FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Madison, WI) – A near record number of campus staff appointees have arrived in Madison to prepare for ministry in the vibrant arena of the college campus. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA has welcomed 126 new and provisional staff appointees from across the country to Orientation of New Staff. The annual training is held June 18-27 at the Inn on the Park, 22 S. Carroll Street, in downtown Madison.
This training comes at a time when major media, such as the New York Times, have recognized a growing spiritual hunger on the American college campus. A May 2, 2007 i>New York Times article stated that at many secular college campuses, including Harvard, Colgate, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of California—Berkeley, college officials have found students “drawn to religion and spirituality with more fervor than at any time they can remember.” Terry Erickson, InterVarsity’s director of evangelism, agreed. “In the last two school years we have seen exciting growth in the number of students who have come to faith in Jesus Christ,” he said.
The media reports and InterVarsity’s experience are consistent with the findings of the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) of the University of California at Los Angeles. A 2004 national survey of 112,000 college freshmen found:
- 80% have an interest in spirituality.
- 79% say they believe in God.
- 74% have discussions about the meaning of life with a friend.
- 69% pray.
- 48% say it’s important that colleges encourage their personal expression of spirituality.
- 47% consider it important to seek out opportunities to help them grow spiritually.
The training covers learning about such topics as how to establish witnessing communities, lead others in following Jesus as Savior and Lord, develop student leaders, and pursue racial reconciliation. The new staff members come from diverse backgrounds and include Asian American, African American, and Latino staff. Trainees will also learn how to build their own ministry support team: All InterVarsity field staff raise their own financial support.
This is the second largest ONS training group ever. By the start of classes this fall most of the new staff will be working on one of the more than 570 campuses where InterVarsity has established ministry. InterVarsity has been involved in ministry on American college campuses for over 65 years.
For more information contact:
Associate Director, Training
Director of Evangelism