Minorities are flocking to multi-ethnic campus groups for Christian fellowship

September 4, 2007

The Baptist Standard posts this article “Minorities are flocking to multi-ethnic campus groups for Christian fellowship” from the Associated Baptist Press::

Anglo students continue to primarily populate college evangelical organizations, but ethnic minority students have started to join them in increasing numbers.

Two of the nation’s largest parachurch campus evangelical organizations, Campus Crusade for Christ and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, stress building ethnically diverse communities in their mission statements. And recent statistics cited in the San Francisco Chronicle and Christianity Today suggest their goals for diversity slowly are starting to become a reality.

According to InverVarsity’s annual national field report trends, membership rates have increased for African Americans, Asian Americans and Latino Americans by 3 percent, 16 percent and 22 percent, respectively, over the past five years. In the same time period, Anglo membership declined 9 percent.

… Asian-American students outnumber all other ethnic groups by a wide margin in campus evangelical groups at the University of California at Berkley and many Ivy League schools, said Rebecca Kim, author of God’s New Whiz Kids.

Kim’s research shows Yale’s chapter of Campus Crusade for Christ is 90 percent Asian-American. And even though Asian-American students account for only 40 percent of UC Berkley’s enrollment, they make up 80 percent of the campus evangelical groups.

Many parachurch organizations, including InterVarsity, have established ethnicity-specific branches to compensate for the lack of diversity within many multi-ethnic ministries.

Tommy Dyo, national director of the Epic Movement, which is Campus Crusade for Christ’s Asian-American ministry, said his organization hasn’t reached its diversity goals because it still hasn’t achieved representative population numbers on a national level. However, he said, he’s seen an attitude shift within the organization that makes reaching the goal seem feasible.

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