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Part of ifes

Stephen Gardiner

Position: Chairman of CUI Board
Based: Dublin
Occupation: Professor Mathematics
Studied: Queen’s University Belfast; Mathematics.

Why Stephen feels the work of the CUs is important:

Being part of a Christian Union in my student days was really formative to my Christian faith. It was there that I gained confidence in the Bible and found encouragement to share the gospel message. I believe this is a strategic ministry. The need for CUs on our campuses has never been greater, the opportunities are endless, and student leadership of CUs provides an excellent training ground for future service. CUs in Ireland are part of the wider IFES movement, which now works among students in over 150 countries.

John Kirkpatrick

Name: John Kirkpatrick
Based: Portrush
Occupation: Minister of Portrush Presbyterian Church
Studied: University of Ulster, Social Science and Queens University, Theology

Why John feels the work of the CUs is important:

The few short years of third level education provide an amazing opportunity to grow spiritually, to develop ‘Christian’ minds and equip for life. This is a most strategic time in a person’s life.

Helen McNeely

Name: Helen McNeely
Based: Belfast
Occupation: University Administrator
Studied: Roehampton University, London, Social Science.

Why Helen feels the work of the CUs is important:

CU’s are crucially important in supporting evangelism on campus. The time spent at university gives a unique opportunity to witness Jesus Christ to your peers and a strong CU is incredibly important in supporting that work. Fellowship, training, outreach and bible teaching all provide valuable tools in this work and that is why I am involved with the CUI board. It is a privilege to be part of a group guiding the work and hopefully in some small way helping support the work on campus.

Hazel Reid

Name: Hazel Reid
Based: Wexford
Occupation: Housewife & Part–time tutor in IT Carlow.
Studied: University College Dublin, Arts and Dublin Institute of Technology, Human Resources.

Why Hazel feels the work of the CUs is important:

CU is a place where the truth about Jesus is honoured and celebrated, giving students both fellowship and missional opportunities in, often, their most formative years.

Catrin Carolan

Name: Catrin Carolan
Based: Dublin
Occupation: Full–time Mum
Studied: University of Wales, Aberystwyth with one year in NUI,Galway in the middle, Celtic Studies.

Why Catrin feels the work of the CUs is important:

Your time in university is so formative; leaving home, having freedom to consider your own mind, developing habits and convictions that will shape the rest of your life. It’s such a ripe time to present the gospel to those who haven’t heard it, to those who have and are unsure where they stand, and a time of growth and refinement for those already trusting Christ. Students often have zeal and creativity, and they are the ones in the best place to reach other students with the good news of Jesus. I’m convinced of the need of CUs to be mission teams on campus, engaging with their peers with truth and passion.

Leo Hacking

Name: Leo Hacking
Position: NI Student Representative
Based: Belfast
Occupation: Medical Student 5th year
Studying: Past – Newcastle University, Microbiology & Immunology, Currently – Queens University Belfast, Medicine

Why Leo feels the work of the CUs is important:

Becoming a student is a big transition in most peoples lives due to the new found independence and opportunity to make more sense of the world around. Students often have a lot more time than those working and are often more open to ideas. So it presents a wonderful time for christian students to tell their peers about the good news of Jesus Christ. I myself came to know Christ in part from good effective student ministry. 

CUs are also vital as being a christian and coming to university can be a very vulnerable time due to the temptations and pressures from our world. It is therefore very important to have a group of christians who are clearly known on campus who can seek to support and encourage fellow believers.

Yasmin Finlay

Name: Yasmin Finlay
Position: ROI Student Representative
Based: Dublin
Occupation: Student
Studying: University College Dublin, Veterinary Medicine

Why Yasmin feels the work of the CUs is important:

I have benefited hugely from being part of a CU in University, growing in my knowledge of God’s word, my confidence in sharing my faith with others, and my desire to more fully live my life for Christ. Universities are a melting pot of ideas and opinions, and so an exciting and fruitful place to share the gospel.