Engaging the university

The global vision of IFES extends to impacting our whole society for the glory of Christ. That means more than winning students for the kingdom: it means seeing kingdom values shape our cultures and change the world.

The university is the place where people engage with the big questions. The debates happening there today will shape the decisions of tomorrow’s leaders.

We believe the gospel has something vital to say across every discipline, from politics, economics and science to ethics, education and the arts. We want to see disciples of Jesus authentically engaging in all aspects of campus life and conversations, so that the message of the gospel reaches and transforms every part of the university.

IFES seeks to empower and equip students, faculty and researchers to join and re-orient conversations across the academic world. Through regional consultations, resources, grants, e-learning, mentoring and research, national movements are being equipped to help their students think biblically and live distinctively, missionally and incarnationally in all areas of university life.

What does it mean to engage the university?

World Assembly 2024

ENGAGING THE CAMPUS

What would a 21st century vision be for IFES if Christ and Christians are really, actually and observably engaging the whole university for Christ? This booklet, originally from FES Singapore, helps the reader imagine the possibilities.

Download in: EnglishFrench

e-learning course

God loves the university! Do you? How can you learn to see your university through God’s eyes? What would that look like as you engage with campus life and conversations? How would that perspective impact you in your particular discipline?

The course will help you, as an individual and as a member of your local IFES community, to think biblically and critically about your context and your calling in the university. You will be equipped to seize the opportunities and tackle the challenges you meet as you follow Christ on campus, engaging the whole university, as students, faculty or campus staff.  

As we explore this topic, you will find thought-provoking quotes, readings, videos, questionnaires and worksheets to guide you.

Engaging the University 1: an introduction is a brief taster that can be completed at your own pace because it has no facilitator. Once you have completed it, you can register in the three-week course, Engaging the University 2: biblical and theological foundations, and then Engaging the University 3: personal and practical dimensions which also takes three weeks to complete. These courses both invite you to engage in conversation with the other learners in your cohort and provide you with encouraging feedback by a course facilitator on your postings and assignments. The facilitated courses require 2-4 hours of work each week.

The courses are offered in English, French, and Spanish. French and English cohorts of ETU2 will start on Tuesday 20 Feb. Spanish cohort starts on Monday 4 March. The next courses will begin 2 October 2024, and places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To sign up, or if you have any questions, write to engagingtheuni@ifesworld.org.

The Logos and Cosmos Initiative

IFES’ Logos and Cosmos Initiative (LCI) equips young Christian academics to lead projects in their universities that spark curiosity and wonder about theology and the sciences, leading to gospel-centred change in society. It provides training, mentoring and funding for its “Catalysts” (participants) to lead theology and the sciences projects in collaboration with their IFES national movements.

The LCI is a five-year long program, which began in 2020, and is working in two IFES regions: Latin America and Francophone Africa. The Logos and Cosmos Initiative is part of IFES’ Engaging the University ministry and is funded by the John Templeton Foundation.  

For news and stories from the LCI, visit their blog or subscribe to the quarterly newsletter, Wonders.  

Latest news from the Logos and Cosmos Initiative blog 

Resources

Share Ideas

Join a community of people dedicated to discussing faith and the university. Check out our Facebook page here

Timothée Joset, Engaging the University Coordinator

Follow these blogs written by Engaging the University leaders to consider more ideas about theology, culture, and the university.

Vinoth Ramachandra, Former IFES Secretary for Dialogue and Social Engagement

Ross Mckenzie, Professor of Physics at the University of Queensland, Australia

Could God use the university to deepen and widen our vision of him and his world and, at the same time, call us to a unique ministry of holistic, dialogical en­gagement with the university? How did Jesus open the eyes of his disciples who had difficulty seeing how the gospel makes sense of world history?

In his latest book, Vinoth Ramachandra, former IFES Secretary for Dialogue and Social Engagement, takes us on a short but intense tour of discovery. A little book to think about alone and in groups. A little book which will make you even more passionate about ministry in the university.

Made available with permission from TRACI.

Think Bigger

The Big Issues project provided opportunities for students and faculty from IFES movements around the world to share ideas and resources, as together we thought about how to bring a biblical perspective to bear in our universities.

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