In 1995, CRU staff member Chuck Roeper initiated a five-day lecture series on the U-M campus called “The Veritas Forum.” Following the Veritas Forum, a few graduate students approached Chuck expressing their their interest to start a ministry at U-M specifically for graduate students. During the Winter semester of 1996, “Michigan Christian Grads” (MCGrads) began as a partnership between CRU and another Christian mission agency at U-M, The Navigators, who helped extensively with The Veritas Forum.
The first two years MCGrads existed primarily as a coed Bible Study and prayer group. The third year MCGrads participated in Rackham’s New Student Orientation (Grad Fair). As a result, MCGrads grew in number, activity and visibility on campus. These initial years were a time for trying different methods and clarifying goals. MCGrads’ core values came to be described as:
• E1: ENCOUNTER Jesus fully. (Romans 1:16)
• E2: ESTABLISH every Christian grad student in his or her faith. (Colossians 2:6-7)
• E3: EQUIP growing believers with effective ministry skills. (Ephesians 4:11)
• E4: ENTRUST maturing Christians to reproduce these distinctives around the world (2 Timothy 2:2).
Over the next five years MCGrads continued to grow and expand its ministry. A number of men’s and women’s small group Bible Studies started. The MCGrads website was designed and then redesigned a couple more times. The weekly MCGrads Group Email List started. Campus-wide and smaller departmental outreach events were sponsored. And the MCGrads weekly meeting became a regular feature, first every other week and then the following year on a weekly basis. A few years later The Navigator staff discontinued their ministry at U-M, so CRU continued the MCGrads ministry alone.
In 2009 MCGrads changed it’s name to GradCRU, helping it to be more visible as the graduate student ministry of CRU at the University of Michigan. Changes and additions continued to be made, most notably stopping the weekly meeting on campus. Chuck and Dianne continue to provide coordination for gradCRU. In 2009 Jane Girard (Yu-Chen Liu) joined them, first as an Intern and then as full-time GradCRU staff. In the Winter semester of 2013 CRU staff members Mike and Amy Gray transferred to Ann Arbor to join the GradCRU team.
We hope you will help us continue to make GradCRU history.