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CU Rise campaign is Good News for Harvard, Yale, Princeton and other Ivy League schools

Christian students at ten of the nation’s most influential universities are being challenged to share the gospel more boldly, strategically, and frequently than ever. The effort is called “CU Rise,” and is spearheaded by Christian Union.

“We want the name of Jesus to be the most talked-about name on our campuses this spring,” said Adrian Schoonmaker, vice president of Christian Union Universities.

Christian Union is a non-profit leadership development ministry with outreach on the campuses of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale.

CU Rise began on March 13 with a social media campaign challenging and inviting university students to respond to the gospel in faith. Because social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube are so woven into the life of students, sharing the gospel and inviting students to apologetic events, to receive prayer, or to ask questions of faith will provide what might possibly be the largest scale initiative to share the gospel on these campuses in history.

It challenges skeptics with questions like: Does the Bible promote hate? Is there any evidence for an afterlife? is Christianity intolerant? And Can I hate religion and still like Jesus? It asks students to come with an open mind.

Each Christian Union Universities ministry will organize local events to target their student demographics with events ranging from intellectual engagement lectures to book distribution to small group question and answer sessions. The hope is that interested and even uninterested students would be given multiple avenues to engage the gospel and their questions of faith.

Last year, Christian Union founder and CEO Matt Bennett saw the vision for this initiative developing: to saturate college campuses with the gospel, allowing every student to hear about the saving work of Christ multiple times each year.

This vision is inspired by the Engle’s Scale, an evangelism framework that shows how some people are ready to receive Christ simply upon hearing the gospel and being invited to respond, while others will need more specific apologetic or personalized arguments in order to come to faith. Bennett, Christian Union ministry faculty, and executive team members began seeking the Lord about how to give every student at these influential universities the opportunity to respond to the gospel in faith.

The result is a large-scale, multi-campus campaign designed to share the gospel with every student at each of the universities three to five times per academic year. That means that, in the course of this spring semester, the gospel will be shared 210,000 times—three times for each of the 70,000 students on the nine campuses where Christian Union ministers. The hope is that these efforts will not only bless and draw hundreds of students at influential universities to Christ, but also encourage and call up other universities, students, and American Christians to share the gospel with urgency and expectation.

“May the gospel go forth in power for the glory of God this spring!” said Bennett.

–Metro Voice