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The Latest from Christian Union

CU Today highlights stories from Christian Union's university and city ministries, news, trends, items of interest from culture, spiritual growth articles, and other types of content to inform, encourage, challenge, and inspire.
October 18, 2019

Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.
— Colossians 4:12

Sometimes prayer is hard work, plain and simple. One friend in ministry is committed to spend four hours in prayer every day. While he has experienced some moments of great pleasure in God’s presence, he said that it’s mostly an exercise of buffeting his body and mastering the desires of his flesh. 

October 15, 2019

Graduate School of Design Ministry Hosts Finals’ Event

By Eileen Scott, Contributing Writer


This spring, the Harvard Graduate School of Design Christian Fellowship offered a soothing cup of tea and encouraging conversation to 200 students in the midst of final projects, writing essays, and perfecting drawings.


TeaSummer19On April 27, ministry leaders hosted a Finals Tea for their colleagues at the Graduate School of Design. The event, which began four years ago, is designed to offer calm amidst the academic storm and give students an appreciation for sabbath rest. It’s a critical gesture of kindness during a time when students can become so overwhelmed they are susceptible to depression, and even thoughts of suicide, according to event coordinator and design student Vivian Kuong.

The Finals Tea was spot on in providing respite that allowed sabbath peace to permeate the lives of students who often plow through busy schedules without much thought of the power of rest. Kuong helped transform the Stubbins Room of Gund Hall into a sanctuary; candles burned in the dimly lit room that was fragranced by fresh flowers. Acoustic worship music helped to soothe frayed nerves.

October 10, 2019

A Graduate Student’s Faith Journey Through MATHEMATICS

By Jon Garaffa, Princeton ’20


Princeton mathematics student Evan O’Dorney’s accomplishments are nothing short of extraordinary. Yet, even with his many feats, he gives all glory to God. A trailblazer among the next generation of mathematicians, O’Dorney credits his Catholic faith as the source of his exceptional work ethic.

mathPrinceton doctoral candidate Evan O’Dorney glorifies God through his amazing mathematical abilities. 

While homeschooled in California, he medaled four times in the International Math Olympiad and won the Intel Science Talent Search at the national level. After graduating from Harvard summa cum laude, he completed Part III of the Mathematical Tripos at Cambridge, one of the most challenging mathematics courses in the world. Having received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program award in support of his research, O’Dorney is currently undergoing his doctoral studies under Fields Medal winner Manjul Bhargava.

October 9, 2019
John Lennox: Has Science Buried God?; Bible Course Brotherhood; Groaning for God; Why (More Than Ever Before) You Need to Read Deeply; Judge: U of Iowa Officials Have to Pay for Repeated Discrimination Against Christian Groups and more, in this issue of Christian Union's bi-monthly email brief.
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During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.
— Exodus 2:23-25

October 4, 2019

Christian Union Hosts Three Engaging Events

During the spring semester, Christian Union’s ministry at Cornell organized three different outreach events in an effort to serve the community and further God’s kingdom in big and small ways.

In March, the ministry hosted a screening of the documentary Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution to spark a conversation on the dangers of the hookup culture. A panel discussion and Q and A session followed.

October 3, 2019
by whit hazelton

On April 7, 2019, our team posted a short video to the Christian Union Day and Night Facebook page. Compared to our usual daily posts, the video was unremarkable. It featured a stock video clip of rain drops softly falling on a street, overlaid with the following quote from David Wilkerson, evangelist, pastor, and author of the book The Cross and The Switchblade:

“When God calls you to something, He is not always calling you to succeed, He’s calling you to obey. The success of the calling is up to Him; the obedience is up to you.”


October 3, 2019

Orchestra, Choir Ensemble Celebrates 20-Year Anniversary 

By Chris Bolton, Columbia ’19

The Columbia University Bach Society’s spring concert featured the music of its namesake, including selections that proclaimed Christ as Lord.

Since its founding in 1999 through its twentieth anniversary campaign this year, the student-run orchestra and choir ensemble has been a major part of musical life at Columbia. Comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as young musicians from New York City, the Bach Society consistently delivers stellar performances of sacred music from the Baroque and Classical periods. In the last five years alone, concerts have included selections from Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Magnificat, and Mozart’s Requiem, among others.


