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Christian Union: The Magazine


July 2, 2021

CU Caritas Hosts Virtual Coffee Hour Chats

Initiative Invigorates, Encourages Stanford Students

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer


When the word broke that Stanford would continue virtually for the entirety of the 2020-21 academic year, ministry fellow Abigail Carreon knew something had to change. In one-on-one meetings with CU Caritas students, she heard repeatedly about feelings of isolation and loneliness, apathy towards coursework, and what she suspected were the beginnings of depression for many of them.  

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April 13, 2021

Finding Fellowship at Stanford

CU Caritas Students and Alumni Unite Online

By Kelly Parks, Staff Writer

For recently graduated college students, this year has proven an increasingly difficult time for establishing the rhythms of adulthood. The lack of job security and limitations on social gatherings have caused anxiety for many young adults as they struggle to navigate post-graduate life in isolation.

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March 17, 2021

Mental Health and Faith

CU Ministry Fellow at Stanford Helps Shed Light on Crisis

By Kelly Parks, Staff Writer

Anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation are some of the mental health challenges that can plague college students during their academic careers. The stress of COVID-19 and growing academic pressures have left some students more depressed and anxious than ever before. As of today, one out of every four college students in the United States has contemplated ending their life.

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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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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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June 5, 2020

Zooming In

Christian Union Faculty Transitions to Online Ministry During Pandemic 

by tom campisi, managing editor

In the blink of an eye, the collegiate academic year was relegated to online courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March. No campus life. No spring sports or activities. No May commencement.

In the midst of the chaos, Christian Union Universities transitioned to an online ministry—Bible courses, Leadership Lecture Series, and mentoring sessions were hosted online via Zoom and other portals. Ministry Fellows were there to provide continuity by shepherding students and offering counsel to those grieving over what was lost.

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June 4, 2020

Commencement for Caritas

Bae and Payne among Ministry’s First Graduating Class

by rachel mari, contributing writer

Though commencement plans for Stanford’s Class of 2020 have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Caritas, Christian Union’s ministry at Stanford, will celebrate its first graduating class since its inception four years ago.

Garrett Brown, Christian Union’s ministry director at Stanford, said it was “bittersweet” that those students could not finish the year on campus, but rejoiced at what this class had accomplished.

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February 26, 2020

Caritas, Veritas, and Gravitas

Carreon Is New Christian Union Ministry Fellow

by tom campisi, managing editor


Abigail Carreon has a passion to help some of the nation’s brightest young minds explore questions of faith and grow deeper in their walk with Jesus Christ.

A new ministry fellow at Stanford University with Caritas, Christian Union’s ministry on that campus, Carreon also serves as leader with the Veritas Forum at Stanford and the University of California-Berkeley. With Caritas, she leads Bible courses and mentors students with one-on-one discipleship and life coaching. In her role as Veritas Host, she focuses on organizing teams and supporting forums, discussions, and long-term projects.

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December 13, 2019

Christian A Cappella Group Welcomes Stanford Students

Testifying in Song

By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer 

Stanford Testimony Christian A Cappella kicked off the new academic year by welcoming members of the class of 2023 during a spirited performance on the opening evening of classes.

On September 23, Testimony joined with nine other student a cappella groups to stage the annual O-Show, Stanford University’s biggest a cappella event of the year. Each of the groups performed two songs during the 9 p.m. show at Memorial Auditorium.

Stanford’s largest indoor performance facility was nearly filled to its 1,705-seat capacity for the annual gathering. The a cappella organizations banded together to greet students, especially frosh, and to invite undergraduates to audition for the coveted slots in the celebrated choirs. Per tradition, alumni of the musical groups returned for the back-to-school event. The O-Show is “one of the best ways we reach out to the campus broadly,” said Nate Marshall, president of Testimony. “We bring together the larger community. It’s a big a cappella scene.”


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December 13, 2019

Designing Your Life

Dave Evans Lectures at Cornell 

By Zachary Lee, Cornell ’20 


In September, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University hosted Stanford Professor and author Dave Evans, who spoke about how the application of design thinking can bring fulfillment and meaning. Evans, co-author of the New York Times’ bestseller, Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life,appeared as part of the Dyson Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series.


Featuring his signature rapid-fire wit and humor, Evans lit up a full Statler Auditorium with anecdotes and constructive advice, speaking right to Cornell students’ penchant for problem solving and strategy. Even though he did not share specifically about his faith, an astute ear could catch allusions to Christianity. Evans previously wrote a companion to Designing Your Life that dives deeper into the themes of the book and examines their place within the Christian worldview.

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December 2, 2019

Serving the Student Body

Drummond ’20 Is Executive Vice President at Stanford

by tom campisi, managing editor

For the last two years, Isaiah Drummond has served as the vice president of Caritas, Christian Union’s ministry to students at Stanford University. Drummond, a mechanical engineering major, helped build the ministry, along with other students when it launched in the fall of 2016.

