Finding Help 3: Church Partnerships


 Redeemer Presbyterian Church and its pastor Tim Keller had a vision for reaching the people of Manhattan with the gospel. Cru had a similar vision for the 500,000 students in greater New York, but soon realized the job was too big (and too challenging) to do alone.

In 1993, a Cru staff member at Columbia University began working closely with the leadership at Redeemer in an effort to facilitate her vision for expansion to new campuses. While the weekly worship service was a natural touch point (and a vital spiritual encouragement), small groups became another area of collaboration. The church provides a framework for small groups that fits nicely with Cru’s small group strategy on campuses and volunteer leaders benefit from the meetings of the leadership community at Redeemer. It has been a successful and fruitful relationship for nearly two decades and just one example of a proven strategy to reach college students—the Church Partnership.


The Church Partnership is a joint venture whereby the local church and Cru combine their strengths to reach students at a nearby campus. Here is what each of us bring to Christ as we serve Him in building His kingdom:


  • Desire to reach the lost students in their area
  • A place students can call home
  • Resources to help develop effective ministry both on and off campus
  • A place for students to serve and exercise their gifts and faith
  • A model of local church involvement, biblical leadership, participation in the sacraments, accountability, and various other ministries of the local church
  • Lay leaders to guide, direct, and encourage the students and ministry on campus
  • A loving environment where students can connect with and benefit from a variety of believers
  • Representation on the Advisory Board for Cru
  • The best means of conserving the results of evangelism and developing believers
  • A resource for speaking, teaching, and mentoring


  • A solid Christian ministry on campus in which students can develop, fellowship, and reach out
  • Focus of evangelism and discipleship
  • Campus ministry training for volunteers
  • Resources for small group evangelism and discipleship
  • Conferences, retreats, fellowship on campus, prayer, missions, vocational ministry, leadership training
  • A biblical mission, vision, and plan to reach every student on every campus
  • Innovative and creative approaches to ministry
  • Logistical coordination of a city-wide ministry
  • Experienced staff to help launch and resource churches, volunteers, and students to accomplish the mission


  • Passion to reach other students
  • Proximity to reach other students
  • Time to reach other students
  • ‘Registered Student Organization’ status needed to minister on campus
  • Faithful believers to do the work of evangelism, discipleship, planning, and execution of the ministry on campus
  • Enthusiasm for God and evangelism that is contagious to any church

We think this is a win, win, win scenario. The mission of Cru is to “turn lost students into Christ-centered laborers” by “taking the gospel to every student by trusting God to develop a transformational community on each campus as we plant, coach, and resource local ministries.” Cru recognizes that we are just a part of the body of Christ. We are thrilled to find others who share the same passion to help fulfill the Great Commission.

Cru brings decades of experience, and a vast arsenal of excellent resources and materials (Bible study materials, short term missions, fellowship, retreats, conferences, evangelism training) for the students, as well as trained staff who can equip lay leaders in the context of actual ministry. These lay leaders in local churches will not only be trained and participate in college ministry, but will develop a sense of ownership as they help launch (depending on the current campus situation) and build the ministry on campus.

The local church brings even more with its diverse and stable local body of believers - lay leaders to serve, leadership to guide, and resources to help develop the ministry. There is more to the Christian life than evangelism, Bible studies, and fellowship with one’s peers. God intended all believers to participate in a local church where God provides all they need to be edified in the Word, mobilized in ministry, and multiplied in the world for a lifetime of service to Christ. The local church is the ONLY entity that can provide all these essential things and we should strive to honor it, serve it, and build it up. The Catalytic Ministry brings the best of Crusade and the best of the Church together with a potential to do something that is rarely seen today- a powerful college ministry by a local churches.

Students bring all their zeal for the Lord and passion to reach other students, the fact that they are on campus and involved with other students, much of the energy and time to run the ministry on campus, and a contagious energy that invigorates and inspires most any local church.

The Cru Campus Ministry will bring all three groups together to work to form a transformational community on the college campus that is based on the four foundations of prayer, evangelism, discipleship and sending Before this movement can begin, a campus needs to be selected and the proper resources put in place to ‘launch’ the ministry. These resources include a trained volunteer team from a Church Partnership, a core team of ten students, a Cru staff coach, Internet Access and basic funding. A campus- wide outreach will usually be used to ‘launch’ the ministry. The Cru staff member will initially work alongside volunteers to surface key students with the intent of moving to a ‘coaching’ position as leaders and students are developed and begin to own more and more of the ministry.

The hope of the campus ministry is to raise and train leaders from local churches that will lead and own the ministry on their local campus. The college campus is like any other mission field. In order for the lost to be reached so that they can worship God, Christians need to be sent to it. The best way to bring college students into the church is to first go where the students live in order to build relationships with them. A college student is much more likely to meet with an individual who comes to campus or attend an event on campus than to go to a church on Sunday or any other day of the week. It’s a matter of comfort and convenience. Students are more open to new ideas and people when they are in an environment they are familiar with. Plus, they get involved in activities that fit into their busy schedules. Many times, in order to fit, those activities have to be on campus.

