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Christian Union: The Magazine
September 21, 2020

Incoming First-Year Students Already in Bible Courses 

by luke brown, dartmouth ’18

As the COVID-19 pandemic pushed Bible courses to Zoom and students and staff scrambled to adjust to the new normal, Christian Union Vox experienced an unexpected silver lining. A multitude of incoming freshmen from the class of 2024 began reaching out to the Vox team via social media, interested in being a part of the Christian community. A few months later, and through the boldness of the incoming freshmen and the openness of current students and staff, sixteen members of the Class of 2024 are already seeking the Lord in Christian Union Bible Courses. 


Craving community and facing uncertainty about in-person classes this fall, incoming Dartmouth freshmen have reached out and integrated into Christian Union summer Bible courses. 

“I wish we could claim brilliance on our part, but this was God using social media to stir in students’ hearts a desire for community,” said Noah Crane, ministry fellow with Christian Union Vox. 

The Christian Union students at Dartmouth have used Facebook for years to reach out to incoming first years. Recently, their student-led communications team has been building up a presence on platforms like Instagram in the hopes of reaching a slightly different set of students. This providential guidance to engage a wider audience on social media has allowed incoming students to connect with CU Vox more easily than ever, especially given the current climate of almost all social connections being virtual. Even in the midst of the pandemic, the Lord is at work bringing believers together to grow and be challenged in their faith. But no matter the underpinnings of this unexpected blessing, the result is a growing community and an opportunity for deeper connection.

The Christian Union Vox ministry fellows are especially thankful to begin ministering to these students. “The main benefit is that we get a six month jump on our relationships with these incoming students,” said Crane, who leads the football team’s Bible course that now has four students from the ’24 class. “They get an opportunity to see what Christian community is here at Dartmouth and are already forging friendships with our current students.” 

While the staff mourns the absence of in-person meetings, events, and Bible courses, they continue to look for the upsides of the current situation. “If we were not engaged with virtual learning, then having these ’24s involved would not be possible,” said Crane. “We are grateful for the ability to stay connected as we have students located all over the country and even internationally. We miss sharing meals and snacks with our students, but at least with Zoom, we get to see each other’s faces.”

In addition to Crane’s football team Bible course adding four incoming students, Ministry Director Chad Moore is leading a twelve-person Bible course specifically for rising freshmen. These students are already reaping the benefits of investing in a Christ-centered community that cares for each student. “We have made it clear to these ’24s that we are here for them during this interim time and have encouraged them to invite others in,” said Crane.