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"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope...
October 15, 2023

The 2023 CU Rise Campaign

By erin conner


From deeply rigorous Bible courses, intellectually engaging lecture speakers, vibrant worship and prayer events, experienced and Spirit-led faculty, powerful one-on-one discipleship, to leadership training and development, Christian Union's university ministry has much to offer Christian students at the schools where they serve. These ministry programs are deepening the faith of the students involved, but also equipping them to lead others toward life in Christ.

The 2023 CU Rise Campaign is just one example of this. 


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Christian Union’s mission is to develop and connect transformative leaders. And CU understands the love and commission of Christ to go and make disciples for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. Consequently, Christian Union has always invested in evangelistic efforts throughout its history. Over the last two decades, CU has trained students to execute many types of outreach programs, including massive literature distributions, hosting large campus-wide events and debates, publishing advertisements and articles in student newspapers, and more. 

Most recently, Christian Union launched a historic evangelistic campaign in the spring of 2023 called CU Rise, entitled “Only One Thing Satisfies Forever.” The campaign was full of life, color, and vibrancy to inspire anyone seeking Truth, or a way out of the darkness of secularism, to take a closer look at Christianity. 

Throughout Scripture, Jesus teaches that the world offers “solutions'' to meet humanity’s needs that neither last nor fully satisfy. A Christian worldview maintains that Jesus Christ is the only thing that satisfies the depth of our fundamental human needs, as He is the source of everflowing and everlasting life. Christianity teaches that because we were created by and for God, He is the one way to true satisfaction, salvation, and freedom from the inevitable dissatisfaction that comes from placing our faith in the empty promises and incomplete solutions of the world.  CU's 2023 outreach campaign capitalized on the power of this Biblical truth by inviting students this past spring to embark on an 8-week online journey to tackle life's hard questions, find real answers, and explore the one thing that satisfies forever. 


Christian Union student leaders are still inviting their peers to embark on this online journey, as many students at the start of the academic year, especially freshmen, are seeking community-- a place where they can ask questions and find meaning with others.  

The campaign phrase that reportedly grabbed the attention of students across these nine schools is “In a world full of hate, discrimination, trauma, dysphoria, and mental health crises, there has never been a greater need for wisdom and understanding.” Christian Union student leaders shared some wisdom that they have gained from their experiences and from their study of God’s Word through pre-recorded student testimony videos. These short video clips posted on social media are arguably the most powerful component of this campaign.


Some questions posed in this campaign include, Who is Jesus? What is the gospel? What if there is something that truly satisfies forever? In response to these questions, Christian Union students testify of God’s goodness, power, and truth in their lives. In addition to student testimonies, many articles and video resources are posted to help students explore these questions in more depth.  

 Adrian Schoonmaker, Vice President of CU Universities, said, “CU Rise 2023 was a wonderful success this past spring. For eight weeks, our campuses were saturated with the gospel of Jesus Christ through the CU Rise social media campaign. The primary objective was to see 3 to 5 gospel exposures for all 70,000+ students at our universities, for a total of at least 210,000 gospel exposures."  

Christian Union exceeded that goal with over 600,000 gospel exposures over the eight week period. In addition to social media ads, Christian Union also placed CU Rise ads in print editions of nine different university newspapers, on the websites of seven schools where CU serves, and distributed approximately 6,500 flyers across the nine schools.


A goal of CU outreach is that every student at every one of these disproportionately influential schools will be exposed to the Gospel, know the name of Jesus Christ, and be given a chance to say “yes” to life in him. This “yes” is just the beginning though. Christian Union recognizes that new believers need to be supported in their faith with Godly discipleship regarding how to Biblical seek and love God wholeheartedly and how to use their gifts for the betterment of society.  By God's grace, this is what Christian Union and its supporters have sought to provide students for the past 21 years.

Let us pray for a continual and massive increase in salvations through God’s work at Dartmouth, Brown, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Penn, Cornell, and Stanford. Let us pray that the name of Jesus will be lifted high at all of our nation's colleges and universities. 


Click here to view student testimonies on Instagram. Click here if you are interested in accessing this 8-week online journey.