For Immediate Release
(Madison, WI) -- For 70 years, InterVarsity’s Urbana Student Missions Conference has drawn students who want a life of significance and challenged them to discover what God is doing in the world and join his redemptive mission.
Some of the college students attending Urbana 18 at the America's Center in St. Louis on December 27-31, 2018, will be helping solve real-world missions dilemmas. About 150 of the 10,000 Urbana 18 attendees are participating in #Hack4Missions, which debuted three years ago at Urbana 15.
The #Hack4Missions hackathon at Urbana is codirected by Ali Llewellyn and Nick Skytland, who are also the cofounders of NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge and National Day of Civic Hacking. At Urbana 18, they will direct student teams made up of software developers, digital designers, project managers, and other technologists, who will tackle challenges submitted by missions agencies.
The Urbana 18 #Hack4Missions challenges include:
- developing a drone navigation system to survey remote airstrips
- developing an automated visual storytelling generator that will help people learn Bible stories in their native language
- developing a project to monitor shortwave reception to help a radio ministry know how well listeners are receiving programming
Urbana also features specialized tracks, which include:
- the Business Track, where attendees will explore how to use a commercial vocation to help people physically and spiritually
- the Global Students Track, for international students, third culture kids, and others whose lives have crossed many borders
- the Justice Track, for those who want to explore economic, ethnic, and environmental justice issues in a biblical context
- the Ministry and Missions Leadership Track, for pastors, nonprofit organization leaders, and others who are already involved in ministry
Urbana 18 has more than 200 seminars. Urbana is an opportunity to learn from Christians who are on the cutting edge of many fields and contemporary issues.
Urbana 18 is InterVarsity’s 25th student missions conference, cohosted by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, InterVarsity of Canada, and Groupes Bibliques Universitaires et Collégiaux du Canada. InterVarsity's first student missions conference was held in Toronto, Canada, in 1946.
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