A different kind of holiday: Urbana Student Missions Conference

Where were you when you received a life calling from God?

Once every three years, between Christmas and New Year’s, thousands of college students from around the world gather in St. Louis, Missouri for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Urbana Missions Conference.

What is the Urbana experience like?  Joyful, life-giving musical worship and dances are balanced by earnest exhortations from plenary speakers like David Platt, Francis Chan, and Ruth Padilla-DeBorst; breakout seminars gather smaller groups of students to discuss specific issues like race and poverty, urban outreach, vocational ministry, social injustice and (yes!) creation care.

Scores of missions organizations, seminaries, and related organizations who offer opportunities to students and young adults form a maze of exhibit booths in a cavernous hall, and this is where Care of Creation has influenced dozens of students and helped them discern how environmental stewardship goes hand-in-hand with mission work.  After meeting with us or attending a seminar focused on creation care, some students add an additional major to their studies: environmental law, environmental sciences or studies, ecology, agronomy, agroecology, and more.

We also point students in the direction of missions-sending organizations like TEAM and OMF who are looking for people with skill sets within the environmental or agricultural fields.

This year we’ve created an entire website dedicated to equipping the Urbana student with the resources to explore all the conference has to offer in terms of creation care: what seminars are offered, what missions organizations to check out, even what books to look for in the Urbana bookstore.

If you know a student going to Urbana, share this website (urbana.careofcreation.net) with them!  We’ll be posting updates regularly on it, and would love to have everyone visit us at our exhibit booth.