How does Cru help students?

We’ve all been there. You’re walking into a new setting and experiencing something for the first time. It could be a new church, a new job, or a new social environment. Your mind is working overtime, taking everything in, and asking some very fundamental questions: Who’s here? What is this place all about? What exactly do they do here? And how can I participate?

If you’re new to the High School Ministry of Cru, you may be asking yourself these same questions. Hopefully, this article will begin to provide some answers and paint a rough picture of who we are, what we do, and how you, or others, can be involved.

The High School Ministry of Cru is just one part of the larger international ministry of Cru. Founded in 1951, Cru has thousands of staff and volunteers serving a variety of audiences in nearly 200 nations worldwide. It is our desire that everyone would know someone who truly follows Jesus, so we lovingly share Jesus with people all around the globe and equip them to share Jesus with others in their lives.

Cru is passionate about helping high school and middle school students know and follow Jesus. We want to see every student on every campus have the opportunity to hear the good news of God’s love available to them through Jesus, and we believe that fellow students are the best people to share that good news with their peers! Our hope is to see transformed students taking Jesus to every teenager, anywhere, by all means!

Cru local teams serve high school and middle school campuses in their community. Each movement may vary slightly as local teams seek to creatively and effectively serve and reach their campus. But there are a few things that will be true of our movements, wherever you go. So, what can you expect?

Campus Communities

Students live, learn, play, and relate in their campus ecosystem. It is within this space that they are forming their ideas, values, relationships, and identities. We seek to bring Jesus into their world by creating small communities of students on or near their school campus where students can be themselves, develop genuine relationships, and grow socially, emotionally, and spiritually. Every student is looking for a place to belong, to be known and loved, and we seek to provide students with a community to do just that. These are safe spaces for teens to interact with their peers, as well as with caring adult staff and volunteers.


Something special happens when students step away from their day-to-day lives, beyond their comfort zones, and are challenged in their faith. Cru provides a variety of weekend or week-long conferences for students. At these events, students can participate in worship, Biblical teaching, team-building, leadership development, and personal challenges to help them grow in their faith and as leaders on their campuses. These conferences typically provide personalized “tracks” for students that are geared specifically to their needs and goals. Our conferences are great places for students to create lifelong memories, connect with the Lord in unique ways, and experience a major boost in their spiritual growth.

Mission Trips

Each spring and summer, we send several short term mission teams to join in Jesus’ work of taking the gospel to the world. We offer a variety of domestic and international mission opportunities that last from 1-4 weeks. These trips challenge and equip students to share their faith while experiencing rich community, trusting the Lord, and in many cases exploring a new culture. These mission opportunities often provide profound and lasting benefits in the lives of students who participate.

For students nearing high school graduation, Cru also provides a nine month Gap Year program. Students who participate receive high level evangelism and leadership training and are able to practically apply it in a variety of international mission settings. The gap year can be a great opportunity for those students who have not entirely decided about their college path, those who are considering full-time vocational ministry, as well as those who simply want to gain some unique and rewarding life experience before proceeding to the next season of their lives.

Our hope is to see transformed students taking Jesus to every teenager, anywhere, by all means!


With decades of experience, we have developed some great tools that can help a student or volunteer begin to share Jesus more effectively with teens, and help them grow in their faith. These tools include a series of simple and relevant Bible studies called Thrive studies, great outreach tools like Snapshot cards, and resources such as the Launch Box for starting a new movement on a campus.

Hopefully, you are beginning to develop a basic understanding of the High School Ministry of Cru, what we do, and how students can participate. Each of the opportunities mentioned above is designed to provide students with an environment in which to grow socially, spiritually, and as leaders in their communities. With hundreds of staff serving teens across the nation and around the world, there may be a Cru movement near you.

More Info for Adults Interested in Joining the Mission of Cru

Are you interested in serving with a local Cru movement? Curious about what opportunities exist for you? We strive for local movements to be student-led and adult supported. As teens develop the skills, experience, and confidence necessary to lead, the presence of consistent, caring adults can be especially critical. These adults can be Cru staff, volunteers, teachers, coaches, administrators, or parents. Our ministry thrives when adult leaders are committed to ensuring teens hear about and experience the love of Jesus.

If you are interested in supporting an existing high school movement of Cru, or perhaps even launching a new movement where none currently exists, we would love to hear from you. There are millions of teenagers around the world primed to respond to the gospel and ready to grow in their faith. Perhaps God is calling you to help see that happen. Click here to learn more about how you can join with us in seeing that every teenager knows someone who truly follows Jesus.

Next Steps
What is your greatest ministry need? Follow the links in the article above to explore how a Cru resource or tool can meet that need.


Cru Promo Videos

It was once said that “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Well, if that’s true, a video is worth a million. As we talk about Cru with students, administration, donors, volunteers, parents, and others, having a video can sometimes help them get the feel of what we do.

Below you’ll find a few videos that do just that. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, check our YouTube channels at Cru High School and Gotothecampus. If we’ve got it, it’ll be there.

Cru Promo Video – 3 Minute Version

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Cru Promo Video – 1 Minute Version

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Cru Promo Video – 1 Minute Version (vertical)

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