Learn About/Subscribe:
Christian Union
Christian Union: The Magazine

Alumni


May 13, 2024

"ONE" United Body of Believers at Stanford

Christian Organizations Host Historic Campus Event with Francis Chan 

by erin conner, writer and communications associate


"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." -
Ephesians 4:4-6 (ESV)


Monday evening, May 6, 2024, was a chilly evening in Palo Alto, yet the glow of the lights and the warmth of the love lit up Meyer Green in the heart of Stanford's campus as approximately 200 Christians gathered to exalt the Lord in unity through worship and prayer. 

This historic event, entitled "ONE," was the result of prayer by Christian alumni, students, and leaders for the light of Jesus Christ to be publicly expressed as a beacon of hope in the midst of this highly secular campus. The event was a collaborative effort of six Christian ministries on Stanford's campus: the Catholic Undergraduate Student Association, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Action, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, Parakaleo Christian Ministries, Moment Christian Fellowship, and Christian Union Caritas. 


Justin Woyak, a ministry fellow for Christian Union Caritas, was at the heart of leading and praying for God's desire for this event. Woyak kicked off the event, welcoming the crowd and inviting all attendees to walk in oneness and unity with each other and with the Lord. When asked about the significance of holding this kind of event, he shared his deep felt gratitude for all who made it possible, saying, "Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Action volunteered their normal weekly meeting time and invited so many students. The leaders of Parakaleo faithfully inspired our prayer meetings before the event. A team from Moment Christian Fellowship brought together an amazing audio, visual, and lighting setup. Chi Alpha’s student worship united our hearts to the Lord and one another powerfully through song. Local pastors exhorted us from their word and from their walks with Jesus. A Stanford administrator and leader among the Catholic community led us in heartfelt, carefully written prayers, in a call-and-response style.

Woyak continued, "And the highlight of the night—over a dozen students from six different campus ministries took turns leading all of us in prayer on topics God profoundly placed on their hearts. God gave us a beautiful experience of the 'one body' in Christ."

The event began with a time of worship music during which the crowd united their voices to sing praises to the Lord, collectively shifting their focus from "self" to fixing their eyes on the Author and Finisher of their faith. Students and facult around campus likely heard these students exalting the Lord's name above any other name: above circumstances, injustices, heartbreak, anxiety–above it all. 

Francis Chan was, then, welcomed to the stage by two student-athlete emcees. Chan is the best-selling author of Crazy Love, Forgotten God, Erasing Hell, You and Me Forever and the host of the BASIC.series, "Who Is God & We Are Church." Chan, who plants churches in the San Francisco area and recently launched a countrywide discipleship movement called "Multiply" with David Platt, spoke about how God changed him in his college years and how that time with the Lord was the start of it all for him. Chan cast a vision of a lifelong pursuit of loving the Lord, reflecting on and sharing God's amazing goodness. He passionately prayed, as he looked out at all the faces in the crowd, that God would move in these students' hearts the way He moved in his own.

Following Chan's message, students from each hosting ministry shared a prayer request. Two or three students from each Christian ministry went to the stage to present a topic that they felt led to pray over their campus. One student leader powerfully came forward with tears in her eyes and said that what God had placed on her heart was to pray for the salvation of everyone in the community. During the prayer time, students gathered in a small groups of three to five, often with people from different ministries. In so doing, believers from different backgrounds and denominations united as brothers- and sisters-in-Christ to lift up the needs of all the people in their community to the God who hears. 


This time of prayer also included a Spirit-led altar call, during which a student leader invited those in attendance to dedicate or re-dedicate their lives to the Lord. Author and speaker, Vince Vitale then shared a story to end the evening about the power of reconciliation to each other and to God in our lives.

Susan Brown, women's ministry fellow at Christian Union Caritas, said, "the murmuring of the crowd served as a concert of public prayer that was incredibly sweet to hear. It was precious and powerful to come together and pray and declare we are one body." A student walking by asked Brown, "What is going on here?" to which she said, "This is a gathering of Christian students who are praying for all of the students in the Stanford community– for their relationships and for their peace and praying against the anxiety and fear that many are battling." Though this student said she was not a believer, she expressed her gratitude for the prayers being offered and the kindness of those gathered. 

What is rather astounding is that this event took place in an environment that has been generally hostile to faith and to Christianity, and it took place during a time when college campuses across the country are experiencing chaos and conflicts from student protests. The observable juxtaposition of Christian worship on Meyer Green and on other campuses across the country against a backdrop of problematic student protests speaks volumes.


“'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts'" (Isaiah 55:8-9).

It is clear that God powerfully and sweetly demonstrated the goodness of His ways on Stanford's campus this beautiful night through the faith and unity of His people. 

 Watch a two-minute video overview of "ONE" here.  

