History of Campus Crusade for Christ

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Campus Crusade for Christ is an interdenominational Christian organization, focusing on evangelism and discipleship in over 190 countries around the world. Its stated mission is "to win people to Christ, build them in their faith, and send them out to win, build and send others."

Campus Crusade was started in 1951 at the University of California, Los Angeles by Bill Bright as a ministry for college students. Campus Crusade has since expanded its focus to include adult professionals [1], families [2], athletes [3], high school students [4] and more. The World Headquarters is located in Orlando, Florida, and the current president of the organization is Steve Douglass.

Campus Crusade owns worldwide distribution rights for the 1979 film Jesus. They are also the publishers of The Four Spiritual Laws, also known as the "Knowing God Personally Booklet" [5].

In many parts of Europe, Campus Crusade is known as Agape Europe [6]. The collegiate ministry is known in some parts of the world as Student Life (Poland, New Zealand and Australia) or LIFE Ministry (southeast Africa).

The Christian Embassy is a Campus Crusade ministry with offices in a number cities around the world. Its United Nations office is accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization. Another office located in Washington, D.C., is geared towards the needs of the diplomatic community, including presidential employees, members and the staff of the United States Congress, and workers in The Pentagon. Its alleged influence among the military and in national politics has attracted attention from the media. See: Washington Post Editorial and Christian Embassy Letter to the Editor




Ministries by country


Campus for Christ (C4C) is a Campus Crusade for Christ ministry in Canada. As of 2008, Campus for Christ operates on 26 campuses. Each campus has a membership between 20 and 200 students. Many local movements are affiliated with the student body, operating as a student club. In general, decisions, planning and leadership of the movements are done by students, but C4C employs staff members who direct, assist and resource the students, as well as creating link between students from other schools. Campus for Christ seeks to fulfill the Great Commission, starting with university students. University students are the leaders and influencers of the future, making them a strategy starting place for having a greater impact in the world.



Chronology of events in Campus Crusade's history[2]:



  • 1951 - Campus Crusade for Christ is founded by Bill and Vonette Bright on the UCLA campus.
  • 1952 - The Brights accept their first six staff members.
  • 1958 - Campus Crusade becomes an international organization, forming a ministry in South Korea.
  • 1959 - By the end of the 1950s, Campus Crusade is active on 40 U.S. college campuses and in three other countries.



Campus Crusade begins new ministries to high school students, military personnel, and athletes, as well as a new prayer ministry.

  • 1962 - Campus Crusade purchases their headquarters for the next three decades at Arrowhead Springs, a resort complex in San Bernardino, California.
  • 1965 - Bill Bright writes Have you Heard of The Four Spiritual Laws?, likely the most widely distributed religious booklet in history, with more than 2.5 billion printed to date.
  • 1966 - Campus Crusade begins The Music Ministry (now called Keynote), using music to communicate the gospel around the world.
  • 1969 - By the end of the 1960s, Campus Crusade is active in 25 countries.



  • 1972 - EXPLO '72, a conference featuring evangelism and discipleship training, premiers in Dallas with 80,000 in attendance.
  • 1974 - EXPLO '74 premiers in Seoul, Korea, training 300,000 in evangelism and discipleship.
  • 1976 - "I Found It!", an evangelistic billboard/bumper sticker campaign, is launched. 85 percent of all Americans are exposed to the campaign, and by 1978 campaigns are established in more than 100 countries. As a result, more than 3.5 million people become Christians.
  • 1979 - Jesus, a film based on the Bible's Gospel of Luke, is first released in 250 theaters across the United States.



  • 1982 - Campus Crusade's campus ministry sends its first team of students to the Soviet Union.
  • 1988 - The first Thursday in May is officially declared the National Day of Prayer. Vonette Bright serves as co-chairwoman in its first year.
  • 1989 - By the end of the 1980s, Campus Crusade is active in 93 countries.
Bill Bright receives the Templeton Prize, 1996
Bill Bright receives the Templeton Prize, 1996



  • 1990 - Delegates from 102 countries attend New Life 2000 in Manila. During the six-month period, the gospel is shared with more than 3.3 million Filipinos.
  • 1991 - Campus Crusade celebrates its 40th anniversary. Its world headquarters moves to Orlando, Florida, from California.
  • 1996 - Bill Bright is awarded the $1.1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, and donates the money to promote the spiritual benefits of fasting and prayer.
  • 1999 - Campus Crusade for Christ International's Lake Hart campus is dedicated in Orlando, Florida.


  • 2000 - Bill Bright announces Steve Douglass, executive vice president and director of U.S. Ministries, as his successor, effective August 2001.
  • 2002 - Jesus, the most watched (viewed more than 6 billion times[3]) and translated film of all time, is translated into its 800th language.[4]
  • 2003 - Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, dies from complications due to pulmonary fibrosis.
  • 2006 - Led by Steve Douglass, Campus Crusade for Christ International comprises some 60 different ministries and projects in 190 countries around the world.
  • 2007 - CM2007: Campus Crusade for Christ held a global missions conference in Busan, South Korea from June 30th thru July 5th. The conference focused on three primary themes: Christ Magnified, Connected Movements, and Completing the Mission. CM2007




Staff members

Campus Crusade for Christ staff members raise funds for the organization to pay their salaries and ministry expenses. Salaries are not based on the position one holds in the organization, as all staff have the same base pay adjusted by tenure, life situation (single, married, children, etc.), and geographic cost of living (from CampusCrusadeforChrist.com).

Married staff members are considered a missionary team; balancing family life with ministry is a significant priority for Campus Crusade. Mothers with young children may have flexible schedules to accommodate the needs of the family. Some mothers spend a great majority of time at home, while others choose to continue their ministry at or near full-time status (from CampusCrusadeforChrist.com).


Significant publications


See also



  1. ^ Jesus Film Project Translation List
  2. ^ Campus Crusade for Christ Newsroom
  3. ^ PBS: The Jesus Film Project
  4. ^ The New York Times, July 22, 2003 Page 1AR, "1979 Bible Film is the Most-Watched Movie of All Time" by Franklin Foer


External links


Official sites

Around the world


Major ministry divisions in the U.S.


Media coverage of Campus Crusade for Christ

Faith (for Content):