By Jonathan Rice

Why We Establish Campus Witnessing Communities

Many of today’s students are passionate about making a difference in other people’s lives. They feel called to vocations that will help alleviate suffering caused by poverty, disease, and injustice. These students want to learn how to live responsibly in a morally complex world. But when they look for guidance from their academic institutions, they feel frustrated and realize that something essential has been missing from their classrooms.*

Is an academic education enough?
While today’s Liberal Arts college or university prides itself on preparing students intellectually for successful futures, little thought is taken by schools about preparing students spiritually for adult life. But spiritual preparation is as essential as intellectual development to live responsibly and be a whole person.

Witnessing through community
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA helps complete students’ educations by showing them a biblical worldview and inviting them to know Jesus Christ. InterVarsity provides such education through our campus witnessing communities.

People are influenced by the communities they keep. Within InterVarsity’s 585 witnessing communities nationwide, students and faculty develop authentic relationships based on the love of God. They share in the growth of their community through creative outreach and ministry. And they learn to think theologically, morally, and compassionately about their relationships in this world through InterVarsity’s small group Bible studies, conferences, and missions programs.

When students join an InterVarsity chapter, they are taught how to study the Bible. They received leadership training. And they experience a variety of missions opportunities—all in the context of a culturally and ethnically diverse community. These activities can influence the remainder of their lives.

Growing our communities
InterVarsity is expanding. Today we are reaching more students and faculty through our chapter planting initiative. Since the beginning of this initiative in 2006, we have established forty-three new witnessing communities. By the fall of 2009, we intend to plant another twenty-one. By the grace of God and the generosity of our donors, we are on pace to reach our goal of one hundred new witnessing communities by the year 2012.

“InterVarsity’s primary reason for being is not our planting and building of witnessing communities,” says president Alec Hill, “but is our preparing in students through Christian community the kind of discipleship to Christ and moral character in their lives that enables them to advance God’s kingdom.”

InterVarsity prepares students not only for their personal futures but their future roles as world leaders. Through InterVarsity witnessing communities, students find a completion to their academic education that helps them daily find their way in a morally complex world. InterVarsity prepares students and faculty to build God’s kingdom.

*“Although many colleges have committed themselves to promoting the moral and ethical development of their students, they generally have not proven very good at the task.” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 14, 2008