College Faith

College Faith

#16: How CRU Ministers to University Students

January 01, 2022

This is the second podcast in a series I’m doing on campus ministries. I am interviewing a leader from each, asking them the same questions so that you have an “apples to apples” comparison of the different ministries’ Missions, emphases, distinctives, approaches, and cultures.

In this episode I interview a leader with CRU’s campus ministry. He is the first guest I’ve had on the show twice. You first met Roger Hershey when we discussed his book The Finishers on Episode #13. As perhaps the longest-serving staff in CRU’s Campus Ministry (now in his 50th year), I can think of no one better to help us understand CRU’s ministry.

Furthermore, Roger is the staff worker who ministered to me during my college years (as well as before and after). Before moving into college ministry he directed CRU’s high school ministry in Cincinnati, which God used to bring me to faith in Christ in 1980. Roger then discipled me during my years at Miami University in the early 80s. Finally, from 1989 to 1992 I had the privilege of serving on Roger’s staff team, and I learned much about leadership from him during those years (I’ve summarized some of what I learned in my article “Three Types of Leaders–Two to Avoid and One to Become”). And even though we haven’t worked together for many years now, I still count him a mentor and dear friend.

In this podcast we discuss:

  • How CRU began
  • CRU’s Mission
  • CRU’s strategy to accomplish this Mission
  • How this strategy is implemented on campus
  • CRUs’ Statement of Faith
  • CRU’s understanding of women in ministry
  • Regional differences in CRU’s ministry on campus
  • Some of the people CRU holds up as role models for students
  • What CRU believes they should offer students through their ministry
  • CRU’s strengths, and how to take advantage of these strengths
  • A unique feature of all CRU conferences  
  • CRU’s weakness, and how to compensate for this weakness
  • How CRU has changed since the ‘70s and 80s related to this weakness, and results of this change
  • The breadth and depth of  CRU’s curriculum taught in small groups
  • How CRU helps students develop lifelong habits to foster growth in Christ
  • Spiirtual disciplines CRU helps students develop
  • Examples of how CRU has shaped students to serve Christ for the rest of their lives
  • How CRU teaches students to be involved in culture 
  • How CRU encourages students to engage the racial tensions prevalent on campus these days (including how CRU undersands and engages Critical Race Theory and the relationship between Social Justice and Biblical justice )
  • Why students should consider being involved in CRU
  • The challenge of balancing quantity and quality in a CRU campus ministry

Resources mentioned during our conversation: