richards, Carl Erskine and Bill Krisher. They would be followed by other influential sports figures including Tom Landry, Bobby Bowden, John Wooden, Roger Staubach, Jim Ryun,Betsy King,Herschel Walker,Reggie White, Tony Dungy, Shaun Alexander,Tom OsborneShanna Zolman, and Kay Yow, all of whom vocalized their Christian faith through FCA outlets such as banquets, camps and rallies.
Recent stars who have connected with FCA have included Josh Hamilton, Adam Wainwright, Brian Roberts,Tim Tebow,Tamika Catchings,Jennie Finch, Andy Pettitte, Tommy Tuberville, Jim Kelly, John Harbaugh,Leah O'Brien Amico,John Smoltz, Allyson Felix Mark Richt, Colt McCoy,Andrew McCutchen and a number of public figures outside the world of sports such as comedian Jeff Foxworthy, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson. Influential Christian leaders such as Billy Graham, Chip Ingram, Anne Graham Lotz and Tommy Nelson also have participated in FCA through resource development, camps or events.
FCA presents six national awards every year to athletes and coaches who have excelled in specific areas of competition, community service and Christian character.