Continue Reading >

May 6, 2024

Exploring the Spiritual Dimension of Mental Health

Christian Union Nova at Princeton Holds Powerful Leadership Lecture Series

by erin conner, writer and communications associate

To address the mental health crisis on our nation's college campuses, Christian organizations such as Christian Union and the Veritas Forum are using their ministries to create opportunities and discussions, as well as provide forums and workshops, to equip students to explore deeper meaning, freedom, and life through their faith in God. 

Recently, Christian Union Nova at Princeton invited Dr. Matthew Suh to speak at a Friday night Leadership Lecture Series on “The Religion of Science, Integration of Faith, and the Art of Healing-a Christian Surgeon’s Journey into Supernatural Faith.” It was a powerful message and testimony, incorporating his career as a surgeon, his faith in Christ, and how the Lord miraculously healed him. 

The next day, CU Nova students spent the day with Dr. Suh and his wife, Dr. Margaret Yoon, who is a practicing psychiatrist, in a training workshop entitled, “Healing of Mental Illness from a Christian Perspective.” This included a ministry time to conclude.  

Mike Vincent, ministry director of Christian Union Nova at Princeton, shared that mental health is a prevalent issue in the lives of college students. Research across the country confirms this. 

Vincent continued, "Addressing mental health from a spiritual perspective is not common practice in the Western church nor in Western medicine, but there is Biblical support for it, so I wanted to bring speakers and medical professionals to encourage, teach, and minister to our students. The time was well spent. Students found a deeper level of understanding and freedom as a result."

Continue Reading >

April 29, 2024

Testimonies are Rolling In

April's CU Fire Retreat Provides an Impactful Weekend for Participants

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate


Christian Union America equips and supports Christian Union Universities' alumni, as well as other Christian leaders across the country, with programs such as its alumni mentorship program, CU Fire Retreats, Bible studies, Daniel Spirituality coaching, and in-person conferences and forums. Christian Union's aim through these programs is to equip and strengthen Christian leaders to wholeheartedly seek God to transform their hearts and minds more unto the image of Christ and to transform their families, communities, and the nation as a result. 


The most recent CU Fire Retreat, held in April, equipped Christians across the country to better understand the fear of God and the fear of man, exploring how the former leads to wisdom and life, and the latter leads to more fear and deeper despair. 

CU Fire Retreats are 1.5-day nationwide simulcast retreats that create a context of worship, fasting, prayer, and Scripture reading, along with powerful guest speakers, to empower participants to experience spiritual rejuvenation and encouragement with their friends, family, and/or Christian community from the comfort of their own home or church.

Testimonies of lives that have been touched by God through April's weekend CU Fire Retreat are rolling in:


"The CU Fire retreat helped my faith to increase in that my need to fear God is so much stronger and so much more powerful than the fear of man." 

"I have been strengthened in my faith for sure. I am always grateful for CU Fire. My favorite parts were the sermons. Worship was also very powerful and I appreciate the songs corresponding to the theme. Thank you!" 

"The combination of every component made this retreat very impactful! It was great to know the difference between fear of God and fear of man. Also praying and worshiping!"

"I was able to address some areas in my life that I needed to think were healed but now know that there is some healing that needs to take place and will take the proper steps to get counsel and prayer."

"Loved the last presentation  about fear of the LORD."

"I greatly enjoyed the speakers, the fellowship and the overall theme. "

"It certainly happened for us and was really reinforced by the fellowship and discussion of the 'Fear of the LORD' theme."

"It was amazing. We prayed together and over each other and had worship together. Reading the Word and discussing God’s character was impactful."

"This being my first retreat, it was a powerful experience. I learned new things about God through discussions. I feel encouraged to continue my journey with God and have created fellowship. I won’t forget this experience." 

"The most memorable were the moments hearing my participants say this is the first time they’ve read the Bible for a long period of time! Also, that they have enjoyed this time so much they don’t want it to end, which led to great conversation about how they can cultivate this moving forward." 

"I especially enjoyed the dedicated reading in Jeremiah and Lamentations. And how the LORD works and his faithfulness to his word. It was so interesting to see those events and how they are mirroring today’s as well in so many aspects. God’s word is truth and has been proven over and over consistently. I will never doubt it!" 

"Our group leader was phenomenal, and the openness we all shared along with the powerful prayers were very impactful on all of us."

Christian Union Caritas at Stanford University


The next CU Fire Retreat's theme is "America Returning to God," and will be held the weekend of October 4-5, 2024 with Dimas Salaberrios as one guest speaker. Salaberrios, in addition to being a NY pastor is the author of Street God: The Explosive True Story of a Former Drug Boss, and his film “Chicago: America’s Hidden War” was recently nominated for an Oscar for “Best Documentary Feature.”

Salaberrios is a faith leader, film producer, prayer warrior, and author.  He is the founder and former pastor of Infinity Bible Church in New York City, and the President Emeritus of Concerts of Prayer Greater New York. Salaberrios has been on the frontlines of the earthquakes in Haiti, and Hurricane Harvey in Houston. After the shootings in Saint Paul, Dallas, Charleston, and Paris, Dimas organized believers to infiltrate the protests and pray with hurting people.  He has also organized prayer during the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis and New York City. His directorial debut is titled “Chicago: America’s Hidden War” (https://www.chicagoshiddenwar.com), and he co-produced the documentary film “Emanuel.”   Dimas is married to Tiffany and has three daughters. Learn more about Dimas by visiting http://thedynamiclifeministry.com/pastor-dimas/


Learn more about CU Fire Retreats and how you can become involved in October's retreat here

Continue Reading >

April 16, 2024

What is Christian Union?