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August 12, 2019

It Takes a Village

Mendonsa ’19 Inspires Stanford Students to Serve

by eileen scott, contributing writer

Emily Mendonsa is a servant leader who is both “tenacious” and “tender,” according to Susan Brown, a Bible course leader with Caritas, Christian Union’s ministry to Stanford students.

Ever since she was a teenager, Mendonsa has had a passion for ministering to vulnerable and impoverished children through Naomi’s Village in Kenya, a ministry founded by her family. At Stanford, Mendonsa, who graduated in June, was active in Bible courses and responsible for recruiting fellow students to serve at Naomi’s Village on summer trips.

She credits her relationship with Susan Brown and the ministry’s rigorous Bible courses with providing structure as she pursued God during college. She and Brown met every week for two years and talked about everything from Bible course content to theological issues she faced in classes.

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June 17, 2019

Reach the Class of 2023

Your Gift by June 30 Will Share Gospel and Change Lives

donate nowPlease consider a special gift to Christian Union by June 30 to support the next Freshman Campaign. The Class of 2023 will be here before we know it!

The ministry will connect with freshmen before they even set foot on campus to welcome and warmly invite them into biblical studies, Christian community, and spiritual and leadership growth.

Your gift helps set lives on a new course!


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June 1, 2019

Senate Chaplain Chief of Staff

Q and A with Lisa Schultz

Lisa Schultz is the Chief of Staff for United States Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black. She directs all of Chaplain Black’s programs and outreach to Senators, their families, and hundreds of Senate staff. Schultz has spent 15 years overseeing Capitol Hill-focused ministries, first as Director of Outreach for the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship and the last 11 years for the Senate Chaplain. Prior to her time serving on Capitol Hill, she lived as a missionary in Schladming, Austria, for seven years under the umbrella of Torchbearers International.


At Christian Union’s Nexus Student Conference in February, Schultz was a member of the law and government panel during the vocational breakout sessions.


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June 1, 2019

A Harvest of Righteousness

Susan Stover and Arthur Stella

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 

- 2 Corinthians 9:10


Early in Susan Stover’s life, her parents, Bob and Joan Stover, sowed the seeds of generosity. “My parents’ faith journey had a tremendous impact on me,” Susan noted.

“My father became a Christian as a young man after serving in the Navy during World War II. His life reflected his personal belief that he needed to use his talents and resources in the Lord’s service.” After the war, Bob Stover began a temporary employment agency in San Francisco.

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June 1, 2019

Seeking Christ at Stanford

Muni ’20 Is a Bold Christian Leader for Caritas

by eileen scott, contributing writer

Caritas, Christian Union’s leadership develop ministry to Stanford students, has a new president. While the Kenyan is known for his bright smile and humility, he has a bold vision and exudes confidence when it comes to sharing his faith and encouraging his peers to seek God wholeheartedly.

Ask Robert Muni ’20 what makes him a good fit for the leadership role, and he emphatically will reply, “Jesus.” 

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March 1, 2019

The Case for Kindness

Christian Union Caritas Distributes Care Packages

by tom campisi, managing editor

Caritas, Christian Union’s ministry to students at Stanford University, pumped life into “Dead Week” in early December.  


Dead Week is a time of intense studying and reduced social and extracurricular activity preceding final examinations. In an effort to help reduce stress and bless fellow classmates, Christian Union Caritas delivered care packages to the dorm rooms of approximately 150 students. The packages contained candy, hot chocolate, stuffed animals, information about Christian Union, and a copy of Lee Strobel’s short book, The Case for Christmas

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November 18, 2018

Christian Union Caritas

Ministry Begins Third Year in Silicon Valley

by tom campisi, managing editor

Two years ago, Christian Union expanded west by launching Caritas, a ministry to students at Stanford University.

Since 2002, Christian Union has focused on influential colleges in the Northeast, with a presence at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale.

Impacting students in California’s Silicon Valley fits in well with the mission of developing Christian leaders to transform culture, according to Garrett Brown, Christian Union’s Director of Undergraduate Ministry at Stanford.

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June 24, 2018

2018 Conference Highlights

The Christian Union Cities Conference convened graduate students and diverse professionals, from recent graduates to seasoned pros, from across industries, to explore compelling ideas about faith and its relevance to every facet of our lives. Graduates of Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale explored their role in becoming Christian leaders. (2:26)

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April 21, 2018

2018 Nexus Highlights

The Nexus 2018 theme of "Turn the World Upside Down" comes from Acts 17, when Christians were accused of turning the world upside down with the message of Jesus Christ. What does it mean to turn the world upside down with the Good News? In God’s "upside down" economy, Christ died so that we might live, the weak are strong, the poor are rich. How can we be a part of what God is doing today? These questions were at the heart of Nexus.

For one weekend, students worshiped and prayed together, heard from high-caliber speakers, experienced engaging breakout sessions, connected with one another in small groups, and built cross-campus ties around shared challenges and opportunities.

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