By Jonathan Rice

Transforming Students, Faculty, and the World

For over sixty years, InterVarsity has faithfully worked in the mission fields of this nation’s college campuses and universities, season after season, planting the seeds of the gospel, nurturing new witnessing communities among students, preparing young disciples of Jesus to help transform the world.

In this season of post-modernity, when secular therapies and ideologies all compete in the academic marketplace for the minds of students and faculty, InterVarsity stands with the church, offering people the biblical truth of a life-giving transformation through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Our mission is an expression of God’s mission to transform non-Christians to Christian believers, believers to disciples of Jesus, and disciples to world changers.

How we perform our mission is always considered within the context of the Bible. That is why speaking the truth of the gospel with love for everyone, regardless of their ethnicity or cultural background, is foundational to our ministry’s evangelistic methodology.

The truth we proclaim to gatherings of students and that we demonstrate through missions projects, both national and international, affirms God’s mission to radically change individuals and societies. InterVarsity affirms that only through Jesus Christ can anyone be spiritually transformed into a child of God and that solely through God’s transformation of our lives will we become fully human.

How does InterVarsity participate in God’s mission of transformation? We provide for the transformation of students and faculty by offering inductive Bible studies for non-Christian inquirers and Christian disciples of Jesus, by offering caring communities that model love for God, authentic relationships among diverse ethnicities, and unity with the local church, and by offering experiential learning opportunities for leadership through mentors and conferences, and through missions projects among the poorest neighborhoods of this world’s cities. We then invite non-Christians to trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and to follow him with their whole hearts and minds.

InterVarsity has a rich legacy of careful Bible study and spiritual formation. Our inductive study methods and well-known Bible Study Guides (published by InterVarsity Press) have introduced many non-Christians to the biblical Jesus and nurtured countless young Christians in their discipleship to Christ.

Our doctrinal statement clearly affirms “the unique, divine inspiration, entire trustworthiness and authority of the Bible,” so that everyone may know that the Bible is foundational for our ministry and that our methods for doing evangelism and spiritual formation are based in a biblical worldview.

A biblical worldview is equally important for how we advance and nurture our campus witnessing communities. In accord with the Bible, InterVarsity’s witnessing communities encourage their members to form authentic relationships with all people and, as members of the larger body of Christ, participate in the life and service of a local church.

“As we serve, worship, pray, and play together, we begin to live out the unity envisioned by Jesus. . . .” wrote Alec Hill, president of InterVarsity, in a staff newsletter. This unity of spirit is demonstrated by our co-sponsorship of campus evangelistic activities—the Veritas Forums, for instance—with other college ministries and local churches.

Integrated with their participation in a local church are InterVarsity’s student’s experiential learning opportunities to help them practice servant-leadership for vocations of world change. We challenge our students to integrate both their discipleship to Jesus and biblical worldview into the ordinary events of their lives and to grow sensitive to how God’s Spirit may be calling them to ministry in unfamiliar cultures and continents.

We teach our students to be attentive to how God may use them to transform this world, and we help them prepare for vocations that help change this world for the better by offering local, regional, and national conferences—such as the Urbana Student Missions Convention.

InterVarsity’s inductive Bible studies, caring communities, and experiential learning opportunities—all contribute to transforming students into disciples of Christ and faithful witnesses of the gospel.