A Ministry that Equips Tranformative Christian Leaders for Life

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate


Christian Union has been in the national spotlight for several weeks now. From magazine and newspaper articles, television interviews, a podcast appearance, a Worldwide Prayer Meeting at Yale with the Summit International School of Ministry that was live-streamed across multiple countries, and social media ads running from the west to the east coast of the U.S., many people in faith-based circles are asking, "What is Christian Union?" 

Christian Union is a leadership development ministry that works at ten of the nation's most influential educational institutions and beyond to develop and connect Christians to transform culture for God's glory. 

Christian Union (CU) is a unique ministry in that it meets a comprehensive set of needs in our nation's young adults:

1) Christian Union Universities meets the spiritual ministry needs of college students by providing them with one-on-one discipleship, Bible Courses, prayer, worship opportunities, spiritual retreats, and leadership training to strengthen their devotion to and faith in the Lord. 

2) Christian Union America equips and supports these students, as well as other Christian leaders, after graduation with initiatives like mentorship programs, online weekend retreats, Bible studies, Daniel Spirituality coaching, and in person conferences and forums.

Christian Union's aim is to equip and strengthen Christian leaders to wholeheartedly seek God to transform their hearts and minds more unto the image of Christ, and to transform their families, communities, and the nation as a result.

Christian Union Caritas at Stanford University

Christian Union Caritas Ministry Fellow Justin Woyak with two students at Stanford. In addition to the ministry at Stanford, Christian Union has established ministries at nine other highly influential academic institutions.


This is a critical ministry in 2024, as the U.S. is in profound need of sweeping spiritual transformation. Despite the large number of Christians in the United States, the impact of the church in our culture has declined steadily. Furthermore, the predominant worldview in the most influential academic and cultural institutions is profoundly secular, pushing destructive ideologies that contribute to societal disorder.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) late last year released data showing that nearly 50,000 people died by suicide in the United States in 2022, reaching the highest number ever recorded and the highest rate since 1941 following the Great Depression. It seems clear that secular messages of human purpose and freedom are deceptively empty, and young adults are struggling with the highest level of depression and anxiety on record.

Christian Union believes Christ Jesus is the only name that holds the power to stop this trajectory and restore people, individually and collectively, back to Life. Thus, Christian Union develops leaders to proclaim His name in places of spiritual darkness. As a result, thousands of students since 2002, when Christian Union started its ministry, have joined CU with a desire to develop and use their talent, faith, courage, intellect, and fortitude to hunger after God and to transform their spheres of personal and professional influence for His glory. Furthermore, many have found salvation through Jesus Christ too. These students' faces and stories have filled the pages of Christian Union's Magazinefor two decades. 


Christians are called to love the Lord with all their heart, and with all their soul, and with all their mind, and with all their strength (Mark 12:30). Christian Union seeks to help students navigate the challenge, beauty, and implications of this call, not just for the four years they are in undergraduate school, but for the entirety of their lives.


 Consider joining this movement today to help develop Christian leaders and to help America return to God.  


Watch an upcoming interview on the national Christian television show, TCT Today, airing on Wednesday, April 17th, 2024 at 8 pm (ET) or Thursday, April 18th at 6 am (ET) here.  

Continue Reading >

April 10, 2024

The Name of Jesus Lifted High at Yale

Christian Union Lux' Second Annual Worship and Prayer Event 

By erin conner, writer and communication associate 


Christian Union Lux is a spiritual force of light at Yale University by God's grace and power. A leader of this force is Reverend Jeffrey Walsh. Walsh is a retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant with over 23 years of experience as a Military Police Soldier, Educator, and National Director of Police. He is also an ordained Christian minister with a lifetime of experience in pastoral ministry. 

Walsh has served in various assignments and attachments worldwide with the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau, the 5th Special Forces Group, and the 169th Regional Training Institute. Jeffrey spent the last ten years in senior leadership positions, including National Director and Subject Matter Expert of Military Police Education and Leadership and Senior Leader of Advanced Leadership Training Programs. He has trained military leaders across North America in his former roles as the National Military Law Enforcement Subject Matter Expert and Connecticut State Equal Opportunity and Sexual Assault Program Coordinator. Walsh's combat experience has earned him numerous service awards, including the Bronze Star Medal with Valor and four presidential unit awards. And for the last two years, Walsh has served as the ministry director of Christian Union Lux at Yale.

His passion for serving others stems from a personal journey of healing and transformation through the Spirit of God.

