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Christian Union: The Magazine

Intellectual Engagement


February 15, 2021

Focusing on Discipleship

Virtual Women’s Bible Course at Brown Stays Connected   

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer

The women of Christian Union Libertas at Brown University are using this season to dig deep. Although the fall and spring semesters are very different than in previous years, with most students taking classes remotely, the women’s side of the ministry has found ways to deepen their connections with one another. 


Ministry Fellow Laurel Copp realized that things would need to look different this academic year in order to engage students well, so she took two of the Chrisitan Union foundations, Bible course and discipleship, and reimagined them. While much is the same, a lot is different, as Copp believes this year can be one of substantial growth. 

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February 12, 2021

Connected in Christ

Christian Union Caritas Launches Small Groups  

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer 

In the midst of long-distance community and ministry, Christian Union Caritas has found an opportunity to launch a new initiative to help Stanford University students stay connected to one another and deepen relationships. Small groups have been something that Senior Ministry Fellow Justin Woyak, Princeton '07, has wanted to start for a few semesters, but the time never seemed right. But with students feeling disconnected from each other due to the COVID-19 pandemic, small groups have become a new focal point for the CU Caritas community.

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February 11, 2021

Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders

Christian Union Bible Courses Are a Virtual Training Ground at Princeton

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer

Christian Union Nova, the student organization at Princeton University, was forced to get creative as it considered how to manage nearly twenty online Bible courses among only three ministry fellows this fall. Students wanted to stay in their regular Bible courses since they are places of growth, personal sharing, and deep spiritual friendship. In order to care for these students well, while also ensuring that they would receive high-quality instruction as they studied the Gospel of Mark, Christian Union Nova faculty created a new method of teaching. 

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January 28, 2021

Pursuing God, Pursuing Truth

Columbia Student Is a Leader with Christian Union, John Jay Society

By Luke Brown

In his Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas said, “There is no greater act of charity than to lead a neighbor to truth.” At Columbia University, Jonathan Tanaka ’23 is passionately seeking this greatest act of charity in a bold and wholehearted way.

“I believe that since God is the perfect, supreme arbiter of truth—He is truth. It is not only a good thing to pursue Him by pursuing truth, but it is my duty to do so,” said Tanaka, who serves on the executive team for Christian Union’s Lumine ministry at Columbia.

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January 25, 2021

Giving Thanks for Community

Freshmen Enjoy Leadership Roles During Annual Dinner 

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer

Thanksgiving was a different holiday for most people this year, but thanks to the leadership and creativity of the freshman class, Christian Union Vox’s turkey dinner was one of the highlights of a socially-distanced semester. The annual event offers a unique chance for the freshmen to lead as well as an opportunity to invite non-Christian students to share a meal and hear the Gospel. With this year’s challenges due to COVID-19, the freshmen pulled off an impressive and impactful event. 

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January 5, 2021

An Apologetics Toolbox 

Yale Students Find Ways to Share their Faith Despite COVID-19

By Kelly Parks, Staff Writer


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“Why do Christians believe what they believe?” It’s a question that has intrigued our world for centuries. While cultural Christianity may have sufficed as a reason for some to associate with the Church in years past, in our increasingly secular age, Christians must think more critically about what they believe, and more importantly, why they believe it.

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December 23, 2020

The Life of the Mind

Christian Union Gloria Hosts Lecture with Ryan Gregg 

By Kelly Parks, Staff Writer

This fall, CU Gloria, Christian Union’s ministry at Harvard, virtually hosted Ryan Gregg as a speaker for their Leadership Lecture Series, Doxa. As former co-president at the Harvard Graduate Christian Fellowship, Gregg discussed how to approach Christianity from an intellectual perspective.

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September 21, 2020

A Providential Head Start

Incoming First-Year Students Already in Bible Courses 


by luke brown, dartmouth ’18

As the COVID-19 pandemic pushed Bible courses to Zoom and students and staff scrambled to adjust to the new normal, Christian Union Vox experienced an unexpected silver lining. A multitude of incoming freshmen from the class of 2024 began reaching out to the Vox team via social media, interested in being a part of the Christian community. A few months later, and through the boldness of the incoming freshmen and the openness of current students and staff, sixteen members of the Class of 2024 are already seeking the Lord in Christian Union Bible Courses. 

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September 16, 2020

Unpacking the Book of Genesis

Caritas Is Engaged in Summer Bible Study

by catherine elvy, staff writer


Young adults involved in Caritas, Christian Union’s ministry to Stanford University students, are discovering new insights into the foundational truths of Genesis.

In late June, Ministry Fellow Justin Woyak began leading a virtual summer study devoted to unpacking the themes and wonders of the Bible’s first book. “There’s a lot to dig into,” said Woyak, Princeton ’09. “There are so many threads of the Bible’s storyline that begin here.” 

A dozen students are participating in the online studies, which are held on Tuesday evenings and will continue into early September. Stanford students from varying collegiate stages are taking part in the calls, including two incoming freshmen. 

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, Christian Union’s ministry team at Stanford moved the gatherings to an electronic format for summer 2020. 

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September 16, 2020

A Vessel in the Valley

Senior’s Faith Sustains Her during Abrupt End to On-Campus Semester

by francine barchett, cornell ’20

Nigerian-American. Singer/Blogger/Poet. Future physician/scientist. All are apt descriptors for Iyaniwura Olarewaju, a recent Cornell graduate in biological sciences who had an unexpected end to her senior year.

From reading and re-reading President Martha Pollack’s urgent email imploring students to leave campus, to completing her finals through “Zoom University,” Iyaniwura’s COVID-derived life has been at times “like an eerie dream.”

