In a study room on the third floor in Parmelee Residence Hall, four Asian-American students meet for their weekly Bible study.
This is the Asian-American InterVarsity (AAIV) group, one of the five multiethnic fellowship groups at Colorado State that belong to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a nation-wide interdenominational Christian fellowship ministry.
Other groups include Black Campus Ministry (BCM), LaFe (the Latin American group), Greek InterVarsity, and InterVarsity Catalyst, the large multiethnic group combining each of the other groups. All together, their goal is to reach every corner of campus.
“I love getting to have spaces that actually acknowledge my ethnic heritage shaping my identity in Christ and how I relate to God,” said Kim Chin, the leader of the Asian American group.
According to Chin, in Asian culture, it is normal to be more hesitant when it comes to praying out loud or vocalizing your thoughts, because of a culture of perfectionism. However, with the Asian-American InterVarsity group, quieter members can feel comfortable to speak when they otherwise would not have.
“It’s about creating safe places rather than segregating,” said Tom Jennings, the leader of LaFe and Greek InterVarsity. “The Gospel is valuable, but moldable within context.”
Hannah Lewis and Kelsey Bocher, Greek Life participants, are starting the Greek Life fellowship group alongside Jennings this semester. They are anticipating the first meeting will be around the second week of October, which will be held in one of the sorority houses.
“We’re interested in Greeks coming together,” said Bocher, a sophomore human development and family studies major. “We want like-minded people to come together with a common ground.”
Jennings said that with the specific groups, InterVarsity is mindful of every group’s lifestyle. The Greek Bible studies will meet earlier in the week, before Greek students have other social commitments.
“We have no idea who is showing up,” said Lewis, a senior social work major. “We’re getting the word out by talking to friends and reaching out.”
According to the Lewis and Bocher, the mission is to create a space for every person within different contexts and to support students coming from each spectrum of campus life.
“Diversity is so important because it allows us to be in community with people different from ourselves and learn how to love each other in the midst of crossing cultures,” Chin said.
Collegian Reporter Zara DeGroot can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Zaradegroot.