For years Redeemer has talked and prayed about how to impact UCI, and now we are taking a huge step forward. Through the efforts of Redeemer and our presbytery, we are working to launch RUF, the college ministry of our denomination, on the UCI campus.
UCI is one of the most influential cultural and intellectual centers in Orange County.
- 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students
- Consistent national rankings among the best universities (Times Higher Education ranked UCI No. 1 among universities in the U.S. under 50 years old.)
- Top-rated research and graduate programs (three UCI researchers have won Nobel Prizes)
The list could go on an on. (Read more) UCI shapes Orange County and the culture beyond. What a privilege that UCI is in our neighborhood. What a responsibility for Redeemer to love and serve UCI well.
In December of 2012 Redeemer announced our plans to enter a season of prayer and research to identify the right college ministry for us to partner with and support. Over the last months we met with several organizations, and weighed their strengths and weaknesses. We are confident that RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) is the best organization that Redeemer could partner with to love and serve UCI.
What is RUF?
Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) is the college ministry of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). For 25 years RUF has been reaching students for Christ and equipping students to serve. It is currently on more than 140 campuses across the country. RUF sends ordained seminary trained campus ministers to the campus to communicate the gospel and to pastor students through their college years. Under the guidance of the ordained campus minister, RUF is a ministry of students to students. RUF is designed to build a community on the college campus that reaches students of divergent beliefs and doubts with the message of the gospel and equip them to love and serve Jesus and his church. See below other distinctives of RUF:
"Weekly large group, small groups, and one-on-one staff-student meetings provide the structure for campus ministry. Each kind of meeting is essential in ministering to college students.
- In large group meetings the truth is taught through preaching the good news of Jesus and corporate worship.
- Small groups focus on study, prayer, and fellowship, and many are led by junior and senior students, under the direction of the campus minister and interns.
- One-on-one meetings between students and staff members offer in-depth discipling, evangelistic encounters, and accountability in trust-confidence relationships.
- RUF emphasizes the development of a biblical world-and-life view. As students learn to think biblically, they will make a lasting difference in the Church and the world.
- A key distinctive of RUF is its connection to the Church. Through exhortation by their campus minister, attendance with friends at local churches, involvement in campus community, and exposition of Biblical truth, college students learn to love the Church and develop a lifelong commitment to involvement with God’s people. RUF provides a bridge maintaining (or establishing) connection to the Church as students make the transitions from home to college to work and family life. RUF does not exist for the purpose of perpetuating a campus ministry, but in order to grow the church”
(from the minutes of the 40th General Assembly of the PCA).
One of the strengths of RUF is that it is not a ministry of one church, but of the collection of churches in geographical region, called a presbytery. The RUF committee of Redeemer’s presbytery (South Coast Presbytery) is currently interviewing candidates and working closely with RUF national to identify the best RUF minister for UCI. This process could take several months. We will keep you updated on the progress.
Three of Redeemer’s elders are serving on the South Coast RUF committee: David Juelfs, Drew Duncan and Carl messenger. Please contact them with your questions, feedback, and ideas.
In December of last year Redeemer had the joy to announce that your consistent generosity placed us in a strong financial position. This allowed us to set aside nearly all of our 2012 end of the year giving, building a considerable strategic fund. We announced at that time that this growing strategic fund would open many doors for us to move forward on issues critical to Redeemer’s mission. We used the following examples: establishing a faithful and loving gospel presence at UCI; long term facility needs as we continue to grow; and increasing our support of strategic partnerships with missionaries, church planters, mercy ministries and other organizations that share Redeemer’s mission and vision.
Using this strategic fund we set aside $100,000 to help start RUF at UCI! This money will be spread out over three years to support the RUF minister once he has been hired by the South Coast Presbytery. The RUF minister will still need to raise significant funds for RUF to launch at UCI, but this allows for a strong start and guaranteed support for several years.
*Photo Credit: University of California, Irvine