Walsh is joined at Christian Union (CU) Lux by his wife, Beth, who serves as the administrative assistant, and two expert ministry fellows, Michael Racine and Chitra Kovoor as well as CU Lux's intern, Luke Bell. This team is currently equipping faithful and dedicated student leaders to plan a large group, faith-based event this Saturday, April 13, 2024, entitled "Rekindle" that will be held in the public square of the New Haven Green behind Center Church from 6-8:30 pm. 

CU Lux hosted their first event like this, a Worldwide Prayer Meeting, last April. The Worldwide Prayer Meeting, led by Times Square Church's Dr. Carter Conlon in cooperation with Summit International School of Ministry, allows people to submit prayer requests and join the livestream event from around the world. The prayer gathering broadcasts to more than 100,000 people across 240 countries. Dr. Conlon is no stranger to Ivy League campuses, having recently spoken at an evangelical event hosted by Christian Union Vita at Cornell last month at Sage Chapel.


Yale's upcoming event will feature powerful student-led worship, testimonies, and prayer with the hope of rekindling a passion to see the name of Jesus lifted high at Yale. It is estimated that approximately 1,000 people attended last year. And there is simply no way to track how far the Word of God traveled that evening last April through the open windows of the freshman dorms and the open hearts of the many attendees. 

This year, Christian Union is hoping to expand its reach by hosting this worship and prayer meeting again. Students have decorated the sidewalks of Yale's campus with details of the event in colorful chalk, informing all who walk the campus of Yale University that they are warmly invited to attend.

gospel move 1

This event represents a collaborative effort among Yale students from Christian Union and various other ministries across campus, showcasing the unity and diversity within Yale's faith community. The event provides an opportunity for attendees to connect with fellow believers, engage in meaningful conversations, and/or deepen their understanding of the Christian faith. 

Ministry Director Jeffrey Walsh invites all to "come together to celebrate our faith, learn from one another, and be moved by the powerful message that Dr. Conlon has to share." 

When asked about the significance of this type of event, Luke Bell, former co-president of Christian Union Lux and alumnus of Yale's class of 2023, quoted Charles Spurgeon: "Faith is a cumulative force. 'According to thy faith, so be it done unto thee' is true to one, to two, to twenty, to twenty thousand; and twenty thousand times the force will be the result of twenty thousand times the faith. Rest assured that while two or three have power with God in their measure, two or three hundred have still more. If great results are to come, they will be accompanied by the prayers of many; nay, the brightest days of all will never come except by the unanimous prayer of the entire church." 

Bell, who currently serves as a CU Lux intern, continued, "as Spurgeon said, there is inestimable power when the Church unifies to pray. At Rekindle, we will unite students from Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell as well as churches across the northeast, to publicly worship Jesus, intercede for our campuses, and invite nonbelievers to hear a presentation of the gospel. This is an incredible time to pray for souls across New England to be rekindled with the love of Christ; we look forward to praying for and co-laboring towards building Christ's kingdom here on our campuses, as it is in heaven."  

Join Christian Union in seeking God wholeheartedly and praying with relentless perseverance for God's Kingdom of Light to come and His will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven at Yale and beyond. 

Watch or share this 90-second video: Rekindle 2024 Trailer

Continue Reading >

April 9, 2024

Four Reasons Not to Fear Man

Understanding the Christian View of Fear

updated By Erin conner, writer and communications associate


This April 19-20th, Christians around the country are joining Christian Union America from the comfort of their own home for a weekend retreatto better understand the Christian view of fear: the fear of man and the fear of God.

In light of this upcoming event, Christian Union desires to encourage all Christians to seek the Lord wholeheartedly to find freedom from the destructive forces of the fear of man and to find their security in God alone. The following excerpt, originally published as part of a 2014 CU Fast, examines Jesus' words to his disciples about fearing man, as recorded in the Book of Matthew.

Continue Reading >

March 31, 2024

Speakers for Upcoming CU Fire Retreat

Christian Union's April 2024 Retreat on the Christian View of Fear

By erin conner, writer and communication associate 

This month, Christian Union America will be hosting another powerful CU Fire Retreat to help equip Christians around the country to draw close to the Lord with friends and family through a weekend retreat. It is not too late to join, as registration is still open. 

One participant recently shared, "The CU Fire Retreat was a great time! It’s not often you get the opportunity to do a group fast with so many amazing people. I’ve also met one of my current best friends through the alumni group. She went to a different school, so I probably would have never met her without the group!"  
 

Who: You and your small group, friends, or family 

What: A 1.5 day simulcast retreat featuring Scripture-based teaching, worship, prayer, and fasting 

When: April 19-20, 2024

Where: easily host in your own home or church

Why:  grow strong in the Lord and grow closer to each other 

April 2024 Theme: The Christian View of Fear: Understanding the Fear of Man and the Fear of God 


fire retreat


This 3.5 minute video offers a glimpse of the purpose and power of taking one and a half days to seek the Lord in community with others. 

