Whole Life Transformation: Spiritual and Educational Growth

Only four out of 10 male students who started at Bowie State University (BSU) graduated when Osaze and Hadiza Murray began serving with Navigators Collegiate 10 years ago at this Historically Black University in Maryland. Now, reflecting on what God has done through generations of students over the last decade, Osaze realized that eight out of 10 men involved in The Navigators graduated and 100 percent of the male student leaders have earned their degrees!

<em>Daniel Osaze and Joseph<em>

Eric, a BSU alumni, captures the whole-life transformation that took place during his college years. “The Navigators not only taught me how to walk with Christ, but you also taught me how to study for school! The Bible study skills you gave me were transferable to my school study habits. My grades got better as a result of being involved. I still remember when you [Osaze] approached me while you were doing evangelism in the game room. You all were relatable—close enough to my life that I could relate and old enough to be mentors. I really want to say thank you!”

Eric had just decided to follow Jesus when he met Osaze. Now, several years after graduating from college, Eric is a law enforcement officer, husband, and father, and continues to grow in his relationship with God and disciple those in his sphere of influence.

“This kind of life change for the long term builds the credibility of our ministry,” shares Osaze. “The Navigators are not necessarily well known in the African American church community, so the ability to demonstrate how discipleship makes a difference in young men’s spiritual condition and ability to contribute to their community is important.”

Many Bowie State alumni remain in the local area and stay involved with campus ministry to disciple the next generation of students. Daniel who is now part of EDGE Corps (a Navigators Collegiate internship), graduated in 2016. He was one of the first student Bible study leaders at BSU. Now, he is giving back to the next generation of leaders as he disciples Chris, who is the student president of The Navigators at BSU. Chris, a junior, in turn invests in underclassmen.

Even in the midst of disappointing cancellations this spring, when student leaders who had planned to attend the African American Network conference in Chicago had to adjust to a virtual conference instead, the good news still is going out and students are growing in their relationship with Jesus.

The pandemic has brought out deep questions from students and those in their sphere of influence. Justin, who has been discipled by Osaze for the past three years, is friends with a martial arts instructor. With many martial arts classes cancelled, he has had more time to think and spend time asking Justin spiritual questions. One night Justin’s friend asked, “How can I be saved?” and after understanding the gospel, he decided to follow Jesus. Now Justin has the joy of discipling his friend to start his growth in Christ.

During the last school year, the students at BSU studied 2 Timothy. As they studied Paul’s exhortation to a young disciple, they also lived out the message of this epistle: “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)

Praise God for the generations of disciplemakers who have graduated from Bowie State University. Pray for ongoing ministry to equip young men and women to live out their faith and engage in lifelong disciplemaking.


  1. Navigators memorize the word Changed my life in 1970’s. I memorized much scripture after that and taught Bible memorization for years after that. Now at 72 my Pastor Husband has dementia and Im caring for him Here in southern California. Is there a
    Navigator organization here.?

  2. Thank you for this article. A great account. Enjoyed reading and seeing how people are investing in lives.

  3. My parents used the card system from Navigators to memorize scripture in the 1950s at LeTourneau College, Mobberly Avenue Baptist Church and Pinewood Park Baptist Church. We four children have reaped the benefit of your scripture methods and their faithfulness in serving the Lord.

  4. It was a joy and pleasure to finally meet Osaze snd his beautiful wife, at an Afam conference, in Atlanta. I never knew what a “quiet time” was until I ran into the Navigators, as a freshman, at Tuskegee University, in 1976. After that Afam conference, I started teaching Lessons on Assurance at Bethune-Cookman University. Two of those young ladies came to Afam with me, in North Carolina. The groups I’ve had have since graduated, or transfered. Also taught Lessons on Assurance to a group of 13, 70 year old women, who said they were too old to memorize weekly scripture, but they did. Now planning a huge Fall 2021 banquet with all of the Navs who came through Tuskegee. Expecting about 300.
    Thanks Navigators. To God be the glory!
    Gwen Jackson
    Skegee Sunday School Alum Historian

  5. I am so thankful for the work that Navigator staff does in colleges and universities around the country. It impacted my son’s life and many that he was friends with in college and still today. I pray God will continue to use this ministry to further His kingdom and bring glory to Himself.

  6. These stories need to be broadcast from the mountaintops, instead of all the negative, horrid news of riots & tearing up cities. We have a sin problem, a soul problem and we need to somehow let the populace know that there is a definite alternative in Christ!

  7. A thrilling account! This is such a testimony of the blessing of God on the impact of changing the whole person that we see reflected in the young churches of the New Testament. When they came to Christ, the whole person changed.

    Terrific work! Praise God for your diligence and commitment.

    1. Great story. I was especially touched by Erics story. As a retired law-enforcement officer and Christian, I was encouraged to know that my brothers choose to serve their communities as part of their Christian life. Praise God for Christian law Enforcement officers. And for the work of the Navigators in the lives of young black men.

    2. Awesome & heartening ,do you have a daily devotional online? My family & I would be interested. Shalom.

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