What were the major factors that led to this unification of ministries?
Two factors, mainly:
- Higher education in the U.S. is rapidly changing, as is the relation of churches to campuses. For these reasons, campus ministries are also undergoing significant structural change. Recognizing these developments, the trustees and staff of Christian Student Fellowship began to think creatively about using their resources to meet campus needs. These prayerful reflections commended to them the work of the MacLaurin Institute.
- MacLaurin and CSF are ideally positioned to help each other advance Christian thinking on campus. As both our staff and boards began to think and pray together about the needs of the University of Minnesota, we recognized that CSF and MacLaurin would bring new strategic resources to each other. CSF enhances MacLaurin’s work with a permanent residence, a long history of working with undergraduates, and several thriving programs for international students. MacLaurin, in turn, has a unique, focused, and forward-looking mission, strong relationships with dozens of University of Minnesota faculty, as well as a network of Twin Cities area churches, organizations, and leaders.
What will the new organization be called?
The new, combined ministry organization will work under the name MacLaurinCSF.
What is the mission of the new organization?
The new organization will embrace the mission of the MacLaurin Institue. When Christian Student Fellowship trustees first approached the MacLaurin Institute with this proposal, it was MacLaurin’s mission that most attracted them.
MacLaurin’s mission is: to bridge church and university in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, bringing theological resources to the university and academic resources to the church. Its driving goal is to strengthen Christian intellectual life in this region by creating public space for leaders in the academy and church to address enduring human questions together.
Many current CSF programs, in fact, are deeply compatible with MacLaurin. Thus while our two ministries are uniting under MacLaurin’s mission, there will still be substantial continuity with CSF’s history and ethos.
Will MacLaurinCSF seek to develop a student group, thus becoming more like Campus Crusade, Orthodox Christian Fellowship, or the Newman Center?
No. MacLaurinCSF will work closely with undergraduates, of course, but we are different than most other campus ministries in that our undergraduate initiatives occur primarily through strategic partnerships with traditional campus groups. Students will remain a vital part of our work on campus, but we do not have a “MacLaurin Student Group” that students join.
Will MacLaurinCSF continue to cultivate intellectual life and leadership?
Yes. MacLaurinCSF will continue to work closely with faculty, graduate students, pastors, and other Christian leaders, focusing on the integration of Christian faith and learning, particularly in the areas of vocation and scholarship.
Will MacLaurinCSF continue to work with international students?
Yes. This is one of the many CSF strengths MacLaurin is looking to build upon. We will continue to meet the needs of international students through a beginning-of-the-school-year furniture giveaway. We are also partnering with Connexions International to offer more weekly ESL classes on the St. Paul campus. Our Dinner & Dialogue will continue to serve international students. All MacLaurinCSF Reading Groups, Lecture Events, and other programs are also of course open to international students and scholars.
Will you add any new staff members? And who will lead the new organization?
Brad Dewing, CSF’s director, will join Bryan Bademan and Ruth Pszwaro of the MacLaurin Institute as MacLaurinCSF’s Campus Life Coordinator. Brad earned his M.Div. from Emmanuel Christian Seminary in Tennessee and worked in several congregations before coming on staff at CSF in 2003. At MacLaurinCSF, Brad will facilitate our important relationships with other campus ministries as well as the churches of the Twin Cities. Bryan Bademan will continue to serve the Institute as Executive Director.
Will your location change?
Since April of 2010 the MacLaurin Institute has been housed temporarily in the office building owned by and adjacent to Stadium Village Church. We are extremely grateful to SVC for their warm hospitality this past year. On August 1 we will move our administrative offices to the CSF Center located on the St. Paul Campus (1337 Cleveland Avenue N.). We will of course continue to work on both campuses.
How can I get involved with MacLaurinCSF?
On the homepage of this site, click the “Get Involved” link. Also, feel free to contact us to find out how to match your strengths with MacLaurinCSF’s work!
Where and to whom should I now send my donations?
We are deeply thankful for your ongoing support, especially at this critical time when we integrate ministries and incur some unanticipated expenses. While we are integrating the two nonprofit entities, contributions should continue to be sent to MacLaurin and CSF just as they were prior to their unification. For details, click the “Support” link on the homepage.