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June 17, 2020

Seeking Christ in Crisis

A Freshman’s Perspective 

by katherine wang, harvard ’23

As one who has followed the growth of COVID-19 from its beginnings to its spread across the globe, I have been consumed with worry for relatives living in hot spots, disturbed by empty shelves in grocery stores and the impact on our economy, and grieved by people ridiculing the power of prayer on my social media feeds. This pandemic seems anything but light or momentary. It is difficult to see past our afflictions when we are in the midst of them, but when I take a moment to consider this pandemic in light of eternity, I have realized three things.

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June 5, 2020

‘Carpe Diem Redeemed’

Os Guinness Speaks at NYC Event


by catherine elvy, staff writer

In the midst of a fast-paced, often superficial world, believers are called to pause to reflect on the redemptive, purposeful nature of God. “Life is very short, fragile, and vulnerable,” said Os Guinness, prolific author and noted social scientist. “How do we live wisely and well and make the most of it?”

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March 11, 2020

Blessed to Be a Blessing

Jade Thompson ’21 Leads Outreach Team


by tom campisi, managing editor

For Jade Thompson, co-directing a Text-4-Toasties outreach for Christian Union at Columbia this fall was just one of the many ways she has been challenged to grow as a leader.

Thompson, an Economics and Sustainability major from Westchester, New York, called her involvement with Lumine, Christian Union’s ministry at Columbia, “the best part of my college experience.”

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February 26, 2020

Law, Grace, and Mercy

Christian Union Is Helping Moore ’20 to Thrive


by catherine elvy, staff writer

 

One year ago, T. Preston Moore ’20 returned to the faith of his youth after rededicating his life to Christ. The Atlanta-area native was a devout believer until his early teen years but “fell and fell and fell.” After experiencing intense spiritual hunger as a young man, “I went around looking everywhere,” he said. “Everything was vacant compared to Christ.” While a student at Harvard Law School, Moore had a radical encounter with Jesus Christ and came away awestruck by His grace and unmerited mercy. “I came back to faith in a huge way,” he said. “It was such a powerful experience.”

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February 26, 2020

“I Lift up My Eyes to the Hills”

Strong Roots Help Sharla Moody ’22 Find Her Place at Yale

by kayla bartsch, yale ’20


While the rural hills of southern Ohio may seem a world away from the ivory towers of Yale University, Sharla Moody ’22 bridges the two with thoughtfulness and grace.

When she came to campus as a first-year in 2018, Moody’s transition to college life was starker than that of most Yale undergraduates. Her hometown, Gallipolis, Ohio, is nestled on the northern banks of the Ohio River, facing the shores of West Virginia to the south. Gallipolis is something of a quintessential Appalachian town, home to picturesque river valley views, a charming Main Street, and about 3,500 residents.

However, having experienced a slow and steady decline in its population since the 1960s, Gallipolis faces the same trials as other Appalachian towns in contemporary American life. From this quiet, tight-knit community, Moody was thrown into a loud, heterogenous, and opulent campus. 

Yet, even if unconventional, Moody’s path to Yale from small-town Ohio seems providential. In her junior year of high school, she read Hillbilly Elegy– a memoir written by J. D. Vance, a Yale Law school graduate from a small town in Ohio similar to Moody’s. The book, lauded for its raw depiction of the cultural and economic decay faced by the rural, white working class, became a near-instant best-seller.

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February 26, 2020

‘Go Therefore and Make Disciples’

Nova’s Upperclassmen Enjoy Mentoring Roles

by tom campisi, managing editor

Andrew Lin is committed to the biblical mandate of making disciples.

Lin is a member of Nova, Christian Union’s ministry at Princeton. The computer science major from Dallas, Texas, serves as a co-leader of Nova’s discipleship team, a group of upperclassmen who regularly meet with younger students to study the Bible, pray, and serve as mentors.

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December 2, 2019

A Family that Gives Together …

The Poulson Family

For every parent, sending a child to college brings pride and excitement, as well as worry for all the unknowns of this new phase. Richard and Anne Poulson were not only able to send their son Hundley (Princeton ’19) to one of the top schools in the nation, but were elated to know that Hundley found rich Christian community on campus through the ministry of Christian Union. “Christian Union provided our son with a warm and nurturing environment as he began his college career. Christian Union serves a very useful purpose in helping students transition to college life.”  

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December 2, 2019

A Ministry Milestone

Christian Union Celebrates Five Years at Brown 

At the Christian Union Staff Conference this summer, the organization celebrated a major milestone—five years of ministry at Brown University.

A few weeks later, Ministry Director Matt Woodard and Ministry Fellows Laurel Copp and Ben Pascut began earnestly to prepare for year six and the annual Freshmen Welcoming Campaign.

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August 15, 2019

“Why Suffering?”

Christian Union at Yale Hosts Forum

by cassandra hsiao, yale ’21


On a rainy Friday evening in April, a hundred people gathered in Battell Chapel at Yale University to hear the answer to the pressing question: “Why suffering?”

Christians and skeptics alike have grappled with this question for centuries—how could a loving God allow for the existence of suffering? At a forum hosted by Christian Union, Vince Vitale and Michael Suderman of the Ravi Zacharias Institute presented some profound answers.

Vitale, educated at Princeton (’04) and Oxford, is the director of the Zacharias Institute. Along with Suderman, he has been traveling across the country, giving lectures at churches and college campuses alike.

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August 15, 2019

The Equality Act Poses an Unprecedented Threat to Religious Freedom

Q and A with Andrew Walker

Andrew T. Walker is the Senior Fellow in Christian Ethics and Director of Research at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is also an Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics and Apologetics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The author of God and the Transgender Debate, as well as editor for The Gospel for Life Series,Walker resides in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife and three daughters.

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