The first few weeks of freshman year are a pivotal time. Students are open to new activities and forming social groups that often set them up for their collegiate years. At the start of each school year, Christian Union’s ministry faculty and upperclassmen involved in the ministry warmly welcome and energetically engage freshmen, with welcoming campaigns among students who study at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Harvard Law, Princeton, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. During the campaign, the ministry team and upperclassmen eagerly present the opportunity for new students to join them for in-depth study of Scripture, Christian leadership training, fellowship, and support.
Van Oss Writes about Wheaton Case for Harvard Law ReviewBy Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer
Religious liberties are woven into the fabric of the United States.
With deep admiration for that principle, a Harvard Law School student addressed concerns over the status of such freedoms when he penned an article for the Harvard Law Review exploring some of the key issues in the recent Wheaton College v. Burwell case.
Given his concerns for government interference in the operations of faith-based entities, Trenton Van Oss took on the complex topic for an article that appeared in January.
The Wheaton alumnus of 2013 is an active participant in Christian Union's ministry at Harvard Law School.
The environment at the nation’s leading universities is often academically intense, sometimes highly competitive, and highly secular. Prospective students and families considering the pros and cons of attending one of the nation’s top ranked schools are right to wonder if it will be difficult for freshmen who are Christian to stay strong in their faith. However, despite the real challenges they face, Christian students reflecting on their experiences report a wealth of opportunities to grow in their faith.
On May 6, 2016, Harvard University announced “members of independent, single-sex, off-campus organizations will be blacklisted from Rhodes and Marshall scholarships and banned from leadership of on-campus organizations or athletic teams.”
The Spiritual Power of Habit
Dr. James K.A. Smith, Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College, was a plenary speaker at Nexus 2016, the Christian Union Conference on Faith and Action, in New Haven, Connecticut. He addressed the human tendency to be shaped by what we love and long for even more than just what we believe or think.
Nexus Conference Networks, Inspires Students and ProfessionalsBy Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
Nexus: The Christian Union Conference on Faith and Action explored the convergence of culture, career, and Christianity for 317 students from some of the nation's most influential universities.
The Omni Hotel in New Haven, Connecticut, just a couple blocks from Yale University, was home to a weekend of vibrant worship, continuous and intercessory prayer and engaging messages from powerful plenary speakers on April 1-3. Students from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale attended the conference, which offered insight, inspiration, networking, and practical advice on discerning God's purpose for life, campus, and career.
A Conference for Undergraduate Students
Equipping students to change culture through inspiring speakers, vocational panels, in-depth seminars, and dynamic worship.
April 1-3, 2016
Omni New Haven Hotel
New Haven, Connecticut
Students from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale are invited to attend a life-changing weekend of dynamic worship and world-class speakers.
Learn more ...
How a Handful of Schools are Shaping American SocietyLeaders matter. For better or for worse – they determine what we represent as a society, who we are as a people, and where we are going as a nation.
A relatively small number of leaders from just a handful of leading universities are shaping American culture. The universities they attend are almost devoid of Christian influence. Professors are free to mold students according to their secular and materialist ideologies.
Scholar Exhorts Attendees at Harvard Catholic Center Event
Exercising the constitutional right to "authentic worship" at Harvard was heralded this fall with a lecture from noted scholar Father Peter Stravinskas.
The Harvard Catholic Center sponsored the event, entitled "Give Me Freedom (Religious) or Give Me Death."
Stravinskas, editor of The Catholic Answer magazine and books such as The Catholic Response and The Catholic Church and the Bible, exhorted attendees to refute the bifurcation of religious freedom by a secular culture.
Stravinskas spoke about how society is seeking to replace authentic Christian worship and expression with a more politically correct and passive version of religion.
The right to assemble is tolerated, but the freedom to live out your faith with actionable belief and works is disallowed.
Dear HCFA friends and family,
There has been a welcome stillness in Cambridge this past week as we have been covered by two snowstorms. My mind always runs to Isaiah, when God promises, “’Come now, let us settle the matter. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” What a provoking image of our good Father clothing us in the righteousness of his Son.
The spring semester always jumps into motion as students return and we begin Bible courses the first week they are on campus. Freshman will split their semester between Seeking God and Sex and Spirituality manuals, sophomores and juniors will spend time in Acts, and seniors will work through the Vocational manual as they begin to move away from college life. It has been a seamless transition beginning the book of Acts as we studied Mark in the fall and students can see the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus followed by his commission of the church to continue his ministry. Bible courses continue to be the source of much toil and joy for the ministry fellows as we wrestle through difficult passages, theology and questions, but it is unspeakably rewarding to see students begin to understand and grab hold of the gospel, apply scripture to their lives, and grow in their understanding of the story of redemption. Please pray for fruitful discussion, regular attendance, and an increasing hunger for the word.
