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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.

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.

Jim Crookes

Name: Jim Crookes
Position: Vice Chair 
Based: Belfast
Occupation: Church Leader
Studied: Queen’s University Belfast 

Martin Agnew

Name: Martin Agnew
Position: Treasurer
Occupation: Company Director
Studied: Accountancy at Ulster Polytechnic

Why Martin feels the work of the CUs is important:

The work of CU is important because the years between school and starting work are significant for spiritual formation and development.  The nature of study changes and there is space for reflection on faith and practice.  For me, these were the years when my faith became real and I experienced God at work in my own life and the lives of others around me.  The work of CU’s in encouraging prayer, study, witness and leadership is of crucial and strategic importance for the body of Christ throughout the length and breadth of this island.

Dr Ted Cox

Name: Dr Ted Cox
Occupation: Senior Lecturer Mathematics
Studied: Queen’s University Belfast; Mathematics

Claire Ebbinghaus

Name: Claire Ebbinghaus 
Occupation: Church Worker
Studied: Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh; Physiotherapy 

Professor Frank Peters

Name: Frank Peters 
Occupation: Professor Physics, UCC
Studied: McMaster University, Canada; Engineering Physics

Why Frank feels the work of the CUs is important:
Our universities are providing an excellent education, but also actively push anti–Christian philosophies such as naturalistic atheism, scientism, and secularism. A typical Christian student has not been prepared for this environment. The CUs provide a safe venue for students to learn and grow in their faith and give them opportunity to live out this faith in the university setting, while providing emotional, spiritual, and intellectual encouragement. The Christian Unions are therefore well positioned to proclaim Christ, and to shine God’s light in an otherwise hostile environment.

Gavin Rothwell

Name: Gavin Rothwell
Position: Student Representative
Studied: Trinity College Dublin; Law

Why Gavin feels the work of the CUs is important:

Having served on the Trinity College Dublin CU committee for 2 years and loved every minute of it, I have seen first hand how the work of CUs is a vital part of the calling of Christians who are in colleges and universities. The University is a time when students of all faiths and none really start to ask the big questions in life, like “what’s life all about?” or “who do I trust?”. CUs are thus in a pivotal position to provide answers to these questions, and to point people in the direction of Jesus.

Thomas Adamson

Name: Thomas Adamson 
Position: Student Representative
Location: Belfast
Studying: Queen’s University Belfast; Structural Engineering

Why Thomas feels the work of the CUs is important:
Having been on a CU committee I have witnessed first–hand the great value of having a body of students who work together to serve the Lord on campus. CU has given me and others an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of our faith and “cut our teeth” as we share these truths with many other students on campus. It is tremendously important that there is an evangelical light in all the market places of ideas across this island, insuring that the name of Jesus is lifted high during some of the most formative years of many academic’s lives.