The speakers for the April 2024 retreat are Christopher White,  Trevon Gross, and Matt Bennett: 

Christopher White


christopher white photo for2024 FR

Chris White is an evangelist with the UEC-Fresh Springs Association and is a member of the Global Network of Evangelists (GNE) of the Luis Palau Association. He met the Lord at age 14, growing up as a New England pastor’s son, and entered Yale University in 1971 by the Lord’s leading. He served thereafter in campus ministry for decades speaking at Yale, Columbia, MIT, RPI, Rutgers, Johns Hopkins, and many other campuses. He also speaks in churches, and in public outreaches, including concerts in NYC's Central Park and at Long Island’s Jones Beach Bandshell. Earning his M.A. at Columbia, he worked for 20 years as a teacher, and then entered full-time ministry in 2007. 

Mr. White has been working in the U.S., Colombia, Cuba, southern Asia, and elsewhere ever since. His first book, Discipleship and the Body of Christ, is also available in Spanish (Ven y sígueme). Additional books include: God and Man and Monkey at Yale, The Passion of the Evangelist, and Judgment or Revival, Which Will It Be? He has also released his first original music album, How Glad the Morning. The UEC-FSA’s ministry website is located at: www.cnwhite.org. He has a Facebook ministry page at facebook.com/EvangelistChrisWhite. Mr. White has been married for more than 30 years to Pilar Hernandez White and together they have four sons.



Trevon Gross


trevon gross photo for2024 FR

Trevon Gross is a veteran pastor and church pioneer who has a passion for practical, Biblical teaching and developing leaders. With an unapologetic conviction that the local church is the hope of the world, he enjoys training those who will help to reach those who are far from God.


With a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and a minor in Classics from the University of Virginia, a Master of Theological Studies from Duke University and further graduate study at Harvard University in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department, Trevon has a commitment to solid Biblical interpretation and proclamation. He holds a PhD from Regent University in Organizational Leadership with an ecclesial concentration. 

Having served almost 20 years in denominational ministry, he, along with his wife, pioneered an independent church in 2002 called Hope Cathedral. With a growing, multicultural congregation that translates the Great Commission into 21st-century ministry his emphasis is on communicating a clear vision, and offering practical processes to accomplish God’s call.



Matt Bennett


matt bennett photo for2024 FR

Matt Bennett is Founder and President of Christian Union, a Christian leadership development organization with the mission to bring sweeping spiritual and cultural transformation to our nation and the world by developing and networking Christian leaders to make an impact for Christ. Christian Union focuses its activity on America's most influential universities and on professionals in the nation's key cities.

A native of Houston, Texas, Matt earned BS and MBA degrees from Cornell University and holds a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He worked for Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) at Princeton University for 12 years, and developed the ministry into one of the largest in the history of the Ivy League. In 2002, he founded Christian Union. The ministry has been featured in The New York Times, PBS, NPR, Christianity Today,and World Magazine. Matt currently resides in New York City.




Register for or learn more about April's CU Fire Retreat. 

Continue Reading >

March 28, 2024

Nothing is More Loving

Sharing Christ with an "Unreached People Group" at Cornell and Beyond

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate

While students and faculty were protesting in Ithaca's public spaces and headlines were raging with anger and allegations about attacks on freedom in The Cornell's Daily Sun, Christian Union (CU) Vita students were fixing their eyes on the Author and Finisher of their faith. These students recently surrendered their week of spring break to serve the Lord. They are not looking to the right or to the left; instead, they are gazing upon the beauty of the Lord, knowing He is the One who sustains them and keeps them from sinking into the surrounding culture of despair, as they share the Hope that they have in Jesus Christ with anyone who will listen.  

IMG 1758

 

In March, CU Vita at Cornell kicked off Christian Union's spring evangelism campaign by hosting a one-week event entitled "CU Proclaim," inviting students from Yale, Dartmouth, and Columbia to join them. At the beginning of the week, one student shared with Marcus Buckley, the ministry director of CU Vita, that he wondered how he was ever going to be bold enough to share Jesus with complete strangers by just walking up to them. By the end of the week, this same student could not be stopped, asking for more opportunities to go out and share with strangers. Christian Union students, by the grace and power of God, are taking the demonstrative love of Christ into their spheres of influence at their respective schools for the next few weeks, regardless of the darkness of the spiritual climate around them.  


The week of evangelism at Cornell included a worship event at Sage Chapel, during which students accepted salvation in Christ, found freedom from afflictions, and embodied freedom and joy as they worshiped the Lord.  At this open-door event, many students responded to an altar call given, coming forward to confess the need for God's help and healing through prayer for addictions, fear, anxiety, and other mental and physical issues that plagued them. True freedom through prayer and repentance was found that night in that beautiful chapel at the top of Ithaca.  

The juxtaposition of what happened that night in Sage Chapel compared to what is happening on the contentious campus at Cornell is strikingly didactic to any onlooker: the kingdom of God is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14: 17); true stability does not depend upon circumstances,(Psalm 18:2) for the kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:21); and freedom does not come from following the ways of the world (Romans 12:2). Christ clearly disrupts the messages and culture of the world to give Truth and life. Christian Union is praying that their efforts this spring will help all who have eyes to see Him at the nine highly secular schools where they minister. 

