Reshaping the Church

InterVarsity: Becoming Christian leaders in college

Posted August 04, 2023

by Caleb Gottry

College students across America wrestle with discovering and living out their faith in a new environment. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is a campus ministry dedicated to aiding with this discovery and empowering young Christian leaders.

InterVarsity’s website reads, “Our vision is to see students and faculty transformed, campuses renewed, and world changers developed.”

Kristin Wright is the InterVarsity Associate Regional Director in the Rocky Mountain Region, which includes Montana, parts of Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. She started out with InterVarsity as a college student and has now been working in full-time ministry for almost 25 years.

Kristin Wright. Photo provided by Kristin Wright

Wright said InterVarsity is committed to giving students a chance to lead and learn how to evangelize.

While InterVarsity encourages students to be involved in global missions and intensive Bible study camps, their main focus is to share the gospel with college students. They do that by modeling their outreach after Jesus.

“We don't ask students to come to the church, we go to the campus,” Wright said. “That, in my mind, is who Jesus is. God wrapped in flesh dwelt among us, so our industry is rooted in the incarnation of going where students are, finding students, gathering students.”

On secular campuses, InterVarsity is a student-recognized club with student leaders, Wright explained. The InterVarsity staff, university alumni and the local church all work together as missionaries to the campus, equipping student leaders. This partnership also supports InterVarsity financially.

“We're really appreciative of the generosity of local churches and alumni, folks that just love what InterVarsity does,” Wright said. “Their generosity and prayers allows the ministry to exist.”

Photo by InterVarsity

InterVarsity’s ultimate goal is to train future church leaders and evangelistically-minded people. Many churches might be hesitant to let young men and women lead, but that experience is necessary to make a good leader, Wright said.

“What I know to be true is when they're given opportunities to lead, they’re equipped,” Wright said. “They're empowered and the Holy Spirit lives in them.”

She continued, explaining students learn to be future church leaders by leading small groups and worship, giving calls to faith and learning to study scripture with the goal of sharing it. Wright said she believes it is important that students find their spiritual gifts.

“I think that's one of the things that's really important in InterVarsity is that we come alongside college students to help them learn and discover and use their gifts,” Wright said. “I trust them that they have the opportunity to use them to bless the church, hopefully for a lifetime.”

Photo by InterVarsity

InterVarsity also believes in multiethnic ministries and missions. Beyond the college campus, they do global outreach. Under the leadership of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, many InterVarsity students and alumni have evangelized and ministered to those overseas.

“I think in order to be a world changer, you have to recognize that God's heart is for God's people of every ethnicity and culture and that's outside of the US,” Wright said. “God is a global God.”

To learn more about InterVarsity and their mission and ministry, visit their website.