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Freshmen Launched Prayer and Fasting Team  By Tom Campisi When two first-year Yale University students studied Christian Union’s...
September 19, 2022

The CU Nova Ministry Team Begins the Semester Anticipating What the Lord Will Do 


By Leah M. Smith, Princeton ’22

  

In the spring semester, Christian Union Nova welcomed the addition of two staff members, pastor Chris Coppernoll and Princeton alumnus Mike Vincent ’10. Coppernoll will serve as Christian Union’s ministry director at Princeton, while Vincent, a former CU Nova intern, is a ministry fellow. Both of these new staff leaders share common desires for increased discipleship, close-knit community, and revival on Princeton’s campus.


princeton nova

Previously the mentor in residence at Asbury Theological Seminary, near Lexington, Kentucky, as well as a church planter in upstate New York, Coppernoll feels excited and uniquely equipped to serve the student body at Princeton. With a Doctorate in Ministry (DMin) from Baylor University, Coppernoll says he feels as if his “heart beats for evangelism” and, specifically, discipleship. 


He fondly describes his days of church planting looking like four years of prayer and cooking Italian food with his wife, as people filled his living room for a Bible study before they needed to find a larger space. He firmly believes that discipleship and growing people closer to Christ comes out of a mentor and mentee relationship where you invite people to walk alongside you, an example modeled by the Apostles Paul and Timothy. 

“It really is the adoption of people into our life and into our community in such a way that we can share and pass on what we've learned in our relationship with Christ for others to learn from,” says Coppernoll. “Modeling ourselves after the original church planter, the Apostle Paul, we can share in this fellowship of faith that we have together as the body of Christ and those profound experiences of people pouring their lives into one another.” 


Thus, Coppernoll aims to focus on creating a spiritual family during his time serving at Princeton, fostering unity within the CU Nova staff, and fostering an atmosphere of mentorship within the student body. 


Mike Vincent ’10 also served as an intern at CU Nova for two years after he finished his undergrad at Princeton. He describes his time at CU Nova as one where he experienced a true revival on a small scale during his senior year of college and the two years he interned afterward. Eventually he went on to achieve his Master of Theological Studies from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and then pastored different churches in downtown Ottawa, Canada. Vincent has a unique history with the ministry, serving as both student and staff, and prays for revival on campus. “The best days of this ministry are not behind us,” he says. 


One way he wants to implement that is to focus on revitalizing CU Nova’s Freshman Campaign and emphasizing the Seeking God lifestyle. He says his purpose in revitalizing Freshman Campaign and activities in the beginning of the year is to expose new faces into the ministry before students get bogged down with schoolwork. 


On a personal note, Vincent talks about how his lifestyle of seeking God that he learned from CU led to a “personal revival” in his life that he saw happen with his peers and mentees as well during his earlier time with CU. This focus on seeking the Lord was also something he taught to his superiors in seminary—how to deepen intimacy with God, not just do religious activity. Therefore, it’s something he wants to continue to hone in on as he serves students today, praying that fervent pursuit of the Lord will lead to holiness, but also to revival.


“It's a temptation for ministry leaders in general that when we have a vision of something bigger, we tend to see the people who are working to make it happen as a means to an end. But that is not it. We are developing Christian leaders to transform culture,” Vincent says. “Revival is the desire for others to seek God, not because of what I think it'll do for this ministry or what I think it'll do for this campus, but to seek God because you need to seek God; because you're made to seek God; because this is who you are built and designed to be—that you are a God person on the Earth and that the Earth is groaning for the revelation of more of you. Revival to me is as simple as seeing people come alive in Christ.” 


Both Coppernoll and Vincent spoke of the term “to coalesce,” when envisioning their future with CU Nova—to come together, like family. To rebuild and support. To see dead things come to life. To disciple, to teach others of intimacy with God, and to see more and more people do that at such a historic place for the Christian faith. May God’s grace be with both of them, as they seek to glorify His name.