Student Volunteer Movement

December 27 to January I, 1948, was the time for the quadrennial conference of the Student Volunteer Movement. It was on the campus of Kansas University and was attended by 2,000 delegates from the United States and Canada, representing 35 denominations and 500 colleges and universities. The conference theme was "Exploring Christian Frontiers."

By L. A, SKINNER, Associate Secretary of the M.V. Department

December 27 to January I, 1948, was the time for the quadrennial conference of the Student Volunteer Movement. It was on the campus of Kansas University and was attended by 2,000 delegates from the United States and Canada, representing 35 denominations and 500 colleges and universities. The conference theme was "Exploring Christian Frontiers."

This organization, with headquarters in New York, has units on the campuses of colleges in all parts of the world. Dr. John R. Mott and Dr. Robert E. Speer launched this youth move­ment about 1886. Foreign missions were prom­inent, and their objective was "The Gospel to All the World in This Generation."

In the first decade of this century, and later, our own colleges organized units and sent rep­resentatives to the quadrennial conventions. Some who attended the early conferences were M. E. Kern, Newton Evans, Mrs. Matilda E. Andross.

At this latest conference there were some for­eign missionaries present, and this theme was touched upon, but the evangelistic approach was missing. There was much discussion of so­cial reform, our Government's attitude toward China, the European recovery plan of Secretary Marshall, and the ecumenical church. The sec­ond coming of Christ was not mentioned. Mod­ernistic interpretations seemed to be taken for granted.

Among the delegates were many very earnest Christian young people. I had the opportunity of personal discussion with quite a number who were more interested in evangelism than poli­tics. This sentiment broke out in a leader's meeting attended by student and adult group leaders. About a score rose to protest the gen­eral trend of the conference, and called for a more spiritual worship and a more practical approach to the spread of Christianity on the campuses and farther afield.

This uprising had its effect, and the conclud­ing two days were devoted to a serious study of the responsibility of Christian youth to the present world situation.

Every college campus today has on it a small but earnest evangelical Christian group. Among them there must be those who would accept this third angel's message which gives meaning and direction to evangelism. What a challenge to our churches and M.V. Societies in areas where these colleges are located!


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By L. A, SKINNER, Associate Secretary of the M.V. Department

May 1948

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