The college years are a time when students work out what they can achieve as adults in society, what kind of world we live in, what constitutes the good life, the relationship between intimacy and sex, what is truth—among many other issues. If they are Christians, they need help connecting to the rich biblical and theological truths that help them sort out these questions.

I spent six years as a campus pastor and religion teacher. I remember with special fondness the intense and authentic relationships I had with those students.

Between my years of campus ministry and my now nearly 19 years at Christianity Today, I spent four wonderful years working for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). The organization gave me an opportunity to combine my communication skills and my campus experience and work on HIS, IVCF's magazine for college students.

One of the student readers of HIS became a good friend and is now an associate editor of CT. While studying journalism at Louisiana State, Doug LeBlanc helped critique each issue of HIS and kept us editors in touch with the campus. I asked Doug to summarize InterVarsity's contribution to his life. "InterVarsity was the evangelical ministry most willing to take my doubts and fears seriously," Doug wrote, "and to help me move toward a confident and informed faith in God."

Managing editor Mark Galli also counts himself as an IVCF alum—though his student fellowship at the University of California-Santa Cruz had an "anti-establishment mood that precluded being attached to any national organization." That didn't stop a nearby IVCF staff worker from supporting the group and including them in area conferences. The bottom line for Mark? "InterVarsity helped me think about and live out my Christian faith with hope and courage in an academic context that was, for the most part, hostile to Christian faith."

Associate news editor Stan Guthrie met his wife, Christine, through an IVCF chapter. Stan says IVCF taught him how to study the Bible inductively, how to lead, and how to evangelize. It taught him "that Christians can be normal, thinking people." It also kindled in him a lifelong passion for missions.

But IVCF taught Stan "that while Christians can have doctrinal and other differences, our common faith in Jesus Christ goes much deeper. We had different denominations and races, but we were all brothers and sisters in Christ."

And here we segue into this issue's feature on InterVarsity's long pursuit of becoming a multiethnic organization. It has been a model for organizational transformation. Please read "One Lord, One Faith, Many Ethnicities", which was prepared by another IVCF alum, former CT assistant editor Helen Lee, a Korean American.

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In the early '80s I was part of InterVarsity's task force challenged to create a new multiethnicity initiative. It was a bruising experience. But it was also a rewarding one. And as I look at 20 years of progress, I take satisfaction in what our IVCF friends have accomplished.

Related Elsewhere:

One Lord, One Faith, Many Ethnicities is available online.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's web site provides more information on the organization.

Other articles about InterVarsity include:

Campus Collisions | Why InterVarsity Christian Fellowship was "derecognized" at some of America's leading universities. (Oct. 03, 2003)
InterVarsity Group on Probation | Tufts University says group violated school's nondiscrimination policy by excluding lesbian student from leadership. (Nov. 27, 2000)
Politics of Sexuality | Tufts University bans-then reinstates-InterVarsity over complaint from bisexual student. (May 17, 2000)

Recent Christianity Today articles on race and ethnicity include:

Graham Calls Bigotry a Sin | Evangelist calls for racial healing (July 16, 2002)
Sunday Colors | Dallas churches continue to challenge the racial divide (May 15, 2002)
The Forgotten Founder | The man who altered the course of black Baptist history finally has his say. (March 28, 2002)
Lost Common Cause | Christian focus on racial reconciliation is set back after Cincinnati's riots (June 14, 2001)
To the End, a Baptist Preacher | If you want to know Martin Luther King Jr., consult his sermons. (Jan. 21, 2002)
Separate and Equal | Martin Luther King dreamed of an integrated society. Boston minister Eugene Rivers thinks it was the wrong dream. (August 7, 2001)
Different Worlds | Interviewing blacks and whites in the same cities makes an author realize that these followers of Christ were speaking separate languages. (Oct. 2, 2000)
We Can Overcome | A CT forum examines the subtle nature of the church's racial division—and offers hope (Sept. 29, 2000)
Shoulder to Shoulder in the Sanctuary | A profile in racial unity. (Sept. 28, 2000)
Common Ground in the Supermarket Line | A profile in racial unity. (Sept. 27, 2000)
The Lord in Black Skin | As a white pastor of a black church, I found the main reason prejudice and racism hurt so much: because we are so much alike (Sept. 25, 2000)
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Divided by Faith? | A recent study argues that American evangelicals cannot foster genuine racial reconciliation. Is our theology to blame? (Sept. 22, 2000)
Color-Blinded | Why 11 o'clock Sunday morning is still a mostly segregated hour. (Sept. 22, 2000)
Confessions of a Racist | It wasn't until after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death that I was struck by the truth of what he lived and preached. (Jan. 17, 2000)
The March to Montgomery | Christianity Today's coverage of King's historic voting rights march, from our April 9, 1965 issue. (Jan. 17, 2000)
Martin Luther King, Jr.: A History | No Christian played a more prominent role in the century's most significant social justice movement than Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jan. 17, 2000)
Catching Up with a Dream | Evangelicals and race since the death of Martin Luther King, Jr (March 2, 1998)
Breaking the Black/White Stalemate | Jesse Miranda and William Pannell discuss the next step in racial reconciliation. (March 2, 1998)
She Has a Dream, Too | Bernice King talks about her father's death, her call to ministry, and what the church still needs to do about racism. (June 16, 1997)
Will the Walls Fall Down? | Promise Keepers draws a bead on the 'giants' of racism, family breakdown, and church disunity. (Nov. 17, 1997)
Racism | Youth Are Key in Moving Past 'Feel Good' Reconciliation. (Nov. 11, 1996)
(Please note that some of these articles are available exclusively in the CT Library.)

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