Largest College Class in History Thirsts for Meaning

News Release

(Madison, WI) – A record 18.4 million college and university students1 are beginning classes on campuses across the country as a new school year gets underway. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff members are sharing the gospel with these students. Many are responding and becoming followers of Jesus Christ. Staff are nurturing relationships with many more students and faculty members to help them become lifelong followers of Jesus Christ.

Students Want More
While students arrive on campus eager for marketable skills on which to base a career and support a family, many also are looking for answers to give their life deeper meaning. The Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California Los Angeles found in a national survey2 that out of 112,000 college freshmen, 80 percent had an interest in spirituality and 47 percent considered it important to seek opportunities to grow spirituality.

On all too many campuses though, the focus is on dispensing practical knowledge, while the spiritual meaning of life is largely ignored.

InterVarsity’s “best year ever”
For almost 70 years InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has been sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with students and faculty on hundreds of U.S. college campuses. Currently we have more than 850 chapters on 562 campuses. This past 2008-2009 school year saw more students respond to the gospel through InterVarsity’s ministry than in any year but 1982, the year that Billy Graham participated in an InterVarsity mission in North Carolina. President Alec Hill called the past school year “our best year ever, on campus.”

Many students are following-up the transformation they’ve experienced by volunteering to help others through InterVarsity’s urban projects and global projects that took place in cities across the U.S. and around the world this past summer.

The college campus is our mission field
Research released by the University of Michigan3 this summer suggests that students with certain academic majors become less religious during their college years, while students with other majors become more religious. InterVarsity leaders find the conclusions interesting. “We believe all students and faculty members should have the opportunity to consider the claims of the gospel,” said president Hill. “The campus is our mission field. By changing lives on campus we can change the world.”

For more information contact:
Gordon Govier


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