Despite some of the rejection that students of Christian Union faced during CU Proclaim, they continued to boldly proclaim Truth–Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Lord, and He wants to give all people the gift of salvation, hope, and life. One student shared that he "never experienced so much rejection in his life," during this week of contact evangelism; however, he shared this news with a smile and with a heart of peace, as he had conquered fear of what others might think of him to serve the God he loves.  

In this campaign, students are not just sharing the gospel through contact evangelism, but through other in-person and online means as well. Whether they are distributing literature, posting social media ads on TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram, or hosting highly visible, large group events, student leaders and faculty are devoted to sharing the life-saving and life-giving message of Jesus Christ. 

Online resources that serve as part of this eight-week outreach campaign can be found at curise.org. One such powerful resource from week one,  a Desiring God article written by John Piper, presents nine ways to know the gospel is true.  

Week twoof the online campaign covers questions related to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, including Tim Keller's powerful two-minute meditation on how Jesus' death is an act of friendship. 

In the third week of the campaign, following Easter, Christian Union plans to have "student-on-the-street" video interviews, as CU students and faculty ask questions related to Jesus on their respective campuses. 

The entire campaign, both online and in person, works to expose every single one of the 73,774 undergraduate students at the universities where CU ministers to the power of the gospel. 

In a recent interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Matt Bennett, Founder and President of Christian Union, shared that students at some of America's most influential educational institutions constitute an "unreached people group" with such a low percentage of the student body and faculty identifying as Christians. CBN's article about the interview stated, "Bennett made a sobering statement that underscores the dire state of spiritual affairs and intense lostness at many of these colleges, when he said, 'What's shocking is that, in this audience, you have fewer practicing Christians than you do, say...in mainland China or a lot of other places that we consider unreached.'"

In this interview, Bennett also shared that, in his experience over the last twenty plus years of providing ministry in some of the most spiritually dark places in our country, personal connection, not a campaign is ultimately what inspires an individual to accept the gospel. However, it seems people need to encounter several touchpoints with the gospel before going to a trustworthy Christian in their life with their questions. Consequently, each and every Christian's role is to have the courage to be known as a Christian in their sphere of influence, so that when someone is seeking Truth, they know to whom to turn for direction to find and follow Him. 

Christian Union's boldness reminds all Christians that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the hope of all the world and that followers of God are privileged and duty-bound to proclaim it far and wide in the power of the Holy Spirit. No other message on earth is more important to communicate than the opportunity of reconciliation with God by grace through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. 

Christianity’s mission to the world is love, and nothing is more loving than letting people know how eager God is to wipe away all their sins and to replace death with life, ashes with beauty, and captivity with freedom through faith in Christ.  

Watch the related 12-minute CBN News interview here

Continue Reading >

March 27, 2024

A Devotional on Surrender

CU America's 2024 National Fast, "Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace for All Nations"

By Marcus buckley, ministry director of christian union vita at cornell


"The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 'Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words.' So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: 'O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it'". – Jeremiah 18:1-10

It is difficult to find anyone who is not pleased when God shows to them grace and mercy according to His sovereign will. We rejoice that God would see fit to make forgiveness available to us, knowing that our sin and rebellion merits only His righteous judgment. We celebrate when God reaches across time and space and touches a friend or loved one, breaking the chains of sin and setting them free into glorious, eternal life.

But what happens when God saves someone outside our circle of influence? Or, even worse, outside our circle of preference? How many times have we as faithful followers of Christ been shocked – or even offended – when someone who was formerly an outspoken enemy of God comes to saving faith in Christ Jesus? It is easy to hurl accusations that their conversion is not a true one, that somehow the greatness of their previous sin outweighs the redemptive, salvific power of the cross. 

Continue Reading >

March 18, 2024

Jesus Disrupts: 2024 Evangelism Campaign

CU Rise Set to "Disrupt" Spiritual Climate of U.S. Colleges

By erin conner, writer and communications associate 



In 2022, Christian Union first launched CU Rise, an evangelism campaign designed to share the gospel with students at nine of the nation’s most influential universities more boldly, strategically, and frequently than ever before. This month, Christian Union is at it again, as CU Rise takes form for the third spring in a row with its campaign entitled "Jesus Disrupts."

For eight weeks, starting March 17, the goal of CU Rise is to proclaim the gospel, disrupting the current spiritual climate at highly secular universities that produce a disproportionate amount of U.S. and global leaders. Matt Bennett, Founder and President of Christian Union, recently told the Christian Post that this theme was chosen “to introduce students to how radical Jesus is.”  

columbia students


The schools across the country that this campaign will focus on include Brown University of Rhode Island, Columbia University of New York, Cornell University of New York, Dartmouth College of New Hampshire, Harvard University of Massachusetts, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University of New Jersey, Yale University of Connecticut, and Stanford University of California.


