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Christian Union: The Magazine
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.


Managing editor Sean Kim ’20 explained that the journal’s leadership team spent months carefully crafting what they hope will be an invigorating revamp. The rebranding decision came after the team had a closer look at the original 2012 mission and vision statement and were surprised to learn that the journal’s messaging had drifted.


In an effort to produce a publication that would engage a more widespread audience, Kim and his team surveyed their peers’ reactions to potential new names.

“We wanted a name that was bold, and accessible to both Christians and non-Christians alike,” he said. The reactions to The Columbia Witness were positive all around. For non-Christians, the name sounded intriguing and did not bombard them with an immediate or overzealous religious tone. For Christians, the word witness held compelling connotations that reminded them of their greatest purpose on this earth.

Along with the name change, the journal’s new mission and vision statements were tailored to reflect better its goals in a more succinct and approachable way:


Our mission: To proclaim the life and power of God’s truth to the Columbia community and beyond through diverse Christian voices and ideas.

Our vision: A campus that recognizes the subversive character of Jesus and witnesses the reality of the Gospel.


Dear Columbia, the upcoming fall issue, boasts a striking front cover. In the foreground of a dramatic black backdrop is a close up of a regal lion looking upwards; a fitting tribute to the Columbia University mascot. Traditionally, the journal has distributed approximately 400 print copies of each issue to students on campus, but the current leadership team has lofty goals of increasing readership through more targeted outreach and by hosting events that will bring the journal’s themes and topics to life. In April, the staff also added a mobile site.   

The fall print edition will introduce relevant Christian perspectives on topics like social justice, as well as defend often misunderstood Christian beliefs. One of the thought-provoking cover articles is entitled, “Reevaluating Hope at Columbia.” In that piece, Tosin Sanusi, a Nigerian student who had been raised to believe that an Ivy League education was the ultimate answer, shared her thoughts on how she built a firm foundation of hope, despite feeling misled and disappointed by what the world has to offer.

“The danger in expecting so many things out of Columbia is that … Columbia is flawed. And so are we… [but] Regardless of what life throws at them, Christians have the full capacity to be content. It is belief in a God who is never changing and ever faithful that fuels all hope. And this hope, unlike that which Columbia provides, can remain everlasting.”

In “Seeking Acceptance,” contributor Canwen Xu wrote candidly about the pressures of feeling “good enough” when attempting to make your big break in the corporate world: 

“The rules are easy, but executing them is hard: look nice, but not flashy. Wear enough makeup that it doesn’t look like you’re wearing makeup. Form a personal connection with each person, and ask for their business card. Hope they remember your name… At Columbia, a job isn’t just a job; it’s a personality trait, a representation of a person’s existence.”

With articles like these, and a revised mission and vision, The Columbia Witness editorial staff is seeking to impact both Christians and non-Christians in a fresh way. The staff is a group of dedicated and passionate students who are focused on planting seeds that will far outlast their own time on campus. They are on mission—witnessing to the truth of the Gospel to the Columbia University community and beyond.