For Nursing Students
What is the relationship between NCF and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship?
Nurses Christian Fellowship is a strategic ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship that focuses on reaching nursing students and faculty. We recognize that nursing students have “one foot in school and one foot in the real world of healthcare.” Therefore the spiritual questions that nursing students ask are unique to their context. They may experience ethical dilemmas, wonder how they can integrate their faith with nursing, and desire to know how to give spiritual care. NCF also knows that when nursing students are involved in clinicals, it may be harder for them to attend other fellowship gatherings on campus at times and in locations that work best with their complicated schedules.
Because we are part of the larger family of InterVarsity, NCF students and faculty have the opportunity to be involved in InterVarsity conferences, campus fellowships, training events, and other ministry opportunities. InterVarsity also has focused ministries for art students, international students, athletes, and students in the Greek system.
I am researching NCF for a class assignment. Can you help?
A common class assignment is to research a professional nursing organization that shares your values. Thank you for choosing NCF. Please review the NCF website for more in-depth information. Below is a brief description of NCF.
NCF History and Purpose
For more than 70 years, NCF has had a vibrant and vital ministry to nurses, nursing students and educators. Find out more about the NCF history and purpose.
NCF/USA is a ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. NCF is composed of local community and campus chapters with individual members. NCF/USA is a member country of NCF International.
NCF has approximately 1500 members and is open to all nursing students, nurses and nursing faculty. Find out more about Membership benefits and fees. Become a student member today!
InterVarsity is primarily a donor-supported organization that relies on financial gifts to fund its ministry. InterVarsity is a tax-exempt organization under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. InterVarsity pledges financial accountability through our charter membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). The ECFA seal assures donors that their gifts will always be used appropriately for InterVarsity’s ministry. Find out more about InterVarsity's finances.
As one of InterVarsity’s Strategic Ministries, NCF ministry is primarily supported through the financial donations of ministry partners. All NCF staff are engaged in inviting individuals and churches to partner with NCF in its efforts to plant and grow ministry to students, nurses, and nurse educators. Funds given by these ministry partners support the national office staff, all administrative functions, resource development, and individual staff who serve in direct ministry with Journal of Christian Nursing, Missions, Student and Nurse Ministry. NCF also offers resources and products for sale via the InterVarsity Store website.
Local Community and Campus Chapters
Nurses, students, and nurse educators are encouraged to form chapters in their own communities or on their campuses. Nurses are meeting together across the USA to grow in their faith and their professional nursing roles. They also reach out to students and nurses who want to explore spirituality and discover how Christian faith can influence their nursing practice. NCF staff assist nurses to begin new ministry in their local communities. Everyone is invited to participate in local fellowships, and NCF national membership is encouraged. Find local chapter information by state on the NCF map. Learn more about starting a local student chapter or starting a nurse chapter.
NCF’s major publication, the Journal of Christian Nursing, is published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. Other resources such as Bible studies, books, and media are available on the NCF website.
Policy Issues and Legislation
NCF does not participate in lobbying for political causes or take official stands regarding healthcare policy and legislation. However, NCF keeps abreast of legal issues and government policies about assaults on religious freedom on college and university campuses and in healthcare.
NCF informs its members and constituents about the Christian perspective on current healthcare issues via the Journal of Christian Nursing, the NCF website, the Nurse’s Blog, and regular newsletters. The Journal of Christian Nursing has addressed topics such as preparation for disasters, ministering to the underserved, holistic healthcare, service learning and much more. NCF supports the “right of conscience” for healthcare workers, and NCF encourages nurses and students to connect with Freedom2Care, an organization which is active in supporting healthcare freedoms.
NCF and InterVarsity are also committed to raising awareness of social justice issues, such as human trafficking, and encouraging students and faculty and nurses to live out their Christian faith by caring for and being advocates for the poor, underserved, marginalized, and victims of social injustices in the U.S. and around the world.
InterVarsity believes that Christian ministry on university and college campuses enhances the campus environment and the lives of the students and faculty, and it actively engages with administrators to ensure that college students and faculty can gather together in Christian community on their campuses. As a result of this commitment, InterVarsity has pursued legal action against a few public universities that refused to allow religious organizations that have specific criteria for student leaders to organize on their campuses.
Click below for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about NCF.
For Student Leaders
What does an NCF chapter look like?
NCF chapters can look different based on the school context and the makeup of the student population. What they all have in common is the mission of being a community discovering what it looks like to follow Jesus in nursing. NCF chapters on campus invite all nursing students and faculty to engage with the gospel no matter where they are at in their journey with God. The chapter may be just a few students, or may include both small groups and large-group gatherings.
NCF may meet under the “umbrella” of an InterVarsity chapter on campus or may meet independently. If there is not yet an InterVarsity ministry present on campus, we encourage new chapters to gather a core group of committed students, find a faculty advisor, and pursue becoming an official campus organization.
NCF chapters seek to be “missional.” This means that the core members and leaders are students and faculty who are intentionally following Jesus and recognize his authority in their lives. They have the ability to influence others and are interested in being part of God’s mission on campus. They are looking for more than a Christian club or support group. They want to see God transform their lives and the lives of others around them.
How do we plan our time together?
Here is a suggested rhythm for NCF chapter meetings:
- The first week, hold an outreach event with a huge amount of PR and invite everyone! (Get ideas from Campus Vitals.)
- The next week, host a nursing-specific Bible study. Invite students you met at the outreach to explore God's Word together. Talk about how to apply Scripture to your life as a nursing student. Start with the "What's Vital?" Bible studies.
- The third week, hold a core group meeting where the students who are most committed to the ministry meet to evaluate, pray, plan and dream for the ministry.
- On the fourth week of the cycle, host another nursing-related Bible study.
Maximize your leadership time by planning a calendar for the year
It is frustrating to plan an activity or Bible study, only to have only one or two people show up because everyone else is studying for a big exam. Knowing your time is valuable and your schedule is busy, consider planning ahead for the year. Block out mid-terms, finals, school breaks, homecoming week, etc., to give your planning team a clearer picture of when to invest in quality meeting time.
How can we become an officially recognized campus group and affiliate with NCF?
It is important for NCF chapters to be affiliated. InterVarsity has a constitution template that we ask you to use with important points already included for you. There is an affiliation form that goes with the constitution. These documents, along with more information, can be found on our Campus Recognition pages.
Do we need officers? If so, what are their position descriptions?
You do not need to have a chapter with highly defined officer roles, but it is helpful to have a leadership team. Often chapters have a president and vice-president (or co-leaders) who plan and run the meetings and lead the Bible studies. You may also want a communications person to promote events and meetings. Decide if you want a prayer coordinator, worship leader, etc. based on what your chapter needs.
It is very important that each person on the leadership team agrees with the purpose and doctrinal basis of NCF. We ask that each leader is a growing disciple of Christ, gets along well with others, and has a desire to see others’ lives transformed through a personal relationship with Jesus. More information on leadership qualifications and an application for leadership can be found in the InterVarsity/NCF constitution. Please contact NCF for these documents.
Do we need a faculty advisor? What is their role?
Faculty advisors guide and mentor student leaders, provide continuity for chapters when students graduate, and act as a liaison with the school of nursing. Our ministry is not only for students but for faculty as well. Faculty involved with NCF can grow spiritually as they support and encourage student leadership and the ministry on campus.
If there is a question we haven’t addressed here, please email NCF.