As students are won to Christ on campus, they will get involved both in the movement on campus and the local church to be built up in their faith. Within the movement and the church they will then be trained so they can go back to their dorm, classes, workplace, or anywhere else to win others to Christ. However, the first step in this process is for the local church to be sending volunteers to campus.

The Cru Staff will always be available - working with the students, volunteers, and local churches and coaching, training, and discipling as needed.

This is our hope and our prayer. We pray for great things and expect God to do great things. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,” to Him, we commit ourselves and the outcome of our efforts.

To provide an overview of Cru and better explain our ministry, we have put together a packet that will provide you with some general information about the ministry and some specific information about your particular involvement. I hope that you will find it helpful. Here’s an overview:

  • The mission, vision, and ministry philosophy
  • Cru Activities and their purpose
  • Doctrinal statement of Cru
  • Standards of Ministry
  • The Church Partner Agreement


“Turn lost students into Christ-centered laborers.”


“A self-sustaining, multiplying ministry on every campus that is run by students and guided by local church volunteers in partnership with Cru that presents Christ to every student, and develops Christians to have a heart for God, a heart for each other, a heart for the lost, and a heart for the world.”

MINISTRY PHILOSOPHY (the values that guide us)

To turn lost students into Christ-centered laborers through the dual mean of evangelism and edification for the purpose of fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation,

1. We are committed to taking the initiative to share the gospel with non-believers in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.

2. We are committed to enabling believers to live out the Lordship of Christ in their lives through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

3. We are committed to strong, biblical teaching; especially on having a heart for God, a heart for each other, a heart for the lost, and a heart for the world.

4. We are committed to a ministry that reaches out to students of all ethnic groups.

5. We are committed to supporting, encouraging and equipping local churches to better fulfill its calling and integrating believers into the local church.

6. We are committed to developing ministries of believers on each campus for the purpose of on-going evangelism and discipleship to students on their ‘turf ’.

7. Asking and believing God by faith for extraordinary things, serving God with effectiveness to make the most of every circumstance, and promoting godly leadership through development to ensure future ministry to students.


All students and volunteers are welcome to participate at any Cru conference, mission project or ministry. We do recognize that students and volunteers feel most comfortable in certain environments due to numerous factors. In light of this, Cru offers many different types of venues so that the proclamation and teaching of the scriptures can be clear.


• Christmas Conference- Five days with a thousand or so college students from all the states within our region gathered together for a time of tremendous worship, fellowship, teaching, and outreach.

• Fall Retreat- A conference each fall for the students to get away, focus on the Lord, and fellowship together.

• Life Options- How do you make biblical decisions about career and life? What is God’s will for your life? These questions and many others are answered for graduating students who demonstrated a heart and capacity for ministry. This is an event for juniors and seniors over a weekend in early February.

• Leadership Retreat - At the beginning of the school year we bring our key student leaders together to help them get focused on the task of reaching their campus for Christ. It is an opportunity to pray, plan, be developed and connect with students from other campuses.

• Additional conferences are available to support contextualized ministries: Bridges International Students Conferences; Greek Conference; Athletes in Action Opportunities; Impact Conference (for African American students); Destino Conference (Hispanic students); and the Epic Conference for Asian American students.

Missions Opportunities

• Spring Break Trip- One week of intense evangelism and ministry on the beach, inner city, or internationally.

• Summer Projects- 100+ domestic and overseas summer mission trips for students. The students are trained and challenged like no other time in their life.

Ministry Venues on Campus

• Small Groups - This is a small group strategy that is evangelistic in structure. The goal is to grow students in their faith and meet them right where they are spiritually. Each group is a reflection of the movement as a whole.

• Weekly Meeting - A weekly event that brings both believers and non-believers together for the purpose of building up Christians and reaching non-believers through body evangelism.

• Socials - Regular social events for people to connect socially and introduce non-Christian friends to the body of Christ.

• Evangelism - This is the foundation of the movement. Ranges from individual evangelism to campus wide outreaches.

• Prayer Meeting - Regular meetings for corporate prayer.


Cru is an interdenominational ministry committed to the proclamation of God’s Word and exaltation of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. We exist to win, build and send college students so they might impact their campus, city, and world for Christ.

The Bible

The sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, God’s infallible written Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that it was uniquely, verbally, and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, without error (inerrant), immutable (unchanging), and universal (applies to all mankind). It is the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks.

We believe in the fundamental doctrines historically held by orthodox Christianity. Because of the specialized calling of our movement, we desire to allow for freedom of conviction on other doctrinal matters, provided that any interpretation is based on the Bible alone, and that no such interpretation shall become an issue which hinders the ministry to which God has called us.

We explicitly affirm our belief in basic Bible teachings, as follows:

• There is one true God, omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (everywhere), and omniscience (all knowing) triune God eternally existing in three persons-- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-- each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of Deity and the characteristics of personality.

• Jesus Christ is God, the living Word, who became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. Hence, He is perfect Deity and true humanity united in one person forever

• He lived a sinless life and voluntarily atoned for the sins of men by dying on the Cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. His death provides the basis of forgiveness and eternal security

• He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died.