“Students today at the nation’s most rigorous schools are largely unaware of the most important message in the history of humanity. Jesus Christ has brought more good into the world than any other person, and these students deserve to know, said Bennett. "Jesus is also the only one who can forgive sins and transfer us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. We need to do everything we can to give these students the opportunity to believe in Him.”  

Read Christian Post's full article entitled "‘Jesus disrupts’: Christian Student Group to Launch 8-week Evangelism Tour" here


Read FaithWire's related article entitled, "Christian Leader's Sobering Comparision Between Communist China and Ivey League Campuses" here

 
View and share videos, testimonies, or articles from the CU Risecampaign that explain Christianity here

Continue Reading >

March 17, 2024

Losing Our Religion

Washington Times Op-Ed on Secularization of Educational Institutions

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate


Sunday, March 17, 2024-- The Washington Times published an opinion article today by Matt Bennett, Founder and President of Christian Union, entitled "America's Founding Universities Lost Their Religion. Are They Worth Saving?" 

The article briefly discusses the histories of several educational institutions in America, such as Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, and Stanford. The article also presents a compelling claim that students at these institutions ought to know the fundamental truth upon which their schools were founded: Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and, through Him alone, humanity finds salvation and life.

Continue Reading >

March 14, 2024

Alumnus Wins Congressional Primary

Former Student President Claims Victory in Texas Primary 

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate 

Leaders developed at Dartmouth shape the future of our country by determining what media gets disseminated, what laws get passed, and how major decisions get made. Dartmouth has produced influential figures, including author Dr. Seuss, beloved T.V. personality Fred Rogers, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and former central banker and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (ChristianUnion.org/Cornerstone/Vox). It seems another name of influence may soon be added to this list: Brandon Gill. 

Brandon Gill claimed victory in the GOP primary for the 26th district of Texas to replace U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, who is retiring after 21 years in Congress, according to the Dallas News. Gill received 58.4% of the vote and will now face Democrat Ernest Lineberger III in the November election.

Gill's Congressional webpage states, "I attended Dartmouth College and graduated cum laude with degrees in both Economics and History. I was President of the conservative paper, The Dartmouth Review. I was also President of Christian Union and grew it to be one of the largest student groups on campus, despite being on a campus hostile to the Christian faith. In college, I fought the left nonstop - on their own turf - and I left Dartmouth even more conservative than when I arrived."

Continue Reading >

March 8, 2024

A Devotional on Hope in Darkness

CU America's 2024 National Fast, "Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace for All Nations"

By Chitra L Kovoor, Ministry Fellow, CU Lux at Yale University


"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." – Ephesians 6:12

Continue Reading >

March 4, 2024

Bennett Featured on the Christ & Coffee Podcast

Christian Union Universities Highlighted  

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate


The Christ and Coffee podcast, led by Dr. Haig Kherlopian, pastor of Church for the Nations, recently hosted Matt Bennett, Founder and President of Christian Union, to discuss Christian Union (CU) Universities. CU Universities is comprised of ten Christian leadership development ministries at nine of the nation's most influential educational institutions: Dartmouth, Brown, Harvard, Harvard Law, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, and Stanford.  During the informal podcast interview, the uniqueness of CU's ministry was discussed, among other topics related to how Christian Union is developing leaders with spiritual depth in strategic places for cultural renewal. 

In the podcast episode entitled "Inside Ivy League Ministry," Bennett discussed how the majority of America’s most strategic universities were expressly founded as Christian colleges. But over the years, these schools gradually shed their religious affiliation and became secular institutions. Bennett referenced research done by James Tunstead Burtchaell, who has extensive experience in American higher education as both a teacher and an administrator.  Burthchaell, in his book The Dying of the Light, "provides case studies of seventeen prominent colleges and universities with diverse ecclesial origins - Congregational, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, and Evangelical. 

Continue Reading >

March 1, 2024

The Urgency of Evangelism: Inspiration from D.L. Moody

Christian Union Universities Proclaiming the Good News This Spring

By Tom Campisi, 2022, revised and edited by erin conner, 2024 

“What shall you do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”

That was the question posed by preacher Dwight Lyman Moody at his Illinois Street Church in Chicago on October 8, 1871. In the sermon, he paraphrased the question asked by Pontius Pilate in the Gospel of Matthew (27:22). Moody challenged the congregation to think about it during the week and return to church the following Sunday with an answer—would they crown Christ as Lord or, like Pilate and the misguided mob of that time, deny his supremacy? However, as Moody finished his sermon, a warning bell began to ring. The Great Chicago Fire was raging. There was no next week at his church, which burned to the ground like many of the buildings in the city.

Continue Reading >

March 1, 2024

A Devotional on Endurance

CU America's 2024 National Fast, "Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace for All Nations"

By Qwynn Gross, Ministry Fellow, CU Nova at Princeton University


"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved" – Matthew 24:12-13.

