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May 24, 2024

There is Hope: His Name is Jesus

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.  

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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:

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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.  

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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

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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.   

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February 15, 2024

Baptisms at Brown

Public Declarations of Faith Start the New Year  

By erin conner, writer and communications associate  

"...Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). 

A new year brings hope for new beginnings, and at Brown University, the start of the year brought forth a celebration of new life in Jesus Christ. Christian Union Libertas at Brown celebrated the baptisms of two students, Matteo Sredzinski and Layla Lynch, this January. 

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December 4, 2023

A Story of Character and Influence

Student Spotlight: Caroline Parente, '24, Brown University 

By Erin Conner 

Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness… she eateth not the bread of idleness… favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.- Proverbs 31: 25-30

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November 29, 2023

For Such a Time as This

A Devotional to Prepare Our Hearts for a New Year

By Dr. Marcus Buckley, Ministry Director at Christian Union Vita at Cornell

"And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”  Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him." -Esther 4:12-17

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November 27, 2023

Seek the Prince of Peace

Join Our 21-Day Fast 

By chuck hetzler, PhD, vice president of biblical theology 

 
Is Israel’s current war a sign of the end times? How should we, as Christians, think about the war? What can and should we do?

 

Christian Union is calling all American Christians to start the year with a 21-day fast, Tuesday, January 2, through Monday, January 22, 2024, to humble ourselves and seek God in light of the current events in the Middle East.

 

The upcoming CU National Fast is titled "Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace for All Nations." Christian Union faculty and staff will write devotionals based on Scripture, which will be sent to all signed-up participants by email each day of the fast. 

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November 19, 2023

Repent, for the Kingdom of God is Near

A Closer Look at Jesus' Call to Repentance

By Erin Conner 

Repentance is a beautiful word. It is the name of the road that leads out of darkness. It is the name of the road that leads to life. It is a Biblical concept that, depending on the type of church we grew up in or currently attend, may seem harsh, foreign, or antiquated. As a true follower of God, deep and ongoing repentance, the act of turning away from sin to wholeheartedly following the Lord, is a life-giving spiritual discipline. 

 

From a deep immersion into Scripture, we find that God never intended for repentance to be a spiritual discipline of the past. God never intended for his people to ignore His commands. In fact, Christ said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) He never intended His people to be “of the world,” obeying the world’s “commands” while neglecting His. (Romans 12:2) We find God never intended self-worship (or any other form of idolatry) to co-exist with the worship of God. From a deep immersion into Scripture, we also find that God never intended for people to go through the motions of repentance without a contrite heart.  

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November 2, 2023

They Will Know Us by Our Love

College Students Struggle as Israel-Hamas War Continues

By erin conner

 

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." -John 13:35

Many of our nation’s colleges and universities have been in a state of turmoil since the October 7 attacks against Israel. Christianity Today’s recent article by Emily Belz, “As Campus Threats Rise, College Ministries Look for Ways to Help,” takes a closer look at how Christian Union and other ministries are responding. 

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October 27, 2023

The Power of a Seeking God Lifestyle

Highlight: CU America member, Erika Lamara Garrett, LMFT  

By Erin Conner

 
“It was the fall that saved my life,” Erika Lamara Garrett explained. In January of 2020, at the age of 33, Garrett fell. The injuries she sustained from this fall confined her to a bed and made her dependent on others to perform basic daily activities. Despite the desperation of her circumstances while on bed rest, she sensed the Lord telling her, “Erika- you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” 

 

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October 27, 2023

A Culture of Brokenness

School of Public Health at Brown Helps to Host Drag Performance

By erin conner

 
The emblematic statement that introduces the School of Public Health’s page on Brown University’s website reads, “Standing at the forefront of today's most important public health issues, Brown is spearheading vital initiatives that will shape the future of the field.” 

 

On October 20-21, 2023, the School of Public Health at Brown University helped to host an event entitled “Decolonize Drag with Professor Kareem Khubchandani.” The poster advertising this event for students shows the professor lying down in a provocative manner. 

