Urbana 06 Attracts Students Interested in Changing the World


(St Louis, MO) – A record crowd of more than 22,000 Urbana 06 attendees stood to their feet with a Bible in one hand and a cell phone in the other as Urbana director Jim Tebbe opened the 21st triennial convention by asking them to pray a special request to God. “Ask God, ‘What does your Word, the Bible, have to say about my world?’ represented by your cell phone.”

As the opening night plenary speaker on Tuesday, December 27, 2006, Tebbe told attendees, “I cannot say what your calling is from God but I can say that I know he has one for you. The point of being here is to meet God and let him shape the direction of your life.”

Tebbe announced that people from 144 countries, as well as every state and province in the U.S. and Canada, were represented by attendees at the Urbana 06 Student Missions Convention, hosted by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA and Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada.

At an opening news conference earlier in the afternoon, Tebbe announced that registrations had reached 22,256, a new level that surpassed the previous high of 20,700, set at Urbana 2000. Final figures at the end of Urbana were expected to reflect some no-shows, as well as a larger than expected amount of walk-in registrations.

Alec Hill, president of InterVarsity/USA, and Geri Rodman, president of Inter-Varsity Canada, attribute the increased number of attendees to the desire of the students of this generation who are driven by their faith in Christ to be as passionate for social justice as they are for proclaiming the Gospel message. “My generation separated justice and proclamation,” said Alec Hill. “To this generation that’s a false dichotomy.” Added Geri Rodman, “I find in this student generation a desire to live out their faith from the inside out.”

InterVarsity’s Urbana 06 Student Missions Convention continues at the Edward Jones Dome and the America’s Center in St. Louis through New Years Eve.

Audio of Jim Tebbe’s address, the opening news conference and other Urbana activities can be found on InterVarsity’s audio resources page. More information on Urbana 06 is available at www.urbana.org.

For more information, contact:
Gordon Govier