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August 21, 2023

Christian Union Universities' Fall Campaigns Begin

By Erin Conner

Christian Union has established undergraduate ministries at nine of America's most highly influential undergraduate institutions (and also at Harvard Law). The ministry plans and executes intensive freshman welcoming campaigns at the start of each academic year. Research indicates that the first few weeks of students’ lives, as they transition from high school to college, can be critical for establishing foundations for future success.

The freshman welcoming campaign is a significant focus of Christian Union Universities’ ministries primarily because of their desire to love, honor, and serve God and others.

In the first few weeks of the fall semester, Christian Union ministry directors, fellows, and students set out to personally get to know the members of each incoming class; to work hard to make them feel like they belong; to provide mentorship, support, and encouragement; to introduce them to other students; and to invite them to participate in activities that will speak into the spiritual dimension of their lives. These events and activities include socials, Bible Courses, church attendance, Christian Union's Leadership Lecture Series, community meals, and worship nights. 


According to Christian Union, a successful freshman welcoming campaign means that every freshman is prayed for by name, that every freshman within the reach of a CU ministry has 7 growing friendships after the first few weeks of the start of school, and that CU hosts an adequate number of high energy events to facilitate and build strong relationships. 


Christian Union Vita at Cornell has begun the first phase of their freshman campaign this past weekend by holding a pre-retreat to train student leaders to plan events to welcome incoming students to campus. Christian Union Vita had 20 students RSVP for this weekend pre-retreat that began on Friday, August 18; however, over 60 students attended, tripling expectations.   


Eight other Christian Union ministries will be starting their campaigns in the coming weeks with close to 400 students signed up to help execute these outreach efforts with excellence and love at Stanford, Dartmouth, Brown, Harvard, Columbia, Penn, Princeton, and Yale.    


Demilade Omolade, a sophomore leader of Christian Union Lux at Yale, reflects on the effects of this welcoming campaign in his own life by stating, “As a freshman this past year, I was hoping to find a Christian group that would challenge me in my faith. I felt that as I transitioned into adulthood, it was important for me to consistently seek truth and practice spiritual disciplines.” So when two of CU Lux seniors reached out to him on Instagram shortly before school began to grab a meal, he didn’t know what to expect. The two seniors who invited him to grab a meal also invited him to the ministry house. 


Demilade says, “When I entered that house, I felt noticed and known, which was different from how I felt on Yale’s campus. I also began to learn more about CU’s intentionality in fostering strong relationships and strong Christian leaders.”


Demilade continues, “Being part of Christian Union really made my freshman year eventful. As a result of the freshman campaign, I have grown spiritually more than any other time in my life. It’s been so amazing to be able to have friends from other Christian backgrounds. I am so excited to be able to serve in CU this year and reach out to the incoming freshman because of the impact the outreach team had on me.”


Let us fervently pray that all incoming freshmen are warmly welcomed to join Christian community this fall. Let us pray that a massive number of students desire to wholeheartedly seek God, join Bible Courses, and attend leadership events and training to help them learn more about God and to be more equipped to use their God-given abilities in their spheres of influence for the Glory of God.