The NSP Story

The 17 years since NSP began, prove over and over God's faithfulness to lead and guide this work. Since we serve such a God, we can look forward to the future in an expanded mission field with confidence. 

  • Founded in 2002

    In 2002, California School Project was founded by Warren Willis in partnership with the Pacific Justice Institute and the Torrey Honors Institute and the Biola Apologetics Program at Biola University. Warren began with the ambitious goal that continues to drive us: to reach the 36 high schools closest to Biola and then to expand throughout California to reach all 1,000+ public high schools in the state!

  • first Rally in 2004

    In 2004, after a few years of getting things started and learning about coaching students at public schools, CSP mentors helped students host the first major rally at La Mirada High School. A quarter of the entire campus attended to hear about the love of Jesus. In the spring of 2005, rallies were held at 10 different local high schools.

  • first Distance trips in 2006

    The ministry continued to expand at Biola, and by 2005-2006 we were not only coaching local schools, but we were coaching two schools in downtown LA. In 2006-2007 we took our first HomeTown trip, and as of 2014 we have taken 27 different HomeTown trips.

  • New Chapter at APu in 2010

    In 2010-2011, the Azusa Pacific chapter was launched, our first expansion to a new university. This advanced the mission of expanding across the state. By opening a new chapter, we showed that this kind of ministry could work in other universities in new areas.

  • Chicago Hometown Trips begin in 2010

    Also in 2010-2011, we took our first HomeTown trip to Chicago. The first year, students from Biola coached two high schools north of Chicago for campus-wide outreach efforts. The following year, three schools participated. Then in the fall of 2012, a movement of students from 12 different high schools called us to create a third hometown trip and coach them for campus outreach. Clearly, there was a hunger for the gospel!

  • The chicago Opportunity takes off in 2013

    After seeing and praying about the opportunities in Chicago, Mark Hopson was sent out of Los Angeles to start a new work called the Chicago Opportunity in 2013. Mark and a small team of college students started chapters at Trinity International University and Moody Bible Institute in 2013 and at Wheaton College in 2014. 

  • NSP launches in 2015

    Two years after launching the Chicago Opportunity, it became clear that the California School Project was permanently oriented to ministry far beyond one state. To reflect the mission we felt God leading us into and to include the work we're already doing, we launched the National School Project with a national mission - to reach every school in all 50 states. At the same time, the Chicago Opportunity was formerly renamed the Illinois School Project. It was no longer a test case, but a state ministry with a mission field for all of Illinois.

  • new president announced in 2016

    With two full-fledged state ministries and a rapidly growing team of staff and Student Leaders, Warren Willis appointed Mark Hopson as the second president of NSP effective January 2017. Warren continued in his role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and as part of this season of growth and transition, Heather Barnes was named Director of the Illinois School Project effective January 2017. Click here to learn more. 

  • Name change and RE-BRANDING in 2017

    To prepare for future growth across the country, we decided to simplify our brand and operate solely as the National School Project. California School Project and Illinois School Project would no longer be used to identify our teams in California and Illinois in hopes to avoid confusion and allow word to spread more quickly about the mission at hand. 


    Since 2004, NSP has worked with a total of 340+ schools nationwide, growing from working with 10 schools per year to working with 94+ schools in 2018-2019 alone.