Clock ticks down to Urbana 18

By December 20, 2018

USA (MNN) — North America’s largest student missions conference is less than 10 days away. From December 27th through the 31st, college kids from the United States and Canada will descend on St. Louis, Missouri, for Urbana 18.

Ruth Hubbard with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship serves as Vice President of the Urbana team. She says the event invites conversation about all aspects of the Great Commission — not just evangelism and discipleship, but justice, compassion, and stewardship.

“It’s a call to be holistic and incarnational in our witness,” Hubbard says, referring to a seminar called When Justice and Evangelism Kiss.

Urbana is also about intellectual discussions and exploration, as well as finding ways to connect your passions with God’s calling.

“We don’t just tell two or three really good warm, fuzzy stories that make you feel emotional about the people group presented, and then suddenly you’ve got 500 people that want to go work with that people group because they connected emotionally,” Hubbard explains.

“Dense curriculum in the afternoons, combined with plenary sessions and a deep study of Scripture, provides a deep and broad understanding of what we’re talking about in missions.”

Urbana 18: Faithful Witness

For InterVarsity’s Urbana/ Missions Associate Paul Borthwick, Urbana’s global focus is about more than transnational connectivity.

“What we’re doing isn’t just part of the Global Village or globalization or current trend,” he states. “We’re helping them (students) pursue God’s heart for the people of the world.

Urbana 18 (Photo courtesy of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship)

“This year, for example, we’ll have Bible study and plenary talks by people who are Brazilian missionaries to Italy. This shows North American students that if they’re going into missions, it’s a global partnership. [They’re] not just going with a bunch of people from their own culture.”

“Faithful Witness” is the theme for InterVarsity’s 25th Urbana Student Missions Conference. Drawing from Revelation, Urbana speakers and leaders will challenge participants to live as faithful witnesses in several tangible ways. The conference will also help students gain a better sense of God’s global presence as they discern how they are being called to a life of faithful witness. More about Urbana here.

Urbana planners weren’t afraid to include “tough topics” in the lineup, Borthwick adds. Racism, human slavery, poverty, refugees, “all these things are going to be part and parcel of the workshops and the participation of students in thinking through what [it means] to be a Christian witness, a faithful witness, in face of these needs that they might actually hear about regularly in the news.”

What now?

It’s not too late to sign up for Urbana. Click here to register. Or, if you live near St. Louis and plan to drive in for the conference, Hubbard says you can register at the door on Thursday, December 27.

If you’re not going to Urbana this year, please pray for those who are.

“I long to see the ripples of transformation from this one event spread out and [become] a tsunami; basically, tsunami waves of revival as movements to Jesus come from every corner of the campus and continue out to every corner of the world.”



Header graphic courtesy of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship via

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