Inter-varsity Fellowship

This movement was founded in 1927 to further the cooperation between evangelical Christian unions in the universities and colleges of Great Britain. Four Christian unions in the teaching hospitals had united in 1873 to form the Medical Prayer Union. The Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union began in 1877 and later became affiliated to the Student Christian Movement.* In 1910 the link was broken because of the broadening outlook of the SCM. In 1919 the first annual inter-varsity conference was organized to promote evangelical and missionary activity in the colleges; the growth of this work led to the formation of the IVF.

Typical of the aims of membership of a Christian union are “to present the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ to the members of the university; to unite those who desire to serve him; and to promote the work of Home and Foreign Missions.” Groups are found also in polytechnics, colleges of education, and technical colleges. Missionary conferences are organized, and much is done among overseas students. On completing their studies, students are encouraged to join graduate fellowship groups which are located in many areas. Special interests are catered for by organizations such as the Christian Medical Fellowship and the Theological Students' Fellowship. A wide range of Christian literature is produced. The IVF is affiliated to the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students.