Urbana, Greek Ministry, Missions, Legal Issues, Alumni, Bible Study, From the President, Campus Ministry, Graduate Faculty Ministry, Evangelism

Reflections on Campus Ministry from Nigeria

Tom Lin, president, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
January 31, 2017

A few weeks ago, I was with InterVarsity’s sister movement in Nigeria, at their student missions conference, which is similar to our Urbana Student Missions Conference. Nigerian staff and students worshiped loudly, passionately, hopefully, at a conference center guarded by security forces with automatic machine guns. A terrorist attack was possible at any moment.

In the midst of persecution by Boko Haram, where 1.5 million have already been forced from their homes and are without food in the Muslim North, thousands of students accepted the call to intentionally move to the North because, as they shared with me: “We won’t give in to fear. The gospel is worth sacrificing our lives.”

75 Years of Witness on Campus

Gordon Govier
November 11, 2016

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship officially began our campus ministry in the United States on November 14, 1941, the day we were incorporated. Campus fellowships had already been active at several U.S. colleges for a few years, however.

In 1941 InterVarsity’s founder, Stacey Woods, directed a three-person staff, operating out of a Chicago office that was shared with the Christian Workers Foundation. Today, 75 years later, InterVarsity’s national office is in Madison, Wisconsin, and staff workers and volunteers across the U.S. total more than 2,000. InterVarsity has 1,011 chapters on 667 U.S. college campuses, working with more than 40,000 core students and faculty.

Grief, Hope, and Our Mission

November 10, 2016

InterVarsity president Tom Lin sent this post-election reflection to all InterVarsity staff and volunteers on Thursday, November 10, 2016.

Friends, it’s been a long couple of days. I’ve been on the road this week. I’m physically and emotionally spent, but I wanted to share a bit of my thinking.

As a Taiwanese American raising two half-Taiwanese/half-Korean daughters, I spent yesterday processing and grieving the divide in the society where my girls are being raised. I remember growing up in a society where others made it clear that I didn’t “belong” and that I should “go back to where I came from,” and then committing myself to changing this for the next generation. The U.S. presidential election leaves many of us—particularly women, people of color, LGBTQI staff, and immigrants—feeling vulnerable, devalued, and without hope.

Tom Lin Named InterVarsity President

May 16, 2016

For Immediate Release

(Madison, WI) --- InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA announces that Tom Lin has been selected by the InterVarsity Board of Trustees to become the next president of the campus ministry. He will start on August 10.

Tom has been vice president and director of missions for InterVarsity since February 2011, and also director of Urbana 12 and Urbana 15, InterVarsity’s triennial student missions conference. He succeeds Jim Lundgren, who has served as InterVarsity’s interim president for the past year.

InterVarsity Seeks Urbana Director

February 24, 2016

For Immediate Release

(Madison, WI) – InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s triennial Urbana Student Missions conference will have new leadership when Urbana 18 takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, in December 2018. Tom Lin, InterVarsity vice president and director of missions, has announced the search for a new Urbana director.

Lin and his predecessor, Jim Tebbe, both held the job of Urbana director and director of missions simultaneously. But at other times in the past, the two jobs have been separated. “Global and generational transitions have created new opportunities in missions,” Lin said. “We want to bring increased creativity, spiritual leadership, and cross-cultural savvy to meet this God-given opportunity. A full-time director will enable Urbana to innovate new ways to mobilize this ethnically diverse student generation to give their whole lives to God’s global mission.”

A New Generation of Stories

January 7, 2016

 (Madison, WI) ---Attendees were asked, “What Story Will You Tell?” at Urbana 15, InterVarsity’s triennial student missions conference. And they answered with bold commitments to let God direct their stories.

“At Urbana 15, we challenged this generation to tell the Jesus' story with their lives, and to learn from stories that are different than theirs,” said Urbana director Tom Lin. “I pray that this generation will give their whole hearts to Jesus and surrender their lives for God's global mission.”

The Season To Carry Each Other’s Burdens

Jim Lundgren, interim president, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
December 18, 2015

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” - Galatians 6:2

December is always one of the most demanding months of the year for us at InterVarsity when it’s an Urbana year. Our Urbana student missions conference in St. Louis, December 27-31, 2015 is filled with all kinds of opportunities to challenge students and others to join God’s global mission. But it’s also a lot of work that comes at the time of year when we typically want to rest and celebrate.

When I face challenging times, or when I anticipate that an ordinarily demanding time will be even more demanding, there are several steps I have learned to take that make a challenging and demanding time an opportunity for God to work in me and in those God puts in my path.

Urbana 15 Commissioning Service

December 16, 2015

Eleven days in advance of the opening of Urbana 15, InterVarsity’s triennial student missions conference, leaders and staff gathered at InterVarsity’s National Service Center in Madison, Wisconsin, for a Commissioning Service. "I'm excited about the fruit of our labor that we'll be able to see in just over a week," said Urbana director Tom Lin.

Tom compared the Urbana team to the Israelites, getting ready to cross the Jordan River. “We’re not quite there yet, we’re at a Joshua 3 moment,” he said. In Joshua 3:5, the leader of the Israelites tells his people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

Tom noted that the verse doesn’t talk about persevering, or what to pack, or what not to worry about. “Consecration is setting ourselves apart completely for the Lord,” he said. “We’re making space for God to do his work in us, making us holy.”  

Technology & Missions Intersect at Urbana 15

November 9, 2015


(Madison, WI) – Tech-savvy participants at InterVarsity’s Urbana 15 will be challenged by Hack4Missions, Urbana’s first ever hackathon December 27-31, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. Students will prototype new ideas and create real-time solutions to challenges confronting missions organizations. 

Urbana Is Not Like Other Conferences

October 13, 2015


(Madison, WI) --- Urbana 15, InterVarsity’s 24th Student Missions Conference, will take place December 27-31, 2015, in St. Louis, MO.

In the 69 years since InterVarsity’s first student missions conference, the number of options for attending similar events has exploded. But Urbana remains distinct in its ability to call students to engage in God’s global mission and provide them with practical resources to respond to the challenge.

Read the rest of this news release at urbana.org.

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