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"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope...
May 9, 2024

A Glimpse into the Power of a Christian Union Bible Course 

by erin conner, writer and communications associate

On the first day of one of Christian Union Gloria's Bible courses this spring, one young man began to believe that this "God thing" might be for him. He asked CU Gloria's ministry fellow, Jim Galvin, "Could there be more to my faith than what I have seen so far?"  In that moment, Galvin set out on a journey of one-on-one discipleship with this young man. This student and this ministry fellow began to intentionally seek God wholeheartedly for the remainder of this spring semester together. Through one-on-one mentoring, in part, this student began to grow in the Lord. He intentionally walked away from many college campus temptations to be "of the world," while a deep longing to share his faith with others grew within him.  

One of the many peers that this student spoke with and invited to CU Gloria's Bible course showed up and joined in. At the end of the meeting, all the students were invited to not only pray to God but to listen to God and see if the Lord was saying anything to them. As the group began to pack up and leave, the guest asked if he could stay and try and pray again because, as he said, "I think that worked." 

Galvin spent the next 45-minutes in prayer with this young man, as he talked with and listened to the Lord, during which time this student found freedom from some past trauma in his life. In the period of an hour following a men's Bible course at Christian Union Gloria at Harvard on a beautiful night in Cambridge, this young man exchanged his pain and shame for the peace of God. 

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One discipled student helped to lead another to the foot of the cross for healing. 

The discipled young man didn't stop here; he continued to grow in his desire to seek God, and his practices and prayer matured from following to leading. Just recently, within the last week of spring semester classes at Harvard, while this student was walking to his dorm with another friend, his friend mentioned to him that he wanted to explore his faith more, sharing, "I think it is what is missing in my life." 

That night, these two students stayed up until two am talking about faith, which led to the student's acceptance of salvation through Christ Jesus. The next morning, these two went directly to Christian Union Gloria's ministry office to pick up a Bible and celebrate what happened the night before. 

One discipled student helped to lead another to life in Christ. 

On a campus where faith can easily be considered a matter of privacy, not to be shared with others, it is significant to recognize that being the kind of person with whom someone else is willing to share questions about faith and about God is a monumental success. This one student's character is a beautiful testimony of the power of Christ and of success in the Kingdom of God because his character serves to attract and direct those seeking truth to the source of it. 

The lesson God is illuminating through CU Gloria seems clear: one disciple holds the power to influence many lives. "Therefore, go… and make disciples...," says Christ Jesus (Matthew 28:19). Making disciples is not an easy task. It is more than hosting a social group or extracurricular activity. It is the work of fully-committed followers of God who are willing to live in the Word, not the world; it is the work of a group of Christ-focused people who put their trust in God and lay down "self" for the benefit of others in their community. 

As Galvin watched spiritual growth unfold over the last few months, he was encouraged and shared,  "I believe this story to be a microcosm of the greater metanarrative we want to see all our students in: owning their own faith and walking with the Lord to engaging in community to seeking God wholeheartedly to being discipled to produce fruitfulness to inviting others into community and into their own personal relationship with the Lord." Afterall, these are the contours of the journey all believers are called to for their own benefit, for the benefit of others, and for the glory of God. 

Galvin, ending his first semester as one of CU Gloria's ministry fellows, is serving under interim Ministry Director Justin Yim and alongside Ministry Fellows Sadie Sasser and Fady Ghobrial. Galvin said, "Praise God for bringing us to the end of a fruitful spring semester, as Christian Union Gloria has journeyed through the book of Romans." Galvin continued, "As a team here at CU Gloria, we are all blessed and honored to be part of such an amazing journey with each and every one of the students. We would like to share our deepest appreciation to all who have made so much of this possible; as you partner with us to develop Christian leaders who transform culture, God is changing lives." 

As Americans scroll through their newsfeed full of images of student protests across the nation's college campuses, may they also know that God's word has gone forth at Harvard into the midst of the chaos of it all, and God's word will not return to Him void, but it shall accomplish what He pleases and it shall prosper in the thing whereto He sent it (Isaiah 55:11). 

At Harvard and beyond, lives are changing, as a result, in part, of Christian Union's ability to offer Bible courses each semester under the leadership of devoted ministry fellows. 

To support Christian Union Universities Bible courses and ministries, consider giving a secure gift of $25 here