Campus Crusade for Christ is an interdenominational Christian organization that promotes evangelism and discipleship in over 190 countries
around the world. In 1996, USA Today called Campus Crusade the largest evengelical organization in the United States. Today, the organization employs over 25,000 full-time missionaries and has trained 225,000 volunteers around the world.
Founded in 1951 at the University of California, Los Angeles by Bill Bright as a ministry for college students, Campus Crusade has since expanded its focus to include adult professionals , families , athletes , high school students and more. The World Headquarters is located in Orlando, Florida, and the current president of the organization is Steve Douglass. They are also the publishers of The Four Spiritual Laws, and the "Knowing God Personally Booklet"
Campus Crusade for Christ has active ministries on 1,064 college and university campuses with over 50,000 students actively involved in the U.S. ministry in 2007.
While Campus Crusade continues to use one-to-one conversations about God to reach out to students, they also use mass meetings, film showings and new media, such as Google advertising with e-mail responses and social networking on Facebook.
Jesus Film Project
The Jesus Film Project was founded in 1981 to translate the Hollywood film Jesus
into other languages so that it could be shown by missionaries to peoples around the world in their native languages.
The first translation was done for the Tagalog-speaking people of the Philippines. The organization works with thousands of missionaries around the world to show the film, sometimes to audiences who have never seen a motion picture. Distribution in the United States has included direct mail campaigns sponsored by churches to deliver a copy of the film to every address in select zip codes across the country. In 2004, the organization made the film available for viewing on its website in over 800 languages. Both Jesus and The Story of Jesus for Children are available in DVD and VHS formats. Audio dramatizations in a number of languages are also available.
The origins of the Jesus Film Project date back to 1945 when a young businessman named Bill Bright wanted to privately finance a film about the life of Jesus Christ that was entertaining, biblically accurate, and which could be translated into non-English languages. Rather than making a film at that time, Bright went on to found a Christian ministry to reach college students called Campus Crusade for Christ in 1951.
In 1976, with Campus Crusade's influence spreading beyond college campuses to sports, the marketplace and other aspects of society, Bright turned his attention once again to filmmaking. Hollywood producer John Heyman approached Bright to fund a project to put the entire Bible on film. The project would eventually be scaled back to just one book of the Bible, the Gospel of Luke, and be financed primarily by Campus Crusade supporters Bunker and Caroline Hunt for a sum of $6 million.
A team of 500 scholars and leaders from secular and Christian organizations began to research historical elements for a film about Jesus. Filming took place over the course of several months throughout the Middle East.
Jesus was produced by John Heyman, a German-born Jew and starred British Shakespearean actor Brian Deacon as Jesus, Rivka Neumann as Mary, Yosef Shiloach as Joseph and Niko Nitai as Peter.
The Jesus Film Project has translated Jesus into 1,006 languages and shown the film in 228 nations . With a cumulative audience in excess of 6 billion, Jesus is the most-widely translated and most-watched film ever produced.
Athletes in Action
Athletes in Action works with athletes and coaches who compete at both the collegiate and professional level to use the platform of sport to help people around the world with questions of faith.
Among the events sponsored by Athletes in Action is the NFL-sanctioned Super Bowl Breakfast which features the presentation of the Bart Starr Award "to honor the NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community.
In 1976, Campus Crusade began providing pre-marriage seminars for its staff members. Following their success, married staff couples began asking for encouragement through marriage seminars. Demand for the seminars spread to community leaders and pastors they were opened to the public in 1978. Since 1976 more than 1.5 million people have attended conferences. Today, approximately 100 "FamilyLife: Weekend to Remember" conferences annually held in almost every major city in America. FamilyLife offers multiple resources like the HomeBuilders Couples Series, HomeBuilders Parenting Series, Resurrection Eggs, and What God Wants for Christmas.
FamilyLife president Dennis Rainey hosts the daily FamilyLife Today radio broadcast.
In 1964, Josh McDowell became a traveling representative of Campus Crusade for Christ International addressing campus groups about the Christian faith. Over the years his ministry has focused on Christian apologetics
, youth issues such as relationships and sexuality, and international humanitarian aid.
McDowell's writings have concentrated on addressing challenges to belief, questions posed by non-Christians, doubts about faith, and non-Christian religions. Notable works include Evidence That Demands A Verdict, The Resurrection Factor, He Walked Among Us, More Than A Carpenter and The Da Vinci Code: A Quest for Answers. McDowell has arranged his arguments by pleading for a cumulative case of evidences, such as archaeological discoveries, the extant manuscripts of the biblical texts, fulfilled prophecies, and the miracle of the resurrection.
The Christian Embassy
is a Campus Crusade ministry with offices in a number cities around the world. Its United Nations
office is accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization
. Another office located in Washington, D.C.
, is geared towards the diplomatic community, including presidential employees, members and the staff of the United States Congress
, and workers in The Pentagon
. Its alleged influence among the military and in national politics has attracted attention from the media.
