Unpacking Urbana 12

Urbana 12 Great Invitation

More than 16,000 participants at Urbana 12 were powerfully challenged with the Great Invitation of God to be actively involved in his work around the world. See the Summary Video of the conference.

“While we can’t fully comprehend the extent of the Spirit’s work among us, my sense is that this was a very special Urbana,” said InterVarsity President Alec Hill. “I suspect that twenty years from now, Urbana 12 participants will be spreading the Kingdom of God all over the globe – proclaiming the Good News, healing infirmities, fighting injustice, and discipling new believers.”

After a public call to commitment, more than 800 new believers stood with glow lights to demonstrate their new faith in Jesus.  A total of 3740 people re-commited their lives to Jesus.

The call to missional service yielded 10,000 response cards, with 6434 people deciding to lead an evangelistic Bible study with non-believers. There were 7058 commitments made to global or cross-cultural missions:

  • 4224 decisions for more than two years of missionary service
  • 3071 mid-term commitments
  • 5744 short-term commitments

One evening, 32,000 Caregiver Kits were assembled to distribute to AIDS Caregivers in three African countries. During the week, numerous innovative social enterprises were launched, and a special offering raised $800,000+ to support specific missions around the world.

Conversations overflowed at our NCF booth in the Exhibit Hall. We talked to 35 students who are interested in starting NCF ministry on their campus, and 12 who want to learn more about NCF staff, plus scores of nursing students with serious questions about how to serve the Lord in their nursing careers.

NCF staff Connie Jarlsberg and Renee Lick led seminars packed out by hundreds and hundreds of people. Renee reports, “The first afternoon of my seminar, God's Call to the Healthcare Professional, I could hardly believe my eyes. The room was full 10 minutes before we started and students were still streaming in! I found out later that 200 students were turned away after the chairs and floor spaces were all taken.”

“I am thankful to God that so many healthcare students were interested in learning how to practice healthcare as ministry,” said Renee.  “After our seminar, Dr. J. Scott Ries and I answered students’ questions and it was a joy to offer advice and pray for them. They have a deep desire to serve God and a willingness to go wherever he leads. I am thankful to see the gift of faith that God has given to students in this generation.”

Watch all the Urbana 12 videos of featured speakers, drama, testimonies and join in God’s Great Invitation.



[...] Dr. Scott Ries of CMDA and Dr. Katherine Welch, missionary to Thailand. Please read our blog post, Unpacking Urbana 12, for how students responded to God’s call to faith and committed to serve [...]

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