University of Virginia

Going Beyond the Acronyms

Gordon Govier
March 9, 2017

Parking lots or people? That was the question Thurston Benns started pondering during a church growth class in seminary for his degree in pastoral counseling; the conversation during class had turned to calculating the number of parking spots a church needs and how much it costs to keep the lights on. But Thurston’s was thinking about the group of students he’d been meeting with at the nearby campus of Lynchburg College as an InterVarsity volunteer, and he realized that discipling students and teaching them how to lead small groups was much more appealing to him than dealing with church administration.

Up until that point campus ministry had been a sideline activity—a ministry opportunity—as he worked toward a career as a pastor. But as he met the students and helped them grow into a community of followers of Jesus, he discovered his calling. “I always want to be doing something like this,” he told himself.

Prepared for Leadership

Gordon Govier
March 7, 2016

Charlene Brown, InterVarsity’s newly appointed director of Black Campus Ministries (BCM), became a Christian her first year at the University of Virginia (UVA). Like many students, she sought answers to her questions about the meaning and purpose of life, and found those answers through Christians who loved her and shared the gospel with her.

Within a year she was helping lead a ministry to Black students at UVA with 200 students, and it was challenging—too challenging. The leadership team needed help, so they reached out to other campus ministries for assistance.

“InterVarsity was the only ministry that said yes to coming alongside us and helping our student leaders to lead well,” she said. “That’s how I first got involved with InterVarsity.”

Counterculture on Campus

Gordon Govier
December 26, 2014

As the saying goes, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” The problems with sex and alcohol on campus have been growing for decades, and were pushed into the limelight again this month by the University of Virginia rape story reported by Rolling Stone magazine.

Greek InterVarsity is a part of the solution on many campuses by being faithful to the gospel message. On the University of Virginia campus, still in shock from the pain of all of the media attention, Christian fraternity and sorority members are sharing hope and comfort.

Responding in Love

Gordon Govier
August 8, 2014

When gospel preachers showed up on the University of Virginia (UVA) Charlottesville campus wearing T-shirts that said “Turn or Burn,” students resisted the message and protested, attracting a local TV station. And InterVarsity students attempted to mediate with a gospel message that expressed Jesus’ love for the campus community.

Students' Reactions

The local TV station’s report on the visit states that InterVarsity students arrived at the UVA amphitheater to find the visitors surrounded by students who responded to the harsh preaching by singing the UVA theme, “The Good Ole Song.”  Some of the InterVarsity students talked with the visitors and were concerned that they seemed more interested in condemnation than conversion.

Ken Elzinga – Ministry Partner

Gordon Govier
April 24, 2006

In a Florida State University article on the nation’s top economics instructors, Ken Elzinga is described as “probably the nation’s most successful teacher of college-level economics.” At the end of the article the University of Virginia professor reveals the key to his influence, the image of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. “My authority as a teacher is linked to my willingness to serve my students,” he says.

As a graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree, and as a new Christian, Ken’s career was shaped by a pastor he met who had been on InterVarsity staff. “This young man, who had a heart for the university, taught me how being a Christian professor could be a calling or vocation,” he recalls.

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