The Columbia Bach Society held its spring concert, "Bach to Bach," on  April 27 at St. Paul's Chapel. 

October 1, 2019

Dartmouth Christians Unite to Seek the Lord 

By Lauren Curiotto, Contributing Writer


Each June, the entire rising junior class returns to Dartmouth College’s campus for what is known as Sophomore Summer. For ten weeks, students have the opportunity to try out new extracurriculars, gain momentum within their major in a more relaxed environment, and build stronger relationships with their classmates. This summer session in scenic Hanover, New Hampshire is a welcome respite from the usual academic rigor. Despite the university’s modest undergraduate population of 6,300 during the academic year, students are often too busy to dedicate as much time as they would like to connect with their peers and venture outside their familiar social circles. 


September 29, 2019

Dartmouth Roundtable Dinner Features Dr. Henry Clark

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor


In observance of the college’s 250th anniversary celebration, the Dartmouth Roundtable Dinner discussion focused on founder Eleazar Wheelock and the Ethics of Commemoration.


Dr. Henry Clark, the director of Dartmouth’s Political Economy Project, gave the opening remarks and launched a discussion for an audience of Dartmouth professors, administrative leaders, local pastors and professionals, and student leaders. The roundtable dinners are hosted twice a year by Integrare, a campus ministry.

September 28, 2019

On Saturday, CU New York hosted its 3rd annual fall kickoff event. A group of over 50 young professionals enjoyed a cruise on the Hudson. Recent graduates were excited for the opportunity to connect with other like-minded professionals as they search for a church home and a fruitful community amidst the bustling culture of New York.

September 28, 2019

Penn Students Volunteer at Emmanuel Ministry

By Emily Solomon, Penn ’22


Most students cherish Saturday mornings as a precious time to sleep in. However, for some underclassmen at Penn, it’s a wonderful time to venture into Center City to prepare and serve meals for the Emmanuel Ministry at Liberti Church Center City.

Every week, Liberti Church opens its doors for volunteers to serve over 100 individuals who are experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. On a recent Saturday, some Penn students arrived at Liberti Church and were immediately greeted by head chef Matt Soldano, who gave marching orders. The instructions to “divide and conquer” ensures that the meal is ready to be served by noon when the dining hall is filled with guests. At about 11:30 a.m., volunteers from various churches and organizations gather to pray over the meal, make any urgent announcements, and decide who will prep plates and who will wait tables. 


Chef Matt Solano (center) and volunteers in the kitchen at Emmanuel Ministry

September 27, 2019

Dierkes ’20 Is a Leader with Newman Center 

By Lou Baldwin


The following article originally appeared at www.CatholicPhilly.com. Reprinted with permission.

University of Pennsylvania student Theresa Dierkes, center, received the John and Harriet Stanton Award at the annual dinner hosted by the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia.

There are almost 22,000 students at the University of Pennsylvania, of which more than 10,000 are undergrads. The university’s pro-life group, Quakers for Life, formerly Penn for Life, has maybe 15-20 core active members, according to a group leader, Theresa Dierkes, a senior majoring in nursing.


If that can be somewhat like John the Baptist, a voice crying out in the wilderness, Dierkes could take comfort in being one of three honorees at the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia’s annual Stand Up For Life Dinner last winter.

There were more than 1,200 committed pro-lifers in attendance. Her award was the John and Harriet Stanton Award, named for the Pro-Life Union pioneers.

September 27, 2019

Ministry Director at HLS Has High Expectations 

by catherine elvy, staff writer


Christian Union’s ministry director at Harvard Law School anticipates a season of fruitful expansion.

“I’m looking towards the 2019-2020 academic year with hopes for growth, both in numbers and impact,” said Justin Yim.

