Good News for the University is IFES Europe's regional ministry dedicated to the relationship between the gospel and the academic work of the university.
... a pan-European model
The pre-launch phase of Good News for the University began with our investment in the higher age-group: gathering European role models around Prof John Lennox through the FEUER Academic Speakers’ Network in 2016. Since then over 100 evangelical academics have gathered in conferences in Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain, Romania and Greece.
While the narrower focus of FEUER Academics is the public communication of the gospel through academic topics, Good News for the University has a broader foundational purpose: gradually to align undergraduate, postgraduate and career academics around a shared evangelical vision for serving God in the context of the university workplace.
So the launch of Good News for the University a few years later, through the Postgraduate Initiative, worked further upstream – not only as it includes other forms of academic outreach, but also, as we consider how to approach our academic work from a Christian worldview. For more on our mission see here.
...with institutional experience
In respect of dedicated academic ministries within or recently emerging from our own national movements, our initiative has grown in close consultation with the Institut für Glaube und Wissenschaft of Germany’s IFES movement (SMD) and with a cluster of institutions in Cambridge in connection with that of Great Britain (UCCF), where our early theological advisory meetings – The Gospel and Academia Project – were hosted by KLC and Tyndale House.
...and local grounding
The hub for most of our regular conferences is provided by Forming a Christian Mind, at the University of Cambridge, where the world’s oldest IFES-affiliated Christian student group was founded in 1877. The conference is closely tied to the Cambridge Christian Study Centre, which originated with L’Abri, and provides a base grounded in local ministry among doctoral students at one of Europe’s leading global research universities where the majority of doctoral students are internationals.
Representatives from all these partner ministries provide regular steering contribution at an advisory level, as we seek to encourage a cross-fertilisation between local, national and European ministry, held together by the common mission and values which are the focus of the initiative’s Gospel and Academia Project.
Good News for the University is coordinated on behalf of IFES Europe by Anja Lijcklama à Nijeholt.