InterVarsity's vision is to see lives transformed, campuses renewed and world-changers developed. In New York and New Jersey, we aim to reach as many people as possible, invite all to say "yes" to Jesus, and always develop leaders.
InterVarsity's New York City Urban Project (NYCUP) develops leaders with the character and capacity to change the world. NYC is our world-class classroom to inform, inspire, and equip students to engage and act against injustice by joining God in the renewal of all things. Through our one day, week-long, and 4-6 week discipleship programs participants obtain practical steps to integrate biblical justice, stewardship and spiritual formation into their personal lives and the fabric of their campus, vocation and community around them.
The five values that guide our work are:
Whole Life Stewardship
Our time, money, resources and gifts are gifts from God that are to be stewarded for His Glory and the flourishing of all people and portion in creation.
Our justice work is rooted in scripture, compelled by God’s call for justice demonstrated through the life of Jesus, the Acts Church, and a close reading of Genesis 1-2.
Our loving service to God and His people is grounded in an ongoing, nourishing relationship with God through prayer, worship, and scripture. As Dr. Robert Mulholland says in The Deeper Journey, we are in God for the world, not in the world for God.
In words and deeds with power we bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through a holistic understanding the Gospel — creation, fall, redemption, restoration — leaders from InterVarsity's NYCUP are equipped to tell a story of freedom that they have experienced for themselves.
Romans 12 proclaims that the body of Christ is many members but ONE body. Therefore as we live out the purposes that God has called and equipped us for there should be those mentoring us, those we walk alongside and those whom we are leading. The conviction, commitment and strategic vision of Paul, the advocacy and encouragement of Barnabas and the dedication and growth of Timothy is NYCUP’s aim to develop leaders for this generation and the next.
These values are reflected in our discipleship experiences including:
- Feed 500 & Feed-a-Few
- Teach 500
- Teach Us How to Pray
- LoGOFF Movement
- Spring Break Experience
- Summer Leadership and Vocational Intern Program
Visit our Programs page to learn more.
Stories from NYCUP
Here are three REAL stories of leaders developed at NYCUP.
In 2010, Max heard about Feed 500 in partnership with the NYC Love Kitchen and Manhattan Bible Church from his pastor. He attended the workshop, received training and ideas on how to more effectively engage the homeless and began “Feed a Few” in his own neighborhood by Penn Station sharing coffee and the Gospel with about 15 homeless men per week. He was struck by the training in reaching a physical and spiritual need, linking justice and evangelism and is compelled to partner financially and offer mentorship to students. Now Max is a graduate of Hillsong College and headed to London to take leadership position in their church!
Sarah, as a freshman at Columbia came to the first Feed 500 in 2008. She met a man named Gilberto and that day she made a friend. For a year she brought him food, practiced Spanish and watched him go from the streets to a home. Now, as an executive level speech writer in midtown, she regularly seeks out those on the streets bringing those on the margins into the center of her life.
Melissa, busy with school applied to NYCUP’s Summer Immersion Program in 2010 and inspired the Hope Resource Fair – a gathering of organizations centered on providing the resources necessary for all to live at their fullest potential including healthcare, tutoring, mentoring, housing, emergency food and more to the Washington Heights and Inwood communities. Now, back at her home church she is committed to seeing the Hope Fair continue in NYC and bringing a holistic Gospel to the Chinatown community. She is now getting her MBA and focused on entrepreneurship to transform her community.
The fruits of this work are world changers planted firmly in a holistic Gospel foundation that doesn’t condemn the communities they come from but instead informs and inspires them with a truth spoken in love that invites all who hear to truly follow Jesus. Students and volunteers leave with a clear mind and a soft heart able to share the grace of God with those they meet. Thus, they multiply their small groups, engage unreached people and communities, and lead people to faith by the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you have further questions, comments or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out.
Jonathan Walton is InterVarsity's NYCUP Director and founder of the We LoGOFF Movement. Jonathan works to call students and volunteers to put their faith into concrete, sustainable, Christ-like action. He is the author of three books of poetry and short stories. The latest, "Legal: The First 21-Years". Walton is regular contributor to the Huffington Post and speaks on a variety of topics. Presently, he lives with his wife, Priscilla, in Jackson Heights and looks forward to making Queens as much like Brodnax, Virginia as possible. Walton is also available to teach poetry and spoken word workshops and guest lecture at every level (references upon request). After much prayer and consideration, Walton has made a 20-year commitment InterVarsity and to his service to God and those who have yet to know Him.
Courtney Wong is a singer/songwriter/worship leader based in New York City. She attended Columbia University, where she served as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s worship band director. Since 2009, Courtney has been serving as NYCUP’s Worship Leader for Spring Break and Summer Immersion Program. As part of NYCUP’s LoGOFF campaign, Courtney released a stop-motion video series on Youtube that explores human trafficking as it exists in 7 different countries and features her original song, “Taking a Stand.” In 2012, she released her first official music video for “Taking a Stand,” which was produced by NYCUP Alumna Gisella Gutierrez, and won the 2012 Campus MovieFest Elfenworks Social Justice Award. For her work, Courtney has been featured by World Vision and MTV! Buy Courtney’s debut album Release. Revive. Right on Time. on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play!