College is a time of self-exploration for students. Many students are entirely on their own for the first time and they are looking for places and ways to learn about themselves and the world around them. College campuses support and host many groups and organizations for its students to experience and join if they choose to.
One of these organizations is the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). IVCF is an interdenominational, faith-based, student-led ministry group that has chapters located all over Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The ministry chapter at UW-W has over 100 members and its mission is to support students who are looking to grow their faith or to begin a new journey into faith, and to give them a place to work on that part of their lives.
Some of its daily activities include prayer meetings on Thursday evenings, and small group Bible studies called Life Groups.
The prayer meetings include time devoted to group prayer concerning topics for the coming week(s). Then, there is smaller, individual prayer where members pray for themselves and each other in more personal battles they may be facing.
The group also attends the Catalyst Conference in Green Lake, Wisconsin. The conference is a fall event attended by many InterVarsity chapters and allows students to connect with each other, study the Bible together, and receive leadership training.
“We believe that people are looking for an authentic community. College is a time when many students are interested in exploring faith. InterVarsity provides a safe place for them to do that,” said Luke Francis, a campus minister for IVCF.
Chapter president for the fall 2019 semester, Tricialyn Raymond, became involved with IVCF during her freshman year when she was asked by a ministry leader to attend their Bible study session. Raymond was new to faith but knew she wanted to be a part of a group like this one while she was in college. She said the group welcomed her with open arms and she has remained an integral part of the group’s activities.
“With this position, I am doing exactly what our other leaders are doing. It’s important to me that I get to walk alongside our leaders. The reward of holding the role I do is that I get to see others start becoming and growing into the people they are,” said Raymond.
IVCF, and groups like it, offer faith-seeking or faith-curious students a welcoming environment where they can learn about themselves, and about faith. If students want more information, or are interested in joining IVCF, the ministry has a website at www.uwwintervarsity.com.
Students can also attend a large group gathering which takes place on Thursday evenings in Hyland 2101 at 7:30 p.m. The ministry is always welcoming new members and will answer any questions students may have.