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September 22, 2023

Christian Union New York 

By erin conner


Many people know Christian Union as a student leadership ministry serving at some of our nation’s most influential educational institutions. However, Christian Union also serves Christian professionals in one of our nation’s most influential cities: New York. 


CU New York is working to bring revival to America, by developing, connecting, healing, empowering, and equipping bold Christian leaders in the city.


Christian Union New York was launched in 2012 as part of Christian Union’s mission to seek a spiritually vibrant nation marked by Christian values permeating every corner of society. Influential cities, similar to influential educational institutions, hold the potential to lead the entire nation. 


By being a part of CU New York, young Christian professionals have the opportunity to make potentially lifelong Christian relationships, have help finding a church that is the best fit for them, receive free one-on-one mentorship and ministry, as well as invitations to spiritually vibrant retreats, conferences, and intellectually stimulating events with Christian industry leaders. 


Executive Director of Christian Union New York, Karen Hetzler, said, “We’re doing life together in community to grow in the Lord and to discover all He has for us. I’m honored to be able to serve these young adults as many of them begin their professional lives.” 


Part of CU New York is the NYC Chapter of Christian Union's Young Alumni Society. It was started in 2022 from 17 recent graduates from universities where Christian Union serves, all of whom moved to NYC the summer after their graduation, to start their careers.

Karen Hetzler and Matt Bennett, Founder and CEO of Christian Union, invited these graduates to form a leadership team to serve Christian Union New York with the goal of holding 75 events in the upcoming year. These events range from informal meetings for coffee and ice-skating to more formal events such as hosting community dinners and attending local Christian Union New York conferences and retreats. The leadership team also steers these recent graduates toward local church membership and engagement.

The goal of the leadership team is to serve as a liaison between CU New York and their peers, thus, acting as social coordinators to build a strong community of spiritually robust Christian leaders in their spheres of God-given influence. In the past year, the CU New York Chapter of the Young Alumni Society has grown from the original 17 members to now 53 and is rapidly expanding. 


In September, CU New York held a dinner for these alumni, many of whom just graduated and arrived in NYC very recently. Hetzler said, “We had an absolute blast, with rapid friendships forming, phone numbers exchanged, and one of the new graduates saying, ‘I found my people.’” 


This is just one of the many powerful and meaningful ways that CU New York is ministering to professionals in the city.


One person shared, “When I moved to New York City in the fall, I was uncertain about how my walk with Christ would continue in a new, and frankly hectic, environment. After a few months in, I was definitely in danger of losing perspective on my priorities. Finding Christian Christian community through CU New York was essential to motivate me to continue seeking God in all parts of my life. CU Fire, in particular, reignited my desire to integrate God‘s vision into my work, my life, and beyond.” 


Another member, a graduate from one of the universities where CU serves, said, “Prior to joining CU, I always thought my academic and career ambitions were divorced from my walk with the Lord, but my time at CU radically shattered this notion, and made it evident that the Lord is active and present in all spheres of my life. But now that I’ve graduated, it’s been a new challenge to find and develop a community of believers with whom I can walk through life with. Through CU New York, I’ve engaged in conversation about some of the most difficult moments in my life and I’ve been surrounded by people who encourage me continually.” 


These testimonies illustrate that those leading this ministry are helping to improve lives in NYC through their efforts and the love and power of Christ. To Him be all the glory.  


If you know a recent graduate living near New York City or if you are one, please feel free to share this article with them by email.

Contact Karen.Hetzler@ChristianUnion.org for more information. 

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