Former Buckeye Motivates Students Cedarville University Partners with Joel Penton’s ‘Stand for Truth’

Updated on June 23, 2013
Cedarville University announces its partnership with Stand for Truth. Photo credit: Joel Penton

Cedarville University has signed an agreement with former Ohio State University football player Joel Penton and musician Ryan Holliday and their “Stand for Truth” ministry.

 Stand for Truth is an event-based program designed to bring the Gospel to high school students across the country. The program is comprised of school assemblies and evening outreach concerts.  During the school assemblies, Penton and Holliday use motivational words and stories to connect with students. In the evening, students are invited back for a concert that is based in the gospel of the Bible.

Penton graduated from The Ohio State University and played five years of football for the Buckeyes. He was a member of three Big Ten championship teams, a member of the National Championship team and a four-time academic All-Big Ten selection. After graduation, Penton turned down an opportunity to play in the NFL to begin a career in full-time speaking. 

Holliday is an accomplished piano player, singer and performer from Van Wert, Ohio. He is a graduate of Huntington University and performs at the Stand for Truth concert events.

Stand for Truth began as a ministry with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. It officially launched as its own organization in February 2012.

Penton has co-authored “Stand your Ground” and “Seven Lies Almost Every Teen Believes” with Shannah Hogue, a 1999 graduate of Cedarville University. He has quickly earned a reputation as one of the nation’s leading youth motivational speakers and has shared his programs with more than 300,000 students nationwide.

Penton’s relationship with Cedarville began while he was at The Ohio State University when Cedarville partnered with Athletes in Action to hold “The Main Event,” an outreach program that reached approximately 13,000 individuals with the gospel. In 2008, Penton also was a chapel speaker at Cedarville.

Roscoe Smith, associate vice president for university admissions, said that the partnership gives the University unique opportunities to reach audiences and show support for a message that it believes in.

“The partnership gives us an opportunity to reach out to students who fit the University’s profile and attend public school,” Smith said. “It allows us to penetrate an audience that we may not have had access to before.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at

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