Princeton Alumnus is Serving the City
by catherine elvy, staff writer
Christian Union ministry intern has enjoyed a season of amazing celebrations, including a new position allowing the recent Princeton alumnus to combine his twin passions for ministry and cultural redemption.
In September, Matt Allen ’18 became an intern for Christian Union Cities, which offers an enriching slate of leadership development opportunities and other resources to professionals in New York City and Washington, D.C.
“I’ve been loving the position,” said Allen, who grew up in a Christian household in the idyllic town of Plymouth, dubbed Britain’s “Ocean City.”
Like Allen, many participants of Christian Union cities are alumni of top-tier universities. In June, the Englishman completed a degree from Princeton in public and international affairs. In October, he married the former Rachel Pyfrom ’19, a senior from Maryland who is studying social policy in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
While the Allens are quick to note the unusualness of undergraduate studies and marriage within Princeton’s wrought-iron gates, both also feel privileged to serve as a witness to the beauty of Christ’s covenantal love for the church.
“It’s been a real season for celebration,” said Matt.
In the flurry of activity following their marriage at Princeton Meadow Church, the couple moved into a former graduate student unit inside Whitman College, where Rachel serves as a residential college adviser.
As he settles into his new duties, Allen is helping Christian Union Cities provide young leaders, especially emerging professionals, with a steady offering of forums, lectures, and conferences. Click to Tweet The ministry, which aims to create networking opportunities for believers by industries and geography, plans to host its second annual Cities Conference in June in New York.
“I enjoy the topics of the salons so much,” said Allen, who is producing a newsletter for Christian Union Cities. “These are the people I want to get to know.”
For Allen, the internship at Christian Union’s office in Rockefeller Plaza is an extension of his appreciation for the intersection of social and policy issues with Christianity. As such, the native of England’s south coast of Devon seized the opportunity as a way “to engage directly with society, see change, and do some more writing.”
In fall 2019, Allen plans to commence graduate studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he will focus upon culture and conflict in a globalizing Europe. More specifically, he hopes to reflect the redemptive nature of Christ’s Gospel in discussions about European culture and ways to help it flourish.
Scott Crosby, ministry director of Christian Union Cities, described Allen as an astonishingly quick learner. “It helps that he is curious and not put off by jumping into new things with the expectation that he will figure it out and will learn a lot along the way,” he said.
As well, Allen is playing a crucial role in the ministry’s communications strategy, especially as the organization recently expanded into Washington, D.C. He also assists Crosby in his efforts to provide up-and-coming professionals with Bible courses and mentoring.
Such duties dovetail with Christian Union’s vision to expand God’s kingdom within influential cities. They also provide a practical segue to the mentorship Allen received during his involvement with Christian Union’s ministry at Princeton University.
Allen also served as co-president of Princeton Against Sex Trafficking and he took part in Más Flow Dance Company. As well, the Allens bonded during their collaboration with the Worship House ministry at Princeton.
While the Allens originally planned to get married in summer 2019, the duo decided to bring the date forward by more than a semester. Through their sacred union, the couple hopes to send a message that “we value this so much that we’re willing to do it at a time when other people don’t think it makes sense,” said Matt Allen.
The couple invited participants in Christian Union’s ministry and Worship House to attend the ceremony. More importantly, scores of “younger students have spoken to us about how much they are inspired and excited,” Allen said.
As for his career plans after graduate studies, Allen is prayerfully contemplating a variety of options.
“God has been putting urban ministry on my heart,” he said. “A lot of what works in New York is transferable. I am excited to see if that becomes a part of my future, as well.”
Moreover, the Allens are considering funneling their talents and training into global missions.
“Our future is still very much unknown,” Allen said. “My life has been a bit of a wild ride so far, and I don’t anticipate it slowing down anytime soon.”
Christian Union Cities