• He ascended bodily into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own.

• Man was originally created in the image of God. He sinned by disobeying God; thus, he was alienated from his Creator. That historic fall brought all mankind under divine condemnation.

• Man’s nature is corrupted, and he is thus totally unable to please God. Every man is in need of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

• The salvation of man is wholly a work of God’s free grace alone and is not the work, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness or religious ceremony. God imputes His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight.

• It is the privilege of all who are born again of the Spirit to be assured of their salvation from the very moment in which they trust Christ as their Savior. This assurance is not based upon any kind of human merit, but is produced by the witness of the Holy Spirit, who confirms in the believer the testimony of God in His written Word.

• The Holy Spirit has come into the world to reveal and glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to men. He convicts and draws sinners to Christ, imparts new life to them, continually indwells them from the moment of spiritual birth and seals them until the day of redemption. His fullness, power, and control are appropriated in the believer’s life by faith.

• The individual indwelling and empowering of every believer by the Holy Spirit upon conversion to live the Christian so that he will not fulfill the lust of the flesh but will bear fruit to the glory of God.

• Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body, which is composed of all men, living and dead, who have been joined to Him through saving faith.

• God admonishes His people to assemble together regularly for worship, for participation in ordinances, for edification through the Scriptures and for mutual encouragement.

• At physical death the believer enters immediately into eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his body to everlasting glory and blessing.

• At physical death the unbeliever enters immediately into eternal, conscious separation from the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his body to everlasting judgment and condemnation.

• Jesus Christ will come again to the earth--personally, visibly, and bodily-- to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.

• The Lord Jesus Christ commanded all believers to proclaim the gospel throughout the world and to disciple men of every nation. The fulfillment of that Great Commission requires that all worldly and personal ambitions be subordinated to a total commitment to “Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.” Discipleship is a process in which a Christian with a life worth emulating invest his life for an extended period of time in a few individuals who have been won to Christ to guide and encourage their growth to maturity so they might reproduce themselves in a 3rd spiritual generation.

We explicitly deny our belief in following:

• A ‘second work of grace’ or a ‘second blessing’ usually ‘confirmed’ by speaking in tongues. There is no ‘second blessing’ subsequent to conversion. Speaking in tongues or other ‘signs and wonders’ manifestations are not the mark of a Spirit-filled Christian nor are they levels of maturity in the sanctification process. Regardless of whether these gifts exist today or not, they must remain the private convictions of each individual/church body and should not be promoted or denigrated in Crusade events or teachings.

• That grace plus any work or faith plus any work are necessary for salvation. Works should and do come as a result of genuine saving faith.

• A plurality of mediators between God and man. There is one mediator-Christ and through him alone can we approach God.

• In Allegorical, Church, Rationalistic, Subjective, or Literalistic interpretations of the Bible. The God intended meaning of scripture lies in the grammatical, historical, contextual approach, which strives to understand the meaning to the original audience.


These apply to the Cru staff member and the church representative. As leaders in ministry together committed to unity and love in the body of Christ, we are committed to Biblically based relationships and living out the following principles:

• We will honor each other by believing the best of each individual.

• When conflicts arise we will go to that person before anyone else. (Matthew 18:15)

• We will speak the truth in love. Having the person’s best interest in mind (Ephesians 4:15)

• We will seek to be a team player by supporting each other and valuing the whole movement as better than our personal ministry.

• When others come to us with an issue, we will encourage them to go directly to the team member with their issue, and not us.

• We will honor each other and the team by:

1) Striving to be on time to any scheduled meeting or event. 2) Being “fully there” during the meeting or event by: Giving attention to the person who is speaking; Not leaving early from the meeting or event. 3) Ending meetings on time. 4) Completing our responsibilities on time. 5) Setting up clear expectations so that others know what is expected of them; we will be committed to keeping each other accountable to the above norms.


This must be signed and returned to the Cru Staff Representative to move forward in the partnership process.

This section covers all that is outlined above to acknowledge that you as a representative of ___________________________ have read, agree, and will partner with in reaching area college students for Christ.

The Agreement

I have read and agree with the mission, vision and philosophy of ministry. Initials: ___________

I have read, agree with, and when applicable will teach (at Cru functions) according to the doctrinal statement. Initials: ___________

I have read and agree with the Standards of Ministry outlined above with respect to the Cru and the local church representative(s). Initials: ___________


Finally, I understand that a breach of the personal, doctrinal, and ministry standards, as agreed to above, can result in the dissolving of the partnership by either organization. Initials: ___________

Legal Stuff

I acknowledge that our relationship to Cru Inc. is that of sending uncompensated volunteers and not employees, agents, or independent contractors. I will use my best efforts to hold to Cru philosophy, methodology and theology, which has as its goal reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I understand that my flock’s activities will be supervised by a Cru representative. My signature on this page evidences my voluntary commitment to the objectives of the ministry and in no way represents a contractual arrangement of any kind between myself, the local Campus team and Cru Inc.

Signature __________________________ Date: __________

©1994-2020 Cru. All Rights Reserved.