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Christian Union: The Magazine
May 24, 2024

Ministry Leaders Testify How God is Moving at Four Top Colleges  

by erin conner, writer and communications associate

Christian Union ministry leaders who serve students at Brown, Cornell, Princeton, and Yale recently shared how they see God working on their respective campuses. Across America, many believe that these types of schools are too secular to see a move of God, while others believe that these schools sit at the heart of a future national spiritual revival.  From the following testimonies, it is clear that, despite the increasingly destructive ideologies pervasive at these schools, God is on the move to demonstrate truth, love, and a way out of a culture inarguably producing disorder and despair. 

Providence, Rhode Island

Sheri Casali, ministry fellow for Christian Union Libertas at Brown, shared, "As this academic year comes to a close, I am reflecting on the steadfast faithfulness of our God. He has exceeded our expectations and answered many prayers. I remember in September praying (and asking for prayer) for full, vibrant Bible courses. This year, we have had an abundant overflow of Brown students participating in weekly Bible courses. In addition to this, we prayed for the name of Jesus to saturate the entire campus of this university. Starting with the freshman campaign, where we held a string of events throughout September to welcome students, with worship events on campus, with tabling and handing out books and scripture tracts, and with our latest outreach campaign, "CU Rise," we have had an incredible amount of gospel exposures!" Casali continued, "This year, we have had more students dive into questions about Christianity than I have ever seen in years past. It is evidence that the Lord of the Harvest is on the move on our campus!" 

Ithaca, New York

Marcus Buckley, ministry director of Christian Union Vita at Cornell, said, "We celebrate the Lord’s continuing faithfulness to grow the ministry as we coach and train close to 100 future Christian leaders. The sense of Christian community at Cornell has continued to grow stronger as students have studied, worshiped, and shared the good news of Jesus throughout the spring." Buckley continued, "Our worship events have continued to grow and attract new students, and have provided a critical time of spiritual refreshing and time in the Word. Our ministry center is being filled to the point that we are in the process of securing an auditorium on campus large enough to better accommodate us all for worship nights in the future here at Cornell!" 

Cornell has seen God move in innumerable ways this year, but most recently through a large outreach event held at Sage Chapel, through student baptisms to conclude Christian Union's spring evangelical campaign, "Jesus Disrupts," and through the boldness of students' faith to love and pray with student protestors on campus. 

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Cornell student baptisms                                   CU Vita students praying with protestors

Princeton, New Jersey

Mike Vincent, ministry director of Christian Union Nova at Princeton, shared, "Our freshman men gathered together this week for a BBQ and firepit and reflected on their experiences this year at Princeton. Invariably, they answered that the best part about Princeton is the Christian community and the friends they’ve made in Christian Union!"  

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Princeton students at CU Nova event

In addition to community events, Princeton has also seen God move through Christian Union leadership lectures and workshops. Recently, CU Nova heard from Princeton alumnus and former NFL player, Caraun Reid, ‘14. Reid spoke at a CU Nova Leadership event and began by leading students in a powerful time of worship before sharing his message on the futility of self-reliance from Jeremiah 2, commenting on the “broken cisterns” people make for themselves rather than finding their life in Christ. Reid's message left many Princeton students inspired and hungry for more of God. 

In the concluding weeks of classes at Princeton this spring, Vincent shared, "Our students are busy studying for finals, but they are still seeking the Lord and reaching this campus with the love of Christ. As you may know, the protests that are occurring on college campuses across the nation have impacted Princeton as well. Heated exchanges and “cancel culture” have targeted several students in our ministry already. As a result, our student officers and I drafted a statement to our students, urging everyone to follow the example of Jesus in loving our enemies, allowing for matters of conscience, and pursuing unity in the body of Christ. We, then, invited our ministry members to pray at our noon prayer meetings for peace during this time of tension." 

In the midst of such tension, the CU outreach team at Princeton led a campus-wide initiative called, “Doubts for Donuts” through which students were able to write to Christian Union to share their doubts and questions about Christianity, and in response, would receive a visit from a Christian Union student with a donut and an answer to their question. As a result, CU Nova student leaders had many spiritually significant conversations with their peers, including lengthy conversations about faith with unbelievers. 

New Haven, Connecticut

Jeff Walsh, ministry director for Christian Union Lux at Yale, shared, "At Christian Union Lux's final Leadership Lecture Series to close out this semester, over 50 students were in attendance. CU Lux closes out each semester with their traditional ‘Stones of Remembrance Night,’ during which students share their testimonies. From these, we know that God is at work in these students' lives! Students shared of having wonderful breakthroughs and healing from physical ailments, fear, sexual addictions, anxiety, suicide ideation, and unbelief. The testimonies shared this night included how God is moving to empower students to hear Him speak, to be built up and strengthened in community, to be able to walk in peace, and to learn to trust Him in the midst of the demands of school and work. Students were greatly strengthened by the powerful outdoor prayer and worship event, "Rekindle," that we helped to host on campus this spring and are leaving the school year filled with the living presence of the Lord. To God be all the glory."  

In the last month, while Americans watched scenes of student protestors at some of America's top universities being arrested and wondered if there is any hope at these colleges, Christian Union ministry directors, fellows, and students are living proof that there is hope: His name is Jesus. 

 Christian Union seeks to develop student Christian leaders through ten university ministries to transform lives and culture for God's glory.