'Good News for the University' is IFES Europe's emerging initiative for doctoral and Masters students, comprising a series of partnerships arising from existing European ministries at grass-roots, national and regional levels within the IFES family.
... a pan-European model
As a special partnership between regional and national administrations, our model and seedbed has been the FEUER Academic Speakers' Network. Headed by Prof John Lennox, and under the overall FEUER oversight of Lindsay Brown, it is located organically within IFES Europe. Over the past four years it has gathered academics from around 25 countries, meeting in Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain and Romania respectively. While the focus of FEUER Academics is the public communication of the gospel, Good News for the University has a broader foundational purpose for postgraduates - not only as it includes other forms of academic outreach, but also, further upstream, as we consider how to approach our academic work from a Christian worldview. For more on our mission see here.
...with institutional experience
In respect of dedicated academic ministries within or recently emerging from our own national movements, our initiative has grown in close consultation with the Institut für Glaube und Wissenschaft of Germany's IFES movement (SMD) and with a cluster of institutions in Cambridge in connection with that of Great Britain (UCCF), where our early theological advisory meetings - the Gospel and Academia Project - were hosted by KLICE and Tyndale House.
...and local grounding
The hub for most of our regular conferences is provided by Forming a Christian Mind, at the University of Cambridge, where the world's oldest IFES-affiliated Christian student group was founded in 1877. This provides a base grounded in local ministry among doctoral students at a major research university where the majority of doctoral students are internationals. Summer gatherings will take place elsewhere - 2020's planned weekend in Germany was postponed due to CV19.
Representatives from all these partner ministries provide regular steering contribution at an advisory level, as we seek to encourage a cross-fertilisation between local, national and European ministry, held together by the common mission and values which are the focus of the initiative's Gospel and Academia Project.