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Urbana 15 Registration is Open

March 4, 2015

(Madison, WI) – In a world grappling with ISIS’ aggression in the Middle East, Ebola in Africa, and border conflict in Ukraine, God is not silent. For Christians asking how they can share the good news of Jesus throughout this broken world, and seeking answers to difficult questions, the Urbana Student Missions Conference offers answers and a space to discern their calling.

Urbana presents a big-picture snapshot of God’s work among the nations. “My prayer is that Urbana 15 will result in millions around the world hearing and responding to the gospel,” says Urbana director Tom Lin. “The vision of Urbana is a mobilization vision—and it has been since 1946—to inspire and challenge this generation to give their whole lives for God’s global mission.”

A Partnership to Plant A Chapter

Gordon Govier
November 11, 2014

Although InterVarsity has 949 chapters on 616 U.S. college and university campuses, there are approximately 4,600 degree-granting institutions in the United States. Many of those other schools still have no Christian witness on campus.  That’s why, for the past nine years, InterVarsity has been intentionally planting more than 100 new chapters and developing momentum to reach even more campus communities with the gospel.

Planting new chapters is hard work and takes a lot of creativity. This year, our chapter plant at Saginaw Valley University, near Saginaw, Michigan, has gone very well with a creative new approach. Regional Director Fred Bailey credits the quick growth to chapter planter Mike Petersen’s partnership with Kareem, a local pastor and InterVarsity alumnus.

Bible Study Transforms Students’ Lives

October 29, 2014


Bible Reading FrequencyIn a campus ministry that started with the World War II generation and continued on through Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and now Millennials, InterVarsity has always prioritized Bible study because Bible study changes lives. New evidence for Bible engagement and transformation has emerged from the survey “Millennials & the Bible,” conducted by the Barna Group on behalf of InterVarsity and the American Bible Society, as well as from an additional survey of InterVarsity students by researchers Terry Linhart and Jen Bradbury.

The Culture of Chapter Planting

Gordon Govier
October 3, 2014

What would happen if the creativity, vision, energy and passion of this generation was unleashed to reach the University?  

In 2012, InterVarsity held the first Ambition conference to inspire both staff and students by hearing from some of the world's leading thinkers on planting ministries, such as Alan Hirsch, a leader in the missional church community.  "It was a powerful catalyst for our movement" said Shawn Young, who serves as National Director of Chapter Planting.  "I'm still hearing from staff and students who tell me Ambition is where they were inspired to plant a new chapter, reach a new network on campus, join InterVarsity staff or some other ministry." 

Ambition Conference 2015 will be held in Tampa, Florida, January 15-18, 2015. InterVarsity staff, students, and faculty will gather to learn new perspectives and new innovations in chapter planting. 

Dr. Patrick Fung - Urbana 15 Expositor

September 24, 2014

Dr. Patrick Fung will be the Bible expositor at InterVarsity’s Urbana 15 Student Missions Conference, which will be held in St. Louis, December 27-31, 2015. He is the Director of OMF International (formerly China Inland Mission).

“Dr. Fung’s deep commitment to Scripture, love for students, and nearly 25 years of experience in the mission field make him a great expositor for Urbana 15. We’re thrilled to have him join us, and look forward to how God will use him to challenge conference participants.”

-Tom Lin, Urbana Director

As both a Bible scholar and medical doctor, Dr. Fung has a deep passion to see God’s Word taught throughout the world.

Living on the Edges with Isaiah

September 18, 2014

This summer, I camped in the book of Isaiah. It was eerie how the prophet matched my life in terms of polarities: joy and sorrow, triumph and tragedy, hope and despair. One passage in particular, Isaiah 43:1-7, captured my many twists and turns.

Fear Not

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”

It is easy to fall into fear when hard times occur: when a man randomly walks into my former university and shoots three students; when past InterVarsity president Steve Hayner is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; when the chancellor of the California State System (CSU) rejects our final appeal and derecognizes our 23 chapters.

But the Lord tells us not to fear. Why? Because we are His children. Why? Because He has redeemed us. Why? Because He is sovereign.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Lisa Rieck
August 20, 2014


We can never predict how God will work in a person’s life. Sometimes the student who seems farthest from faith, or the most antagonistic, or the hardest to connect with, ends up being the one God uses to transform a campus in remarkable ways.

Last year, 120,000 students and faculty were reached by InterVarsity’s ministry, which is rooted in 40,000 core students and faculty on over 600 campuses. And we saw a record total of 3,517 first-time commitments to Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Those numbers make us excited because they represent people—students and faculty who are precious in God’s sight. People who were lost but are now found. People who were living in great darkness and hopelessness who are now living in the light and truth of Jesus Christ.

Creating Space for Latino Fellowship

Amy Hauptman
June 6, 2014

Only 10 of the 600+ Latino students at Brown University were involved in any Christian fellowship on campus.

Why was this?

InterVarsity student and junior Monica Perez wrestled with this question during the Katrina Relief Urban Plunge. She met students from 10 other campuses with thriving Latino ministries in their InterVarsity chapters. After hearing these students’ stories, Monica sensed God was inviting her to reach out to Latino students at Brown University.

“God showed me that Latino students didn’t have a space on campus where they felt they could be understood or learn more about Jesus,” said Monica. “And I knew that this shouldn’t be.”

Seeking out the Underserved

Gordon Govier
May 6, 2014

No way was Shaylen Jackson going to be able to go to an InterVarsity conference in the middle of basketball season. Shaylen was a scholarship athlete on the Western Michigan University (WMU) basketball team and the Black Campus Ministry conference was being held in Atlanta in December 2005. Shaylen had already missed several weeks of basketball as a member of the volleyball team.

But Shaylen’s InterVarsity staff member, who worked with the Collegiate, Black, and Christian chapter at WMU, encouraged her to at least pray about going to the conference. “So I prayed about it,” Shaylen said. “And the more I prayed about it, the more I felt like the Lord was leading me to go to this thing even if it didn’t make sense.”

She went to her coach, convinced he would not let her go to the conference. But he said, “If you feel like that’s what the Lord is telling you, then you should go.”

Urbana 15 Scripture Chosen

May 2, 2014

For Immediate Release

(Madison, WI) – InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has laid the foundation for the December 2015 Urbana Student Missions Conference by choosing the Gospel of Matthew as the Urbana 15 Scripture focus.

“Every three years, the Urbana Missions team seeks to saturate the entire Urbana conference in Scripture,” said Tom Lin, InterVarsity Vice President, Director of Missions and Urbana. “We believe this generation is moved and inspired by narrative, and there is obviously none more central than that of Jesus' crucifixion and the cross, both of which we will study from the Gospel of Matthew at Urbana 15.”

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