Billy Graham Center
Archives


For Immediate Release

October 1997

Inter-Varsity Records Tell of Fifty Years of Campus Ministry

The records of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship (Inter-Varsity or IVCF), spanning its first fifty years of campus evangelism and discipling, are now open to researchers at the Archives of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. IVCF is one of several ministries working among students on secular college campuses nationwide. The completion of the arrangement and description of the records enables researchers to study the files of one of America's most enduring and influential Evangelical parachurch agencies.

The large collection of more than four hundred boxes consists of correspondence, reports, minutes, statistics, publications, missionary commitment cards, audio tapes, photographs, and promotional material. About ninety percent of the more than 150 cubic feet is now open. The files cover IVCF's history from its beginning in 1941 until 1991 and span its first five presidents, documenting IVCF's organization, details of staff and campus ministries, include the files of evangelist and author Paul Little, the triennial Urbana missionary conventions since 1946, the public relations division, Nurses Christian Fellowship, research data and manuscripts for IVCF's 1991 official history, For Christ and the University, and much more. Also revealed are the influence of Great Britain and Canada's Inter-Varsity movements which predated and contributed to the establishment of IVCF work in the U.S., and IVCF's participation with similar student movements throughout the world which comprise the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES).

"The Inter-Varsity records will become a required stop for those seeking to understand American evangelism and the landscape and dynamics of 20th century American Evangelical history," said Robert Shuster, director of the Archives. "We're expecting that the collection will get plenty of use in the coming years, both because it tells the story of an important American Evangelical institution, and because it reflects so many important changes in the church and society since 1940, especially through the universities and students which were part of those changes." It will also be of interest to IV alumni and those exploring the role of students in worldwide missions. The BGC Archives collects material on nondenominational North American Protestant efforts to spread the Christian gospel. Its more than five hundred collections include the records of mission agencies, evangelistic organizations and service associations; the private papers of missionaries and preachers; oral history interviews and the files of congresses and conferences. Anyone can use the processed collections of the Archives, including the IVCF records, and should contact the reference archivist of the BGC Archives for further information. A guide to the IVCF records is already accessible over the World Wide Web at:
http://www2.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/guides/300.htm

or through the Archives Home Page at:
http://www2.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/archhp1.html

The Billy Graham Center is located at 500 College Avenue in Wheaton, Illinois. For further information, call 630-752-5910 or use the following e-mail address: bgcarc@wheaton.edu.


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Wheaton College 2005