Madison, WI, October 20, 2004 — Alec Hill, President of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, today announced that InterVarsity’s 21st Urbana Student Mission Convention will have a new look and a new location when it convenes in December 2006 in St. Louis, Missouri. It will, however, continue the tradition of offering college students and recent graduates a world-class exposure to global missions in a unique five-day event between Christmas and New Year’s.
The Urbana 06 plenary sessions will be held in the Edward Jones Dome. By using the adjacent America’s Center, InterVarsity will be able to innovate new programming tracks and host all Urbana exhibiting partners (mission agencies, denominational organizations, and seminaries) and seminars under one roof.
Hill said that the decision to move came at the end of a lengthy and careful evaluation process. The triennial convention has been held on the University of Illinois campus at Champaign-Urbana since 1948 where InterVarsity has enjoyed a solid tradition of cooperation with University officials and the local Champaign-Urbana Christian community. In its 55 years, Urbana has grown significantly in size and influence; the St. Louis venue will allow Urbana to continue to grow and introduce new programs more relevant to changing student generations.
“Urbana is a legacy that the Lord has entrusted to InterVarsity,” said Hill. InterVarsity maintains that legacy to motivate North American students into world mission, in partnership with U.S. and Canadian churches and mission organizations. Urbana is an expression of InterVarsity’s Purpose Statement and has challenged more than 200,000 university men and women to consider serving God’s mission in the world.
Urbana has also shaped InterVarsity’s own understanding of mission. “In a recent survey, 83 percent of our campus staff indicated that the convention was a significant factor in their decision to join staff,” Hill said.
InterVarsity considered dozens of sites in cities across the U.S. and Canada. Hill said that St. Louis won out for several reasons: its central location, the potential for continued growth, and the opportunity to hold the majority of the program under one roof.
InterVarsity employs 880 field staff working with 832 student chapters on 564 campuses across the United States. Additional staff work at InterVarsity’s National Service Center in Madison, Wisconsin, InterVarsity camps, and at InterVarsity Press in Downers Grove, Illinois. InterVarsity is a founding member of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, advancing Christian student work in 150 countries.
For local contacts, or more information contact Media Coordinator Gordon Govier by phone at 608-443-3688; or by email