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Late U.S. evangelist William R. Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ Late U.S. evangelist William R. Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ  

Campus Crusade for Christ adopts a more sensitive name

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

Concerned that the name Campus Crusade for Christ was acting as a barrier to outreach, the 60-year-old ministry group’s leaders announced at a conference this week that beginning in 2012 they will call their organization “Cru.”

“We’ve been having issues with two words in the name — campus and crusade,” vice president Steve Sellers told Religion News Service.

While much of the focus has been on the politically correct extrication of the Savior’s name from the title, Sellers noted that eliminating the word “Crusade” was just as important, given its historical association with violence.

“In today’s culture it carries more weight in terms of its historic meaning,” Sellers added explaining that the word, to many, has a negative connotation recalling “the days of the Crusaders and dealing with the Middle East as opposed to a positive use of the word.”

According to Steve Douglass, president of Campus Crusade for Christ, the decision to change the name was a product of a great deal of prayer and contemplation.

While Christ is no longer in the name, Jesus of Nazareth remains very much the focus.

“This decision has been saturated with prayer. We only want what God wants for us. And while we are excited about this name, we are even more excited about our renewed commitment to our mission,” Douglass said. “We believe this new name will position us to connect better with the next generation.”

Vonette Bright, who co-founded Campus Crusade for Christ with her husband Bill in 1951, noted that they had always been willing to change the name.

“From the beginning, Bill was open to changing our name. He never felt it was set in stone. In fact, he actually considered changing the name 20 or 25 years ago,” Bright said in a statement. “We want to remove any obstacle to people hearing about the most important person who ever lived — Jesus Christ.”

Select campuses across the country have already been using name Cru for years. Sellers noted that, based on research, 9 percent of Christians and 20 percent of non-Christians were turned off by the current name.

“We believe wholeheartedly that God has given us this new name,” said Steve Sellers, vice president for the U.S. for Campus Crusade for Christ. “Our team understands that our name is really for the benefit of others. Ultimately, it’s not about our name, but how we live out our mission everyday.”

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  • Dickfischer

    Could Really Unravel.  So much for the power of prayer.  Next time try common sense.

  • Liberty for All

    It’s like when they took the chicken out of KFC. They left an obscene name for a radio station.

  • daver18

    And when did Campus Crusade for Christ drop hellfire missiles on someone? And if that’s not your point then your point is irrelevant. This article is about a name change of an organization and not about hellfire missiles you imbecile!

  • mapletree

    Since the name change process was “saturated in prayer” then this must be God’s choice of a name (according to them). So if you argue that the name change choice is a bad one, then according to this logic you would be arguing with God. Go figure?

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  • PresidentItsnotmyfault

    Matthew 24:10 “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other…”

  • ofallon

    “This decision has been saturated with prayer.” More like political correctness. Renaming Campus Crusade for Christ, “Cru” is like renaming the American Red Cross “Arc” or the Salvation Army “Slarmy”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Clark/1785223171 Jasmine Clark

    sad. ccc is at my school and i went to several of their worship services, they’re a great group. why the heck are they taking “Christ” out of the name!! does that make any sense? and another thing that makes no sense is, “cru” is the replacement?? that’s not a word or an acronym, no one’s going to know what that means. oh yeah- unless they stop and think for a moment, theyn they will realize it is short for CRUSADE. yep, the very word they claimed was too offensive. how in the world does it make sense to replace an “offensive” word with… another form of itself??!

    i don’t know if the CCC at my school will change the name but if they do, that’s it, i’m not going to any more services. who cares.

    why couldn’t they name it “campus [something else” for Christ?” or, “students for Christ” or something. “cru” is so stupid…

  • mapletree

    I’m always suspicious when someone said God told them to do anything, especially when they say the decision was made after being “saturated in prayer”. Why not just change your name because you want to and then go about doing your good deeds?

  • Rocketman

    Here we go bastardizing the English language again.
    The word “crusade” means just that, not THE Crusades. Besides, educated people know what THE Crusades were all about – Muslim aggression and the denial of Christians to visit THEIR Holy Land.

    I don’t know who those Cru wimps are, but I sure got my fill of proselytizers on the University Mall.

    ~(Ä)~