(St. Louis, MO) – Focused ministries to athletes and artists were launched in a special ceremony that was held during InterVarsity’s National Staff Conference in St. Louis, January 7-11, 2014. Both ministries have been growing steadily from small beginnings and have spread to campuses across the country in the three years since InterVarsity’s last staff conference.
Athletes InterVarsity is directed by Maghan Perez, who came on staff with InterVarsity after her career as a Division I Ice Hockey and Lacrosse athlete at the University of New Hampshire. Athletes InterVarsity desires to see the whole athletic community reached: teams, coaches, athletes, trainers, and support staff.
“My heart for this ministry was born out of numerous painful experiences within athletics,” said Maghan. “The desire to be a part of helping launch this movement came from the realization that our teammates and other athletes need to hear and experience God’s love.” More than 1,600 athletes are already involved in the ministry on almost 40 campuses.
InterVarsity’s Arts Ministry is directed by Dick Ryan, a long-time InterVarsity staff member based in Chicago, and is designed to create welcoming communities of artists (musicians, architects, painters, media/film producers, dancers, writers, architects, etc.) in colleges and conservatories across the country.
“Ten percent of the student body is typically engaged in the arts,” said Dick. “Our goal is to equip artists to take Jesus with them wherever they go because artists create cultural statements through their work that influence many.”
Those involved in athletics and to some degree the arts are focused on performance. But the performance dynamic changes when the athlete and the artist offer their talents to God, rather than solely competing against others.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA is a campus ministry which has worked with students and faculty on U.S. college and university campuses for more than 72 years. InterVarsity has more than 900 chapters active on almost 600 campuses, from Ivy League universities to community colleges. InterVarsity is a charter member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).