Usually this weekend we would be heading north to New Hampshire for our winter retreat, but sensing the need to breathe new life into our retreat, our executive team has created an entirely new local event that we are calling the Winter Summit. The purpose of the summit is to help our community dig deep into ways that we can take ownership of our faith through cultivating spiritual habits in our lives. By developing spiritual disciplines, we want students to experience the grace and love of God in deeper ways in their personal lives, and then better share that grace with those in our immediate communities, our campus community, and with the rest of the world. We will have several speakers coming to discuss social justice, evangelism and spiritual gifts, and an afternoon of action where we will practice what we've been learning in the Cambridge community. We still have time for sign ups so pray that the Lord would lead students to put aside this weekend to grow in their love for Him. Pray that the Spirit would be at work, leading students to worship, repent, and grow in community with one another. We will be doing “texts for Chick-fil-a” in the afternoon, an event that invites anyone to text a student in HCFA with a question about faith, god, or religion. The HCFA student will bring a Chick-fil-a sandwich to their room and answer their question. Pray for boldness for our students as they share the gospel with other Harvard students. Pray that HCFA would be a community that constantly desires to invite people in and that we would be a hospitable place for non-believers.
As always, we are grateful for your involvement in this ministry! Thank you for your ongoing prayers and desire to see the gospel spread at Harvard.
Christian Union Ministry Fellow
Please note: if you would like to receive regular updates on how to pray for Christian Union's work at Harvard, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cherish Connelly '14 Reflects on Her Growth
I'm majoring in psychology with a secondary degree in neurobiology. As a science concentrator, I'm often asked, "How can you believe in God?" I've been involved with Christian Union for four years and in that time I've developed the knowledge needed to answer that question tactfully, respectfully, and in a way that presents the Gospel.
Observing neurons in a microscope is an amazing sight; I love seeing how billions of tiny neurons control behavior, emotions, even senses. To me, it gives evidence of God. These tiny cells in our brain control everything the body does. I would argue, only God could design that efficiency.
Born in China and Educated at Harvard, Dr. Ming Wang Left his Atheism Behind
During his first years at Harvard, Wang ascribed to staunchly atheist ideals. A close friendship with one professor, however, gave him cause to question his belief system and his entire worldview.
Dynamic Speakers and Spirit-Filled Worship
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The Ivy League Congress on Faith and Action 2014 (ILCFA) drew 390 students from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. Students unloaded by the car and bus loads to learn, be challenged, seek God's calling, and worship their hearts out. By all these measures, the weekend was not only a "success" but a tremendous blessing for the participants.
Plenary, inspirational, vocational sessions and seminars were impactful, addressing a range of faith and vocational topics. Speakers were characterized by their inspiring dedication to follow Christ in their respective fields.
At Christian Union's Worldview Sessions, Stephen Mackereth '15 Develops Critical Skills to Advance Christian Perspective
Stephen Mackereth, Harvard '15, was one of the 23 students from some of nation's leading universities who attended the Christian Worldview Summer Sessions at the Hopewell House in upstate New York.
Hosted by Christian Union, the Worldview Sessions intertwined biblical perspectives, philosophical and scholarly inquiry, and camaraderie. Jesse Peterson, a Christian Union ministry fellow at Columbia University, directed the course, which sought to help students understand Christianity at a deeper level through intellectual engagement and fostering community.
The Secularity & Influence of Select Universities
Learn why Christian Union Universities begins with a focus on some of the most influential universities in America.
Jeffrey Edwards Employs a Kingdom-Minded Approach in Everything He DoesFor Jeffrey Edwards '15, Harvard is more than a place to learn, it's a place to lead. And with the training he's received through Harvard College Faith in Action (HCFA), a Christian leadership development organization resourced by Christian Union, the neurobiology major is learning to influence the campus and the local community with a servant's heart and humility.
In Dallas, Ministry Honors Bob Buford and Stirs Support for a Generation of Culture ChangersView all event photos in our Facebook album >
On Monday, November 11, 2013, the Belo Mansion in Dallas played host to Christian Union's final 2013 benefit event.
Christian Union was pleased to honor Bob Buford as the Texas Christian Leader of the Year. Bob, a tireless Christian leader, and author of Halftime, shared his hard-won insights with the packed audience.
It was an inspiring evening designed to give praise and honor to the God who is worthy—and to encourage the guests in attendance by sharing about what He is doing in the lives' of future leaders through Christian Union.
Princeton alumni Cristina Martinez '12 and Jack Squiers '12, emceed the event.
Worldview Sessions Draw Students from Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, and YaleIn May and August, students from some of the nation's leading universities attended the Christian Worldview Summer Sessions at the Hopewell House conference center in Upstate New York.
Hosted by Christian Union, the Worldview Sessions intertwine biblical perspectives, philosophical and scholarly inquiry, and camaraderie. Overall, 23 students attended the colloquium.
"The aim is twofold: intellectual engagement and fostering community," said Jesse Peterson, the conference's key organizer and a Christian Union ministry fellow at Columbia University.
Leadership Development Ministry Co-Hosts Event with Harvard Humanists, Atheists, and AgnosticsStudents of various faith backgrounds (and no faith backgrounds) gathered in Harvard's Science Center's Auditorium B on the first Sunday after the start of classes for a debate on the topic, "Can the Christian God Be Good in Light of the Suffering in the World?"
For the second consecutive year, Harvard College Faith and Action (HCFA) and Harvard Community Humanists, Atheists, and Agnostics (HCHAA) co-hosted a debate. HCFA is a leadership development ministry supported and resourced by Christian Union.
Ministries Reach Out with a Sense of UrgencyTiming is everything; especially when it comes to freshmen.
The first few days on campus are filled with opportunities for the new students to make choices about relationships and social circles that will impact their college years, and beyond.
That's why ministry leaders throughout the Ivy League are working tirelessly to reach out to freshmen and help them make intentional choices about being part of a Christian community.