A typical university will have several Christian ministries represented on campus. An important question is, what makes RUF distinctive? Our distinctives are found in the following commitments:
RUF ministries are not to replace the church. We are the church going to the campus. Essential to our ministry is a commitment and accountability to the visible church. It is of first importance in our practice and teaching. The church is never seen as merely a useful means to grow, but rather it is seen as God's ordained institution by which the gospel is proclaimed and Christians become more like Christ. It is in the context of the church that all the means by which we grow are available. It is to the church that Christ has given the task of evangelism and discipleship.
At RUF we believe in having fun, but also that the quality of our fun and relationships as a group will be better, more mature, and more fulfilling when our lives are being transformed and seriously affected by a real encounter with all of God's Word. We believe that college students are ready for and interested in knowing God deeply.
The vocation of university student is just that - a university student. RUF takes that seriously and strives to equip students to be faithful and growing Christians who are conscientious in their studies. The campus is not reduced to a convenient pretext to do evangelism, but rather the place where God has providentially placed students to prepare for legitimate vocations after graduation. Christians learn, grow and reach others in the midst of this, not in spite of it. Our activities and expectations always seek to be consistent with this view.
RUF ministries will have a variety of activities on the schedule, but we do not expect everyone to be involved in everything. We have no agenda to involve students in a crush of activities, something that often burns them out. Rather, our goal is to help students become people who truly know God, and whose lives are profoundly affected because of it. This, rather than a flurry of activities, is what we believe people (especially students) need. And we believe that it is only this, more than techniques and memorized methods, which will make their life and witness more effective and authentic.
We believe in absolute truth, and we also believe the most helpful thing we can do for people is to help them learn to recognize and discover that truth themselves. We avoid giving a set of pat, canned answers. We encourage thoughtful questions and place a strong emphasis on critical thinking, learning how to interpret and understand the Bible properly, and then applying it to all of life today.