Campus Outreach (CO) had its beginning in 1978 in Birmingham, AL at Briarwood Presbyterian Church. The ministry began with one full time staff person who was a recent graduate from Samford University. At that time it was the desire of the leadership at Briarwood to have an influence on the college age students in their church, in their denomination, and at the campuses in their region. These student groups are those for which the church felt responsible to establish and maintain a Christian influence.

The ministry enjoyed a great beginning and within a couple of years began to expand to new campuses in different cities in the Alabama region. Strong connections in each community and good relationships with local churches and campus administrations provided fertile ground for continued growth. By 1988, CO had expanded to 9 campuses with full time staff around the state of Alabama and into Georgia.

In 1989 the ministry continued to expand into the Georgia region through the leadership of First Presbyterian Church in Augusta, GA.  This was the beginning of Campus Outreach Augusta.  Since this time, more than 25 other franchises have been established under local churches.