Artists have been, are currently, and will continue shaping and influencing our society in unprecedented ways—but who is influencing their souls to match the beauty of the craft they produce? InterVarsity Arts Ministry is committed to developing serious artists with serious faith to lead witnessing communities inside their department or arts school. Our calling is to go to top arts schools and programs in the country and train a new generation of arts leaders. The legacy of InterVarsity Arts Ministry will be artists who discover in college how God can use their creative gifts and then go on to be influential leaders in the arts world.
Would you consider a financial gift to partner with InterVarsity Arts Ministry in its five-year plan to expand its reach to more arts schools and student artists? The plan includes planting new arts chapters, continuing to build effective arts fellowships, and recruiting and training a new generation of committed arts leaders to establish Christ-centered communities in their art departments.
The arts shape culture. They do so in unprecedented ways. Today, a new generation of Christian artists are attending universities across the country to study and develop their creative gifts in dance, architecture, media, music, fine arts, design, and fashion. While these institutions of higher learning offer excellent technical training, they are often spiritually bankrupt. In this climate, many arts students have no connection with Christian community. Students who enter college as followers of Jesus easily abandon their faith. Non-Christian students might go through their college years never once hearing of the grace and goodness of Jesus. As a result, the moral confusion and sinful lifestyles that happen when God’s good gifts are distorted become the norm among arts students. Christian arts faculty also face personal and academic challenges, and need encouragement and supportive communities.
InterVarsity Arts Ministry is meeting these needs by:
• building genuine Christ-centered communities where arts students and Faculty can fellowship
• bringing students together to study what the Scripture says about the arts and faith
• providing spiritual and leadership development
• teaching a strong biblical and kingdom worldview
• training students to reach out to art departments in creative and contextualized ways
At Weber State University in Utah, Eileen a dancer wanted to share her faith with others in her program but wasn’t sure how. With coaching from an Arts Ministry staff member, she invited classmates to sign up for mini massage practice sessions being offered by physical therapy students and then walked around and asked fellow dancers if she could pray for their spiritual needs and concerns while their bodies were being worked on. Two weeks later, she invited classmates to a Bible study, and 10 dancers showed up!
And at the Manhattan School of Music, InterVarsity Arts Ministry students requested a meeting with the president to see if he would allow them to be a recognized student group on campus, even though MSM doesn’t allow religious groups to register. They were able to meet with—and pray for—him and later received a grateful letter inviting them to apply for student organizational status. Additionally, the Story Project mural, a resource created by a group of artists to aid Christian artists in engaging their peers in spiritual conversations, is being displayed in the lobbies of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Art Center in Pasadena, and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Students and professors who normally wouldn’t stop at a religious group’s info table have paused to look at this mural and then asked, “What is this?” That question has opened the door for InterVarsity students to talk with them about Jesus and faith.
We envision artists becoming a prophetic presence within and outside the Christian community—voices that transcend academic walls and cultural chasms, and artists who hear the hearts of people and respond with the heart of God. To meet this need, InterVarsity Arts Ministry must go to a new level of leadership training and resource development.
For a detailed giving plan download the case below.