The Blog of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

November 14, 2011

70 Years of Campus Ministry

By: 
Gordon Govier

John Stott - 1970On this day in 1941, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA was officially incorporated. Our roots go back to 1877 when Christian students began to meet together at the University of Cambridge in England.

In 1947, we worked with our sister movements in England and Canada, and seven other countries, to form the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students  (IFES).

Today IFES represents indigenous Christian student movements in 157 countries, serving more than 500,000 students. In the U.S., InterVarsity has 866 chapters on 557 campuses, serving more than 36,000 students.

On this day we are remembering in particular one man who generously gave of his time to work with campus fellowships in the U.S. and most of the other countries served by IFES, the Rev. John R.W. Stott.

“Uncle John,” as he was known to many, was a best-selling author and the rector of All Souls Anglican Church in London. But he also traveled the world, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ on college campuses and nurturing young Christian leaders.

He passed on to his eternal reward July 27 at the age of 90, and a memorial service was held in his honor last Friday, November 11, at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. InterVarsity was represented at the service by employees of InterVarsity Press, as well as campus staff who remember his ministry well. Reports on the memorial service appear in USA Today and the Christian Post.

To a generation of college students, John Stott was the Bible expositor at InterVarsity’s triennial Urbana Student Missions Conferences. He spoke six times between 1964 and 1979. He also spoke on college campuses during U.S. trips, beginning in 1956.

Today, after more than seven decades, InterVarsity continues its campus ministry, following the example set by John Stott, with a clear and thoughtful gospel message that resonates on college and university campuses. The last five years have seen more students commit themselves to following Jesus Christ than in any other five year period of our history. To God be the glory!

LISTEN: At Urbana 73 John Stott spoke on “Jesus Christ and the Authority of the Word of God.” Time: 47:16

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