As Christian Unions Ireland we celebrate the positive relationships we have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, with local churches of many denominations.
The Christian Union is not a church, and we expect all our student leaders to be involved in a local church while they attend university. In this way they can be supported by an intergenerational community while they seek to serve the CU. Students should not expect the CU to fulfil all the functions of a biblical local church. Nor should churches expect the CU to be a channel for attracting students to one particular fellowship.
Our Vision, Mission and Values statement affirms that we exist to serve the church “by training and equipping students to be members and leaders”; but also that we emphasise unity in diversity “being united in the Gospel, allowing diversity on secondary issues, and showing love in everything.”
While CUI includes students from a wide range of denominations, and indeed receives support from a very diverse group of churches, there are some churches who are particularly sympathetic to our aims and ethos, possibly through their being located near a major University, or having a large number of students in their congregation.
To local churches who want to know about the best way to support and complement the ministry of CUs on campus, we would emphasise the following:
There are many ways already in which local churches and CUI can and do work together.
CUI encourages students to be involved in a local church.
CUI, as part of our core values, emphasises partnership with the local church.
CUI trains and equips student church members for future church involvement and leadership.
CUI gives student church members unique opportunities for hands–on evangelism in an interdenominational and international context.
CUI trains students from local churches in bible–handling skills, bible study leadership, proclamation, apologetics, missions planning and participation; as well as involvement in summer teams at home and abroad, annual conferences, board and student council level.
CUI also encourages and equips students to be bold in evangelism in the hostile environment of the secular university, and offers advice and protection in the increasing number of situations where they face opposition and restrictions.
CUI staff and students have contributed to, or taken church services.
Some CUs have from time to time assisted in a ministry of a local church,
Local churches provide prayer and financial support for CUI.
Local churches have provided facilities for CUs,
Local pastors have assisted as speakers or assistant missioners at CU Missions.
Church leaders have encouraged and supported CUI Relay or staff workers.
Our Associate Staff Worker (ASW) scheme allows staff and members of local churches to give periods of time to campus ministry.
The Conference Relay Scheme (CRS) allows a Relay Worker to be shared between CUI and a local church. In this case, responsibilities and supervision are carefully arranged prior to the placement.
Local churches whose leadership are in sympathy with our Doctrinal Basis and respect our Vision, Mission, and Values are often included on some CU information sheets during Freshers’ Week or other publicity material.
CUs are free to advertise relevant training days/conferences which partner churches may be organising and which the CU leadership believe could be of help to the CU’s mission.
In the interests of maintaining our interdenominational ethos, and to avoid ill–feeling or misunderstandings among other churches, CUs are encouraged to refrain from advocating membership of one specific church over another, or speaking ill of any church.
CUs are discouraged from advertising the regular services or activities of one particular church over others, or promoting special services or events which will be in direct competition to the services or regular activities of other partner churches.
Local Church staff who wish to get involved in our campus ministry should do so through the Associate Staff Worker or Conference Relay Scheme, or at the invitation of the CUI Staff Worker.
For a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding between CUI and local churches, regarding Local Church Student Workers and CUI Staff Workers email firstname.lastname@example.org