Denominational Focus: Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) is the college campus ministry of the PCA. Through Large Group meetings, small group Bible studies, one-to-one discipleship, and other fun gatherings like retreats and mission trips, RUF reaches college students from all backgrounds with the hope of Jesus Christ. RUF Ministry Staff serve on more than 175 college campuses across the United States and around the world.
“. . . always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
‒ Philippians 1:4-6
April 30-May 6
Prayer for the PCA to continue to be true to the Bible and the Reformed faith and obedient to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.
We praise God for his goodness to RUF and for the countless individuals and churches that helped RUF grow to more than 175 ministries around the world in the last 50 years.
We praise God for the nearly 3,000 college students who will be attending RUF’s annual Summer Conference this month and for the lives that will be transformed by Christ through the teaching of His Word.
Please pray for the countless RUF seniors who are graduating from college this month equipped with the Gospel and headed to serve in the church and in their communities across the country and throughout the world.
May 28-June 3
Each week, 18,000 college students hear the hope of the gospel at RUF Large Group and small group Bible studies. Please pray that over the next 10 years, that number would double so that even more are reached for Christ and equipped to serve.
When I think about themes of RUF during my undergraduate years, I would include the supremacy of God’s Word, the centrality of the gospel, the privilege to minister to others, and the importance of the local church.
When I became an Intern with RUF after college, I built on those themes throughout the program. As for serving as a Campus Minister, the debt I owe to RUF is one I can’t repay. I loved the opportunity and privilege to preach God’s Word, meet with students, equip students to minister to others, and cultivate an intentional philosophy of ministry. Now that I serve as a pastor, I can’t deny that the “tools in my toolbox” were largely formed by RUF.
The power doesn’t come from RUF. The power comes from the Lord, by His Word and His Spirit. But RUF has been a transformative means through which He has worked in my life.
Senior Pastor at Downtown Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC
Student (1985-90), Intern (1990-92), Campus Minister (1995-2005)
If you ask RUF staff, “How’s your ministry going?” they’ll often answer, “I’ll let you know in 10 years.” While conversions and growth are happening every year, the impact of RUF is not fully realized until graduates have invested their lives as Christian leaders in every industry imaginable and have become ministers, elders, deacons, Sunday school teachers, as well as committed spouses and parents.
In 2010, Nick Bratcher was at Western Kentucky University and Robert Knuth was at Washington and Lee. Both freshmen were indifferent to God and the gospel. But God was at work through the RUF Campus Ministers at their respective schools: Fritz Games and Jon Talley. Now that more than 10 years have passed for this group, it’s time to ask again: How was RUF going?
After graduating from college, Nick and Robert served in the same class in the RUF Internship program. Each then pursued a Master of Divinity degree, and on February 21, 2021, Nick was ordained as the RUF Campus Minister at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Giving the ordination charge was Robert Knuth, now the Campus Minister at the University of Michigan. Preaching the service was Fritz Games, now the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in Louisville. Leading the service was Jon Talley, now the planting pastor at Christ Church in Milwaukee, the church that would be connected to the RUF ministry Nick was beginning. After serving in Wisconsin for three years, Nick became the Campus Minister at the University of Kentucky.
God was and is clearly at work, drawing students to Himself, and now using Nick and Robert to reach and equip even more students!
After Bible study, a student asked, “Can I share a bit more of my story with you?” His college experience had been marked by loneliness, broken relationships, and academic frustration. He felt hopeless: “I was about to drop out and come back home. It was just too hard.”
A friend suggested RUF. At his first Large Group, our student leaders welcomed him and invited him to other events. In Small Group, he began to think, “Maybe God is real, and He does care about me.” He shared, “RUF gave me a reason to stay here. For the first time in college, I don’t feel like I’m alone.”
‒ Submitted by a 4th Year Campus Minister
Historically, the students in our group have been from East and Southeast Asia, and come from atheist, agnostic, or Christian backgrounds. I’ve been praying that we’d expand our connections with Muslim and Hindu students. In 2022, more students from those specific backgrounds came to RUF-I than ever before. We connected with more than 50 Hindu students from India, a handful of whom committed to our weekly Large Group Bible discussion. And in the first three weeks of the fall semester, students from 17 different countries attended our events! There seems to be a bigger thirst for community among international students than I have seen before, and by God’s providence, we are in the right place at the right time to share the gospel with the nations!
‒ Submitted by a 5th Year RUF-I Campus Minister
- RUF currently has 177 campus ministries in 41 states and 6 countries.
- RUF started at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg in 1973.
- Mark Lowery was the campus minister at USM in 1973, and went on to be the first National Coordinator in 1982. There have been 5 National Coordinators over the last 50 years.
- In 1976, the first RUF Intern was hired at USM. The Internship program was officially launched in 1980; today there are 157 Interns serving at campuses around the country!
- The first RUF Summer Conference was held at Laguna Beach Christian Retreat Center in Panama City Beach, FL, in 1981.
- In 1983, Jean Lappin, an MTW medical missionary known as a “nurse of souls,” helped launch International Students Christian Fellowship, now known as RUF International. Today, there are 21 RUF-I ministries in the U.S. welcoming students from all over the world.
- In 2000, a community of songwriters and musicians in Nashville called Indelible Grace was started by Kevin Twit, the RUF Campus Minister at Belmont University. They lead a movement to restore the historic practice of writing new melodies to old hymn texts.
- RUF’s footprint expanded outside of the U.S. in 2005 when the first RUF Global was established at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. There have been RUF-Gs in eight countries, often partnering with MTW and Serge.
- In 2007, the first RUF on an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) was started at Jackson State University. In 2023, there are 7 HBCU ministries.
- Although there have been female staff serving with RUF since its early days, in 2015, Casey Cockrum officially started the Campus Staff program. In 2023, 57 women are serving in long-term campus ministry positions.
- RUF held the first West Coast “WestCo” Conference in 2020. Students from 17 RUF ministries gathered in San Diego, California.
- In 2022, 50% of RUF ministries had one or more students go into ministry or ministry-related training after graduating.
- As of 2023, over 150 former Campus Ministers are currently serving as teaching elders in the PCA. More than 45 others are serving in various ministries.
1. Complete the drawings of items you might see during a trip to the beach.
2. Color the entire picture.
3. Remember to pray for the Reformed University Fellowship students and leaders who will be attending the RUF Beach Retreats this month.