Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) is the campus ministry of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), an evangelical denomination committed to the trustworthiness of the Scriptures and infinite worth of Jesus to bring about the restoration of all who trust in Him as well as the restoration of the entire world.
You may wonder why a Presbyterian ministry at Texas A&M. We want you to know our commitment is to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to serving the students at Texas A&M. Therefore, we welcome students from any and all walks of life. Students from a wide variety of church and religious backgrounds are involved here at Texas A&M. We are here for the "convinced" and the "skeptical." Present on over a hundred campuses in the United States, RUF brings to Texas A&M a heart for God and a love for the university campus. As a ministry of the PCA, we reflect the historic positions of the Church, including: the full authority, inspiration, and inerrancy of the Bible; the necessity of new life in Christ; and the task of the Church to proclaim the Gospel to all the nations and to equip believers for the work of ministry.
We are here to support students in their spiritual growth as well as their academic endeavors, not to propagate ourselves. We want to see students prepared for life beyond college, which includes their learning to live out their vocation as Christians. Practically, this means that we do not want students to sacrifice their studies (vocation) to make RUF happen. Instead we want them to learn what it looks like to serve God in their studies, in their relationships with their fellow students, and in their community.
To reach students for Christ and equip them to serve Jesus in every sphere of life.
Reaching students means proclaiming the gospel to those on the college campus who do not know Jesus. Equipping students means preparing them to serve Christ with maturity in the college world and beyond. We actually believe that the cause for both sides of our purpose is the same. That is, the Spirit working with the Word by the proclamation of the good news of Jesus. In short, the gospel both reaches and equips. In its 25 years on the Texas A&M campus, RUF has seen God work in numerous students' lives by the power of the gospel.
Who we are
Being "reformed" simply means that we hold to an historic and Protestant understanding of Christianity. Though many today would claim that truth is relative or unknowable, we believe that Christianity stands upon very clear and specific truth claims. Jesus himself said that we must believe who he claimed to be and hold to his teachings. Our ministry works to give students opportunities to wrestle with the truth of God's Word in the Bible and see that the gospel speaks to every area of life. Christianity is not intended simply to make us "better" people; the gospel makes us new people. We hope that many will come to know the One who is truth -- Jesus Christ -- and find new life in him.
Jesus said, "I am making all things new!" RUF was born out of a desire to see the church minister to the world without abandoning the campus or becoming lost in it. The university is a unique element of our society, and we must not neglect it. It is the dream of RUF to be a ministry "for our campus," not for ourselves. We believe that the gospel can change any person and any place in Christ. Therefore, our leading question is not "what kind of ministry can we be?" but rather "what kind of university can this be?" We long to see the entirety of Texas A&M (her people and institutions) transformed by the power and beauty of the presence of Christ.
The Christian faith is not something that can be lived out alone, for Christians are called to live within a very special community -- the Church. We taste the life of heaven together. We face our struggles together. This deep fellowship is rooted in the new life given to us by Christ. RUF is committed to building up and inviting people into this unique and loving community. But we know that the glory of the Church is not her people. Her glory is her Redeemer, Christ the Lord! Because Christ loved the Church, and gave himself up for her, we are then delighted to gather under her care. That is where God is at work, gathering his people, and strengthening them for work in his kingdom.
What we believe
As a ministry of the Presbyterian Church in America, RUF holds to the core beliefs of historic Christianity which motivate our heart for God and love for the university. Some of these beliefs include:
We believe in the full authority, sufficiency, and infallibility of the Bible. In an age of uncertainty and skepticism we affirm that the Scriptures truthfully tell us all that we need to know about Jesus and how we are called to live our lives in response to his gospel.
We believe that the greatest need of every human being is for new life in Jesus Christ. Although the world makes many promises of significance and security, we affirm that knowing Jesus is our only hope for life in this world and the world to come.
We believe the mission of the church is to gather people into the new community of Christ and to help them become more like Jesus. This means we are committed to communicating the message of the gospel to all people and to strengthening the faith and life of Christians through the means God has appointed.
What we do
The purpose of RUF is to build a community on the college campus that reaches students of divergent beliefs and doubts with the message of the gospel and equips them to love and serve Jesus and his church. As we shape our lives around the gospel we have the opportunity to participate in God's work of changing lives, healing our world, building community, and engaging our culture. We aim to do this by pursuing the following goals:
Growth in grace
The way in which we grow in the Christian life is the same way in which we enter it - by receiving Jesus and relying on what he has done for us by his grace. That is why we are devoted to helping one another use the means of grace God has given us to promote our growth in Christ-likeness. We affirm that deep, lasting change occurs by studying the Bible, developing a prayer life, participating in worship, and forming authentic relationships with others.
Evangelism and Missions
We believe the gospel is true, and, therefore, it cannot be kept to ourselves. We are committed to thoughtfully and respectfully communicating the gospel through the words we speak, the deeds we perform, and the community we embody so that we might give others the opportunity to discover the true story of God's grace. And since the salvation Jesus brings is comprehensive and affects the whole person, we are committed to tangibly expressing God's care for the world by seeking wholeness for the poor, justice for the oppressed, and restoration for creation.
Fellowship and service
Jesus not only calls us to follow him as individuals, but also gathers us into a community in which we learn to apply the gospel to every aspect of our lives. In our relationships with one another, we strive to reflect the countercultural values of the gospel, and as we do we provide the world around us with a glimpse of who God is and what his coming kingdom entails. In light of the fact that God calls us to himself in order to be a vehicle of blessing to others, we are committed to sacrificially serving others on our campus and in our world.
Biblical world and life view
Christianity is a way of seeing all of life. Rather than dividing the world into sacred and secular realms, we recognize that every sphere of life belongs to God and provides us with an opportunity to serve Him. We aim, therefore, to discern our unique vocation within the world and to pursue them with excellence, distinctiveness, and integrity so that our university as well as our culture might experience the renewal of the gospel.