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October 24, 2023

Are the Miraculous Gifts for Today?

The Debate of Cessationism v. Continuationism 

By erin conner

 

Are the miraculous gifts for today? Dr. Michael Brown argues a compelling “yes” in his article entitled “The Reformed of the Lord Say No to Cessationism,” published on October 9 in Christianity Today.  

“The cessationist debate is back, although in some ways, it’s never left,” Brown writes, in light of the recently scheduled 2024 Cessationist Conference led, in part, by Pastor John MacArthur. This conference is timed to coincide with the release of the Cessationist movie, “bringing an age-old topic back to the forefront of trending conversations, especially among Reformed believers.” 

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October 15, 2023

Only Jesus Satisfies

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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October 11, 2023

The Nobility of Examining the Scriptures Daily

By chuck hetzler
 

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.  – Acts 17:10-11

The Bible says that the Bereans were “more noble” than the Thessalonians because they were eager to hear what Paul and Silas had to say. They did not quickly take offense to the concept of a suffering Savior, crucified as a criminal, and raised from death to life as the victorious Son of God. They did not consider it inconceivable that God could fulfill thousands of years of prophecies in this God-Man, Jesus of Nazareth. Some people today can be quickly triggered when hearing unfamiliar messages, but such a reaction is ignoble and immature. We should be able to hear different views and then patiently weigh and test them through the Scriptures, just as the Bereans did. 

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October 1, 2023

A Journey Beyond Graduation

Christian Union America's Mentoring Program Launches Alumni Well

By christine foster

 

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

For many Christians, the most challenging phase of life begins the moment they graduate from college. Robust discipleship, through which many students grew strong in college, suddenly disappears. The members of their Bible Course group scatter across the country and around the world. Young graduates suddenly find themselves in a new city, with a demanding job, and no home church. Christian Union’s Alumni Mentoring Program aims to smooth this time, by equipping these graduates with some support. The intention is to see these new alumni continue to network with other faithful people and grow into the full Christian leaders God intends for them to be.

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September 27, 2023

Cherish the Word of God

A Devotional 

By qwynn gross

 

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  - John 15:7, NKJV

The Word of God is the bedrock, basis, and fabric of Christianity; spoken in the beginning and framing the world in which creation lives, the Word is the manna from heaven that became flesh and dwelled amongst man, written on tablets of stone and transferred to man’s heart so that all would be warned and find great reward, the Word was given to one, Adam, and defied by two, Adam and Eve; a covenant to be kept by a nation astray in heart but upheld by the Savior who would be faithful and true. Established as the one thing that will never pass away, neither return to God void, the Word of God is the Truth that endures forever, and that must abide in every believer, as imitators of Christ, that prayers may be answered, faith can be seen, and fruit is produced. 

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September 24, 2023

A Win for Religious Liberty

FCA v San Jose Unified School District

By erin conner

 

In an article on the FIRE (The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression) website, Robert Shibley reports that in 2019, at a high school in California, Fellowship of Christian Athletes' (FCA) recognition as a student group was revoked for requiring that student leaders comply with their statements of belief. These statements align with the basic tenets of Christian theology.

On September 13, 2023, belief-based student groups won an important victory in the lawsuit that followed, Fellowship of Christian Athletes v. San Jose Unified School District, which restored the ability of many such groups to meet on public campuses and schools in the many western states covered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

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September 18, 2023

Let Us Reason Together

Christian Union Bible Courses Challenge Students

By erin conner

 

Intellectual engagement, one of the six core values of Christian Union, embraces God’s command for us to love God with all our mind. (Mark 12:30) As a result of the desire to intellectually engage university students to build faithful leaders, Christian Union offers rigorous Bible Courses.

Students involved in Christian Union ministries in the fall semester of 2023 have an opportunity to join a 10-lesson study on the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians, which is often referred to as a “prison letter,” as Paul wrote it while “in chains.” (Colossians 4:3, 10, 18.)  

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