Chronology of events in Campus Crusade's history:
- 1951 - Campus Crusade for Christ is founded by Bill and Vonette Bright on the UCLA campus.
- 1952 - The Brights accept their first six staff members.
- 1958 - Campus Crusade becomes an international organization, forming a ministry in South Korea.
- 1959 - By the end of the 1950s, Campus Crusade is active on 40 U.S. college campuses and in three other countries.
Campus Crusade begins new ministries to high school students, military personnel, and athletes, as well as a new prayer ministry.
- 1962 - Campus Crusade purchases their headquarters for the next three decades at Arrowhead Springs, a resort complex in San Bernardino, California.
- 1965 - Bill Bright writes Have you Heard of The Four Spiritual Laws?, likely the most widely distributed religious booklet in history, with more than 2.5 billion printed to date.
- 1966 - Campus Crusade begins The Music Ministry (now called Keynote), using music to communicate the gospel around the world.
- 1969 - By the end of the 1960s, Campus Crusade is active in 25 countries.
- 1972 - EXPLO '72, a conference featuring evangelism and discipleship training, premiers in Dallas with 80,000 in attendance.
- 1974 - EXPLO '74 premiers in Seoul, Korea, training 300,000 in evangelism and discipleship.
- 1976 - "I Found It!", an evangelistic billboard/bumper sticker campaign, is launched. 85 percent of all Americans are exposed to the campaign, and by 1978 campaigns are established in more than 100 countries. As a result, more than 3.5 million people become Christians.
- 1979 - Jesus, a film based on the Bible's Gospel of Luke, is first released in 250 theaters across the United States.
- 1982 - Campus Crusade's campus ministry sends its first team of students to the Soviet Union.
- 1988 - The first Thursday in May is officially declared the National Day of Prayer. Vonette Bright serves as co-chairwoman in its first year.
- 1989 - By the end of the 1980s, Campus Crusade is active in 93 countries.
- 1990 - Delegates from 102 countries attend New Life 2000 in Manila. During the six-month period, the gospel is shared with more than 3.3 million Filipinos.
- 1991 - Campus Crusade celebrates its 40th anniversary. Its world headquarters moves to Orlando, Florida, from California.
- 1996 - Bill Bright is awarded the $1.1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, and donates the money to promote the spiritual benefits of fasting and prayer.
- 1999 - Campus Crusade for Christ International's Lake Hart campus is dedicated in Orlando, Florida.
- 2000 - Bill Bright announces Steve Douglass, executive vice president and director of U.S. Ministries, as his successor, effective August 2001.
- 2002 - Jesus, the most watched (viewed more than 6 billion times) and translated film of all time, is translated into its 800th language.
- 2003 - Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, dies of complications from pulmonary fibrosis.
- 2006 - Led by Steve Douglass, Campus Crusade for Christ International comprises some 60 different ministries and projects in 190 countries around the world.
- 2007 - CM2007: Campus Crusade for Christ held a global college student missions conference in Busan, South Korea, from June 30 through July 5, which had around 18,000 participants from different parts of the world. The conference focused on three primary themes: Christ Magnified, Connected Movements, and Completing the Mission. CM2007
- Charter member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountablity
- Ranks #107 in fundraising efficiency among the top 200 U.S. charitable organizations, according to Forbes magazine (2007). Approximately 85% of its funds go directly to programming, and 15% to overhead expenses.
- The top salary for any Campus Crusade employee was $85,027 in the fiscal year ending August 31, 2006.
- In 1995, Campus Crusade for Christ was named the largest religious charity in the United States by U.S. News and World Report, with total annual income of $189 million dollars.
- In 2008, Chronicle of Philanthropy ranks Campus Crusade for Christ #26 in private funding in its "Annotated Chronicle of Philanthropy 400," with annual giving of $413 million dollars.
- Ranked #156 in overall efficiency among all U.S. Christian charities, according to Ministry Watch
Campus Crusade for Christ staff members raise funds for the organization to pay their salaries and ministry expenses. Salaries are not based on the position one holds in the organization, as all staff have the same base pay adjusted by tenure, life situation (single, married, children, etc.), and geographic cost of living (from CampusCrusadeforChrist.com)
Married staff members are considered a missionary team; balancing family life with ministry is a significant priority for Campus Crusade. Mothers with young children may have flexible schedules to accommodate the needs of the family. Some mothers spend a great majority of time at home, while others choose to continue their ministry at or near full-time status (from CampusCrusadeforChrist.com)
Around the world
In many parts of Europe, Campus Crusade is known as Agape Europe
The collegiate ministry is known in some parts of the world as Student Life
, New Zealand
); Campus for Christ (Canada
); or LIFE Ministry (southeast Africa).
Major ministry divisions in the U.S.
Media coverage of Campus Crusade for Christ