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Faith and Work


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 nine of the nation's most influential universities 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, anxiety, and despair 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 four years while they are in college, 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.  

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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.

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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."

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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." 

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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. 

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February 2, 2024

Please Join Us

Experience the Power of a CU Fire Retreat — without Leaving Your Town!

By Erin Conner, Writer and communications associate

What is the significance of meeting together in a community to seek the Lord? Why are followers of Christ encouraged in the New Testament to "not give up meeting together?" (Hebrews 10: 25). 

Throughout the Scriptures, we find patterns of regularly seeking God in community with others. For example, daily morning and evening gatherings when the sun rises and the sun sets are found in Numbers 28:1-8. Weekly meetings are held Sunday (originally Saturday) in Exodus 20:8-11; Leviticus 23:3; Numbers 28:9, 10; Deuteronomy 5:12-15 and in the first century Church, as recorded in Acts. Monthly or "new moon” gatherings are found in Numbers 28:11-15, and annual special gatherings are held several times per year, especially with seven-day gatherings every six months in the spring and the fall, as shown in Leviticus 23:1-44. 

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January 25, 2024

Does God Still Miraculously Heal?

Practical Teachings on Supernatural Healing in the Church Today


By Anne Kerhoulas (2022), UPDATED and revised by erin conner (2024)

The gospels depict a supernatural world in which demons are cast out, the dead are raised, and the sick are healed. But for many Christians today, the world of the Bible seems to have little to no bearing on our present-day world—we see the demonic as fantasy and believe that healings and miracles are either impossible or due to human achievement, not to the power of the One who brought all things into existence. 

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January 11, 2024

A Princetonian Call to Action

Alumni Spotlight: Kenneth Jasko, '78, Chair of CU Nova Alumni Board

By Erin Conner 

On Sunday, January 21, at 5 pm EST, the Christian Union Nova Alumni Board is leading their quarterly virtual meeting for alumni and friends of the ministry via Zoom. Campus updates and student testimonies will be shared to take a closer look at how God is working at Princeton through Christian Union Nova's student leadership ministry.  

The CU Nova Board is a team of Princeton Christian alumni who desire to see the Gospel of Christ shine brightly at Princeton University and who seek sweeping spiritual transformation for its students, staff, and faculty. Kenneth Jasko, '78, Mike Vincent, '10, Vince Naman, '82, Edward (Ted) Duffield, '58,  Tiffany Agyarko, '23, and Betsy Salazar, '10, currently serve on the Board and are committed to furthering the development of programs focused on alumni, as well as furthering the following objectives: advancing God's work at Princeton University, transitioning graduates well, and developing Christian leaders to influence our nation for God's glory, helping to bring revival.

Ken Jasko, the Board's Chair, invites all interested Princeton alumni to join this movement.  

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December 27, 2023

Joy and Sorrow

Following the Word, Not the World in the New Year

By Erin Conner


Joy and suffering can coexist. The Apostle Paul's example, along with many other godly leaders in Scripture, illuminates that when one surrenders a worldly mindset for a godly one, he or she can indeed experience the joy of the Lord, even in the midst of sorrow. This life-giving principle is a timely one to recall during the holidays, when a palpable expectation exists for everything to be abundantly joyous and when many people are carrying a heavy sorrow in their hearts. "When Your Heart Goes Dark," a recent article in Desiring God written by Greg Morse, powerfully explores how a Christian can have hope and joy in suffering. The antidote is to fix one's thoughts on God, for it is the thought-life of man that dictates the state of our soul. 

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December 15, 2023

A Christmas Message and Invite

Christian Union America 2023

By chuck hetzler, phd, vice president of biblical theology

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'” –Luke 2:13-14

Can you imagine the shock and amazement the shepherds must have felt when, out of nowhere, a throng of mighty angels appeared, filling the night’s sky with God’s praise? What a glorious spectacle that must have been when Jesus’ coming was announced! 

Think about His second coming! Heaven will once again break into earth. Without warning, the Lord Jesus will visit humanity once again, but this time in the fullness of His majestic splendor! 

On this Christmas at CU America, we pray that you and yours will be those who have "loved His appearing” and are “hastening the coming of the day of God” in lives of holiness and godliness (2 Timothy 4:8; 2 Peter 3:11-12). 

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December 14, 2023

A Plentiful Harvest

Stanford Student-Leaders Labor in Love

By annalisa lim, '24, vice-president of christian union caritas 

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. -Matthew 9:35-38  

In the Santa Cruz mountains of California, six Christian Union Caritas leaders gathered in preparation for the freshman campaign. We delved into the book of Matthew, using the ministry of Jesus to guide our own in the upcoming fall quarter. I recall coming across the words, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few,” and Susan, one of our ministry fellows, highlighting the significance of this passage: it is a promise that God could use us six students to gather the harvest on a campus yearning for Christ. It was also a prayer for more laborers; after all, Christ had radically transformed lives through the faithfulness of His twelve apostles. 

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December 12, 2023

It Is Not About You

Devotional on Being a Godly Vessel

By justin yim, ministry director, cu gloria law at harvard law 

"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17 

One of the greatest joys of being a pastor was (and continues to be) coaching and mentoring young pastors-in-training. I’ve had the privilege of mentoring a good number of seminary students who were cutting their teeth into local church ministry. And in the process of our mentoring relationship – just as Jesus did it with His disciples by sending them out two-by-two – there came a point when I asked for him to preach their first sermon to the congregation. Inevitably, in the week before that Sunday, in a moment of existential panicking whether the sermon was good enough, I would have the same conversation that was given to me when I was a young seminarian: “It’s not about you.”

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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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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 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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November 7, 2022

Discovering Your Calling

How Discovering Your Purpose Is Different Than Creating It


By Anne Kerhoulas

Discover your calling. Find your passion. Do what you love. Work has become increasingly tuned to self-fulfillment—you will be whole when you land the job for which you were made. But for most people, the high stakes bring anxiety, confusion, and dissatisfaction in their work. 

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April 28, 2022

God’s Not Dead - He’s on the Move at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown and Beyond

Christian Union Celebrates 20th Anniversary

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer

 

“They say Aslan is on the move—perhaps he has already landed.” 

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April 11, 2022

The Social Network: Bold Testimonies Highlight CU Rise

Campaign Features Answers to Tough Questions

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

This spring, Christian Union is mobilizing students on its ten campuses to share the gospel more boldly, strategically, and frequently than ever.

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