Workshops will be happening in the afternoons with some of Ireland’s top thought leaders – why not take a look at which you’d like to come to? There’s plenty to choose from!
Tuesday – (1.5 hour options)
Unity in Diversity, with Dr David Montgomery (IFES Europe) We’re happy with unity, if its unity around our position! Or that’s often how CUs function or act, nevermind society. Monty, our previous CUI director, has been vocal both in the public square in society, in church life and in helping CU committees unite together in all their cultural, racial and theological differences. The workshop will be practical, challenging and uncomfortable, as we work out what a Biblical unity looks like.
Artificial Intelligence, with Dr David Glass (Ulster Uni. Jordanstown) AI is everywhere! Films; science labs; books; But what does it mean to be human? What makes us unique? And where should the boundaries or advantages be in the years to come? Join one of the leading thinkers on our island as we have some fun with this together.
Life as a Fresher (1st year), (leader tbc) FREEDOM! So you’ve just hit college? Nervous? Excited? Daunted? Unsure?! We’re here and we’re all in the same boat, so bring your questions, and let’s think through everything from study to nightlife to mission and practical tips for the years ahead.
Social Media (leader tbc) Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Facebook – you’re probably on them 10 times in a day, or your friends are! But how do we let them not control us? And how can we put them to best use to maximise our reach on campus with the good news? We’ll be working through a mini–theology of social media, and applying it to life on campus.
Environment, with Katie Lynch, Tearfund Ireland The environment shapes public conversation and increasingly lots that we do. But what is a Biblical foundation to act upon? How can we take small steps or be leaders in bringing about change that will benefit the world God has given us, and our future generations? It can be overwhelming to know where to start, but Katie will help us think through this key topic.
Doubt, (leader tbc) We all doubt. For many of its consciously, and some of us just in our heart of hearts don’t live out what we claim to profess. But is doubt the opposite of faith? What about Thomas the doubter? What can we do about doubt and could it even be a blessing to us and to others? Bring your doubts with you as we think through something that will affect us all, even if its not current!
Wednesday (1 hour options)
How to run a effective lunchtime event Good lunchtime events can get hundreds of people engaging with the good news of Jesus. But what are the key things that even small CUs can do to make this happen? Our staff have learnt the hard way, running hundreds of these, and helping CUs on various campuses figure it out.
How to run missional smallgroups Where CU smallgroups have gone missional across Europe, dozens of people have come to faith. But what does that look like? Why does it work? And when should we just leave smallgroups to churches?
How to do small CU with big challenges The vast majority of our campuses don’t have hundreds of students. So what do we do when we’ve only 5 or 10? Go to the CU down the road? Not have CU at all? We’ll see how some of our smallest CUs have actually seen the most number of people coming to faith, despite the cirucmstances!
How to reach the nations The nations are here on our doorstep, and God’s already at work amongst them. But what part can we play, regardless of our size of CU? Having your heart and your CU captured by an international vision, is a sure way to see a healthy CU, and see unreached peoples coming to know Jesus.
How to do effective personal evangelism So we’ve apathetic friends. Some even who are dead against Christianity or maybe are in another religion or way of life. Where do we go from here? And what about those on campus who don’t have Christian friends?
How to follow–up well We can run events which reach hundreds of people who don’t follow Jesus, but how can we see them taking the next steps, or even coming to faith? Follow–up is one of the key things that few of us do well.
Studying Psychology with Dr Brenda O’Connell (NUIM) Theology used to be known as queen of the sciences, but for many years since, philosophy was the key player on campuses. Now, with philosophy departments dwindling in many places, psychology is shaping so much of modern–day thinking. Dr O’Connell, herself a student through UL CU for many years, guides us in how we can engage as Christians.
Science as a Christian with Prof. Frank Peters (UCC) How do we positively think and act about science as Christians in our courses and lives? Frank is on the CUI Board, and has drawn together Christians to reach out and has seen hundreds of people engage on the topic through events and conversations in Cork. His wealth of knowledge, wisdom in how it is applied on campus, and heart for unity, will leave us with a stimulating session together.
Engaging the Arts with our artist in residence (tbc) We’re excited to have an artist in residence with us for some of EQUIP, showcasing their art, and helping us all think through what it is to live in light of a creative God. How would life be a richer experience for everyone? How would it shape CU life? How do artists deal with the challenges of employment or the culture in the art colleges? Come along to hear a professional artist who has worked with Christian students for years.
Business as Mission with local business people (Daniel Jackson – property developer – and Andrew Wallace – Valued–Business.com) Business is often a dog–eat–dog world, with people fighting up the corporate ladder. What would a Christian business person look like? And how can business play a role in God’s mission across the world? We’ll have an experienced business mind along to help you think what that might look like, whether you’re studying business, or just take an interest in general.
Coding for the Kingdom with local coder and hackathon co–ordinator (tbc) “Mathematics is neutral about God.” Or so many might think. But what would having Jesus as Lord over our computer programming and coding mean? We’ve asked a coder, and leader of several hackathons to come along and lead us, as we seek to see whether we could do more together in the future with organisations like Kingdom Code.
Making music for God with local musician (tbc) Chapel Band and the Irish Arts may be joining us for an evening, but how do we raise the next generation of Irish musicians and song–writers? What does God think of music? How can we best reflect that in our CUs and lives? We’ll be joined by a local musician who has experience in performance, songwriting and leading others in thinking through this vital topic for the church.
Thursday (1.5 hour options)
Mental Health as a Christian, with Paul Ritchie (Limerick Baptist): Mental health is a huge issue on campus. But it doesn’t just affect others. Paul was a pastor for many years in Methodist churches and now pastors Limerick Baptist, and will share of his continued struggles with mental health, in a way that will be helpful to all of us, whether we experience our own struggles, or have good friends who do. He also spends a lot of time with Limerick students, who love his honesty, passion for truth, and wisdom.
Loving our Transgender neighbour, with David Martin (ICM Dublin) How do we live as Christians in a quickly changing world? What do we speak out about? How do we love those who are broken and hurting? Many of you have said you’ve transgender friends, but don’t know what to do. Come along to discuss with someone who oozes compassion and love, as David helps us think how the Bible would have us act.
Christianity in the Public Square, with Peter Lynas (EA NI/Vineyard) Abortion. Same–sex marriage. Brexit. The world is polarised between “them” and “us” on all sorts of issues. Peter, as a lead thinker and communicator in northern press, will help us think through a different way of being an effective voice in the public square.
Graduation, with Mark Hamilton (former PSNI, Knock Presbyterian) Mark has been helping set up our graduate mentoring scheme “Cross–currents”, and is passionate to see final year students equipped to transition well into graduate life, whatever faces them. His connections to people in every profession have given him insights beyond his own decades as someone senior in the PSNI. He’ll have a few guests with him.
Clubbing & Pubbing, with Helen Blakey (CUI Connacht Staffworker) University life is dominated often by nights out, or can be. How should a Christian engage in this? Or should a Christian engage at all? And regardless of what we decide, how can we live in light of our creator God, and love our neighbour as we do so?
Reaching the “other side”, with David Burke (Church planter North Belfast) & (John D Church Planter West Belfast) Some cultures on our island are still radically segregated. They speak a different language, they play different sports, they educate separately. An east Belfast QUB graduate joins with a west Belfast father, to help us think through how we can break down barriers as CUs, and see the gospel reach all parts of our society, regardless of class or politics. They seek to help us answer why half our campuses go unreached, or why the south remains the least–reached English speaking people group in the world, despite having the north as one of the most reached.