Elyse, a freshman at Montana State University, gave her life to Jesus before Thanksgiving at an InterVarsity Large Group meeting. Afterwards she began attending a small group Bible study. By February she had learned how to lead a Bible discussion group for non-Christians. And today she is a witness among her classmates of God’s transformative love through Jesus Christ. This academic year she hopes to participate in the missions plans of her local church.
Elyse’s transformation from a non-Christian to a dedicated follower of Jesus illustrates why InterVarsity establishes witnessing communities on campuses.
A Marketplace of Ideas
Many students at liberal arts colleges and universities find themselves confused by the myriad of spiritual, intellectual, and cultural choices on campus. It’s understandable. Without a clearly biblical worldview, it’s easy for anyone in a marketplace of ideas to pick up some ungodly values and unbiblical beliefs.
For generations in the United States, our universities’ leaders believed in the existence of God and God’s laws in the world. Today on many campuses, God’s existence is questioned and his laws are mocked as irrelevant. Moreover, the intellectual credibility of people who believe in God is also questioned, resulting in Christians being marginalized in the academy.
An education that could lead students to appreciate the wonder of God’s creation and the meaning of human life, instead denigrates biblical truth and criticizes Christ’s church. The education that should lead students to mature adulthood—in body, mind, and spirit—instead leads many students away from God and the church.
Imagine the Possibilities
Imagine the influence that today’s students will have on the future of healthcare, Wall Street, government, and the media. Will these students, having been educated in the present academic culture that is skeptical about God’s existence, obtain educations that prepare them to make wise decisions for leading tomorrow’s world?
Imagine what this world would be like if today’s college students were motivated more by love for God and service to people than they are now compelled by a desire for money and advantage over competitors? Imagine their witness as a global community of Christians. And think of the hopeful possibilities for their children.
Of course, thinking it so will not make it true. But believing can be the beginning of action. What can we do? What can each of us do to further the kingdom of God?
Get involved. Participate in God’s global mission.
Communities that Witness
InterVarsity plants and builds witnessing communities in obedience to the church’s call to share the gospel with all people, regardless of their ethnicity and cultural background. But we do more than evangelize campuses. We also develop in our students the Christ-like character, vision, and leadership skills that will change the world for the better.
InterVarsity’s witnessing communities work to see students and faculty transformed through a relationship with Jesus Christ, campuses spiritually renewed through the influence of our witnessing communities, and the world changed through our alumni’s servant leadership in their chosen professions, and through their ministry in the local and global missions of the church. That’s why we exist, and why we establish communities that witness to God’s love and grace through Jesus Christ.
“When anyone asks me what InterVarsity is really about, my response is simple,” says president Alec Hill. “Our ongoing vision is to create strong witnessing communities on college campuses. This generation of students desperately needs to know Jesus Christ.”
Student Led Ministry
Students are at the heart of our campus ministry. Our campus staff members train student leaders how to design and coordinate many Intervarsity activities, such as large group worship times, small group Bible studies, and campus-wide evangelism programs.
InterVarsity staff and faculty advisors offer student leadership training through camps, conferences, and seminars. And our national offices provide students with resources for spiritual growth, community-building, and outreach through books and Bible studies published by InterVarsity Press, inspiration found on our StudentSoul website, and instruction delivered in videos produced by our 2100 Productions media team.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA offers college students opportunities to learn about the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ and nurtures Christian students as Christ’s disciples. We minister with students and faculty on campus through our witnessing communities.