Christian Union NYC Impacts, Networks Young Professionals
by Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer
Young professional believers are eager to integrate their faith into their careers.
To help them assimilate into the workforce and thrive there, the director of Christian Union's ministry for professionals in New York City is expanding the organization's slate of community groups, which focus upon biblical study and leadership training.
"There's definitely a strong desire to link what they're studying to their daily lives," said Scott Crosby, director of Christian Union New York City (NYCU). "Now that they are spending 12 to 14 hours a day at work, their questions are less theoretical and, more and more, 'where does this apply and how does this work out?'"
NYCU began in the fall with two community groups and added two more in early November. As well, Crosby is eyeing plans to launch another one or two sections, including one especially for women, during early 2017. Given its status as the world's financial, commercial, and cultural hub, young professionals relocate to New York City to accelerate their careers.
"There are a lot of people moving here," said Crosby. "There are still a lot of people who are not yet plugged into something, whether it's a church or something like our community groups."
During the fall, about 30 participants studied Christian Union's curriculum on 1 John, which highlights themes of love and fellowship with God, as well as active righteousness.
Given the overwhelming workload confronting many recent grads, Crosby strives to make the study material stimulating and to help participants form deep connections. "They have so few discretionary hours during the week," Crosby said. "This has to be compelling enough for them to give up some of those hours."
As well, Crosby is revamping his ministry's lineup of forums and salons to center them on the goal of helping young professionals to build networks.
With that as a basis, future speakers would help to point the young adults toward ways to "engage parts of society in redemptive ways."
"If we want to see deep, sustainable changes in our culture, it requires people working together in networks to make that happen," Crosby said.
In September, Crosby escorted a pair of young adults involved with NYCU to the United Kingdom, where they took part in the Oxford Analytica Conference, a prestigious gathering of distinguished experts probing urgent global issues. During the annual event, hundreds of chief executive officers, policymakers, and other leaders gathered to analyze the implications of major geopolitical and macroeconomic issues.
In 2015, Crosby coordinated with the founder of Oxford Analytica to arrange permission for an initial batch of young professionals to attend the conference, which is typically reserved for select executives and held at Oxford University.
The conference provided an invaluable networking opportunity, one that reflects the extensive scholarly, industrial, and political ties of founder David Young, Cornell Law '64.
Among his credentials, Young served as a special assistant at the National Security Council in the Nixon administration and as an administrative assistant to former National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger.
Founded in 1975, Oxford Analytica is a global analysis and advisory firm that draws on networks of industry experts and scholars to advise clients on strategy, performance, and the backstory of complex markets. Many of the discussions for the 2016 conference focused on humanitarian issues besetting the Middle East.
"The conference topics were really compelling," said Crosby. "This just begs the question of how the church and Christian leaders will respond to these issues."