September 26, 2019
Vocation and Faithful Discipleship; Brush & Nib v. City of Phoenix; Are Christians Called to Be Tolerant?; With Sacrifice Comes Change; What Does It Mean to Be Human? and more, in this issue of Christian Union's bi-monthly email brief.
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You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
— Matthew 5:14-16

September 25, 2019

Chesterton House Hosts Speaker from Open Doors

By Zachary Lee, Cornell ’20


Vaughn LeMoss, the vice president of Open Doors International, a non-profit organization that supports persecuted Christians in over 60 countries, was the featured speaker when the Chesterton House at Cornell hosted its Friday Conversation Series on April 19. The theme of the evening was “Solidarity with the Persecuted Church.” LeMoss exhorted the audience to use their college degrees and future influence to aid global missions. He weaved practical advice in between touching anecdotes from his testimony, all the while expanding the students’ vision of God’s kingdom.

LeMoss hit the ground running by demystifying the fallacy that missions work is set apart solely for those in vocational ministry or “super Christians.”


Open Doors International supports the persecuted church around the world. 

“You can serve the Lord in whatever capacity you’re in,” he said. “So often we say to ourselves, ‘I need to become a pastor first’ or ‘I should go to seminary.’ There is nothing wrong with those paths, but do not discount the place where God has you now.”

September 24, 2019
Qwynn Gross
Christian Union Ministry Fellow
Princeton University


While most people completely understand what it means to make adjustments for personal change, make proposals for widespread change, or boycott and strike for social change, few appreciate the value a sacrifice to God has for guaranteed change. Yet, fasting and praying has been and continues to be the most effective way to demonstrate a confidence and consciousness in the presence and power of God, which always yields results.

A decision to sacrifice food or pleasure in order to get God’s attention is a demonstration of faith and assurance in the God who sees, hears, and answers the cry of His people. I’m reminded of Cornelius in the book of Acts, chapter 10.  He was a devout centurion of the Italian regiment who always prayed and gave generous alms to the poor; yet, after a time of fasting, God instructed Peter to share the Gospel with him, so that, in the end, Cornelius’ whole family and friends heard the Gospel, received the Holy Spirit, and were baptized! Theirs was an unlikely meeting that ushered change for and within both men.

September 24, 2019

Scott Jones, a pastor and former Christian Union faculty member at Princeton, returned to the university and gave this outstanding talk at a Christian Union leadership lecture series event last spring. In this talk he takes a look at what it means to be distinctly Christian in the midst of one's vocational pursuit.

September 20, 2019

Christian Journal Adopts New Name, Refines Mandate

By Lauren Curiotto, Contributing Writer


The staff at The Columbia Witness, a Christian thought journal formerly known as Crown and Cross. 

e Columbia Witness, the university’s Christian thought journal formerly known as Crown and Cross, will debut its first issue under a new name in fall 2019. The upcoming edition will directly address the campus community and introduce its new identity with the apt title, Dear Columbia.

September 18, 2019

In Memoriam: John Aroutiounian 

By Kayla Bartsch, Yale ’20

91719Credit: Big Think
John Aroutiounian was remembered as a Christian who made an impact on campus.


The first time I met John Aroutiounian was at an alumni reunion for the Federalist Party, my debating society within the Yale Political Union. He gallivanted into our makeshift debate hall  wearing a black cloak, his signature horn-rimmed spectacles, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. On the debate floor, he commanded attention by his unmatched eloquence and exuberance. With a coy smile and the gargantuan lexicon of an accomplished polyglot, he ravaged the position of his opponents, nonchalantly weaving in historical anecdotes about the bygone Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia to accentuate his point. John, however, wreaked destruction in a manner so charismatic and so kind, that his opposition often found themselves conceding with a smile.

September 17, 2019

Dalrymple ’98 Is New President of Christianity Today 

By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer


CTsmall19As he settles into his new role as president and chief executive officer, a Stanford University alumnus has expansive dreams for Christianity Today. In May, Timothy Dalrymple ’98 assumed the helm of the global media organization founded by the late evangelist Billy Graham. Among his aspirations for the magazine are commitments to rich storytelling and thought leadership.


Dalrymple envisions Christianity Today sharing the “most powerful stories of our age” while expanding its global reach and better reflecting the diversity of the American church. Dalrymple described the legacy of the publication as extraordinary, but the future as even more dynamic.

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