As a youngster, I can think of plenty of extracurricular activities that I began with curiosity and zeal or out of a parental charge to participate, and for one reason or another, I soon opted to stop–-from piano lessons to Girl Scouts to running track to being a debutante, and many other activities–-however, when my firstborn was placed in my arms there was a conscious decision to continue regardless.  This unwavering commitment to the children I bore would only be eclipsed by my commitment to live for God simply because I found out that He is alive.  Now, with adult children and a life in Christ that spans close to forty years, I can attest that my endurance has not been easy, nor has it been without opportunities to quit, but rather because value and worth were assigned.

Assigning importance and meaning or significance to something or someone is not strange.  It’s done all the time;however for Christians, the commitment to cherish and esteem Jesus means to safeguard why we value Him even during the ecological, economic, and ecumenical tumult that Jesus warns will not only come, but cause the strongest of believers to defect because of pervasive lawlessness.

Continue Reading >

February 24, 2024

Christian Leadership in Media

Highlight: CU America Member, Carrie Sheffield 

By erin conner, writer and communications associate 


Carrie Sheffield, a Harvard alumna and a member of Christian Union America, is releasing a memoir this March entitled Motorhome Prophesies and launching a subsequent book tour across the U.S. 

Sheffield, a columnist and broadcaster in Washington, D.C., shares insights with millions of Americans on networks like CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, CBS News, CNBC, BBC, and more. From ABC’s Good Morning America to HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, PBS, and C-SPAN, she brings a voice of virtue to the American communications and media industry through boundless interviews for articles, appearances on television shows and podcasts, and at forums across the nation. Consequently, many Americans know the professional side of Carrie Sheffield's life. 

In her memoir, we learn about a different side of her life. The book's overview states, "Carrie Sheffield grew up the fifth of eight children with a violent, mentally ill, street-musician father who believed he was a modern-day Mormon prophet…She and her seven siblings were often forced to live as vagabonds, remaining on the move across the country. They frequently subsisted in sheds, tents, and, most notably, motorhomes. They often lived a dysfunctional drifter existence, camping out in their motorhome in Walmart parking lots. Carrie attended 17 public schools and homeschool, all while performing classical music on the streets… at times while child custody workers loomed…Carrie struggled with her mental health during college and for most of her adult life." 

Continue Reading >

February 20, 2024

Embodying Transformational Leadership

Student Spotlight: Jackson Parrott, '27, Yale University

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate

As a first-year undergraduate student and prospective Global Affairs major at Yale, Jackson Parrott has an impressive resume of experience in the spheres of public policy and politics. He is a researcher for the Yale Foreign Policy Initiative, a Policy Analyst for the Space Policy Research Collaborative, and a member of the Yale Undergraduate Moot Court Team. He has previously served as the Head of Global Organizational Outreach for the Climate Science Olympiad and as an Economic Policy Fellow for the Greater Good Initiative; he served as a Field Director and staff intern for both a lieutenant gubernatorial candidate and for a US Senate campaign. In addition, Parrott is an Air Force ROTC Cadet and is a Harvard Undergraduate International Relations Scholar. 

Continue Reading >

February 19, 2024

The Strategy of True Wisdom

A Devotional from CU National Fast, January 2024  

By sadie sasser, ministry fellow, christian union gloria at harvard 


"Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good."
– Ecclesiastes 9:18

Since the fall, humans have turned to violence and war to solve our problems. It could be argued that we have even created an industry out of it! Over the course of history, innumerable conflicts have stricken mankind. As such, there have been many military leaders of note; but even with the vast pool from which to choose there are leaders that rise to the top of the list. Names such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and Ulysses S. Grant line the rankings when discussing the greatest military leaders of all time. There are various reasons these people are noteworthy, but one of the common traits allowing them single-digit status is tactical brilliance.

The Hebrew word used in Ecclesiastes 9:18 for “wisdom” includes connotations of skillfulness in war, administrative savvy, shrewdness, prudence, and even sometimes includes an ethical tone. Thus, when Solomon states that such wisdom is better than actual weapons, he is not speaking of the wisdom of books or knowledge that can only be found in an ivory tower. He is speaking of practical and tactical brilliance, the ability to have an overarching plan and execute it well. The actual weapons used in battle are of little consequence in comparison to good strategy.

Continue Reading >

February 16, 2024

Mentoring Unites Grads Across the Globe

Christian Union Provides Support for Alumni 

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate

Tiffany Agyarko, a civil engineer and Princeton alumna, had many new aspects of life to manage when she graduated in May 2023. In the course of just a few weeks, Agyarko had packed up her life as a university student in New Jersey to move to Houston, Texas, to immediately begin her career.

The one area of her new life that she did not need to invest time and energy into researching was the area of spiritual mentorship. Christian Union had provided this small yet meaningful anchor for her when she relocated. Moving to an entirely new city, sometimes even to a new country, to build a professional life and find a supportive, like-minded community of faith can be daunting. With this in mind, Christian Union established its mentoring program to help ease the post graduation transition.   

Continue Reading >