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Relationships with other Evangelical Agencies

This statement is from the UCCF Trust Board, on UCCF's website at http://www.uccf.org.uk/about/relating.php.

Introduction and Background

There are many agencies that take an active interest in the student world and wish to relate in some way to Christians on campus. Some of these agencies have a relatively narrow focus (e.g. those relating to a specific area of academic interest, those involved in a well defined area of mission or social concern) whilst others are engaged in student ministry in a much wider sense (e.g. local churches, other student ministries etc). Some of these agencies are very close to UCCF in terms of ethos and values while others would be clearly different to us in some way (e.g. they are tied directly to a single church or subgroup of churches, more staff led etc.).

In such a complex world many different kinds of relationships will be required and there will be no universally applicable pattern. However, this paper seeks to outline the key principles that should shape our approach. The starting point is to be crystal clear on the core vision that defines UCCF.

The Core Vision of the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship

1. Our Convictions - Committed to the Gospel

The biblical gospel is at the heart of our identity. We are united in our conviction that the historic gospel (as summarised in our Doctrinal Basis) is true and that we are called faithfully to live by it, proclaim it and defend it.

2. Our Vision - Committed to student disciple-making

Our priority is to make disciples of Jesus Christ amongst today's students. We therefore aim to help students to be:

3. Our Strategy - Committed to CUs

Our aim is to encourage the growth of witnessing communities (CU) of Christian students within the colleges and universities of Great Britain. These CUs are:

Relating to other evangelical agencies - key principles

We should always strive to maintain biblical standards of integrity, generosity and openness in our relationships with other evangelical believers. Alongside this we need to ensure that we remain clear about our own aims and faithful to our own core vision. The following principles are intended to help us to do this:

  1. It is our own core vision (see section 1), rather than the agendas of others or our reaction to those agendas, that must define and shape our work and we will work with vigour to see this vision worked out within CUs.
  2. The potential for co-operation in ministry exists only with those who uphold and proclaim the truths stated in the Doctrinal Basis.
  3. In thinking through co-operation with other evangelical agencies care should always be taken not to compromise the nature of the CU as a student society that is led by students.
  4. There may be people who, whilst having questions regarding aspects of UCCF's strategy or structures, nonetheless share our theological commitments and our commitment to student discipleship. In such cases there may be scope for some forms of co-operation (e.g. for specific events and projects).
  5. Nonetheless, those who work with a CU on an on-going basis should do so on the basis that they can gladly work within the strategy and structures of UCCF and not seek to import a different vision.
  6. In the end, a judgement will sometimes have to be made as to whether active co-operation is wise in a particular local situation. Whatever that judgement is, we at all times recognise the New Testament imperatives both to contend together for the truth of the gospel (Phil 1:27) and to rejoice whenever that gospel is proclaimed (Phil 1:15-18).