We get asked this question all the time. Our vision is to fulfill the Great Commission through working on the UW campus. But why? Three elements make the University of Washington one of the most important places to share the good news of Jesus.
First, the college years are some of the most critical years in a person’s life. This transition into adulthood presents some of the most difficult decisions we ever make. What do I want to be? What are my gifts? Can I find something that allows me to live into my passions and make money? What will define me? Am I going to marry this person? What do I think about God? Is there a God? What is my life’s purpose? Questions like these are frequent in the mind of a college student. And the answers to these questions will change the trajectory of the rest of a person’s life.
Second, the University of Washington and city of Seattle are places of influence. UW is consistently ranked as one of the top 5 universities in the United States and top 20 in the world. As a leading research university, the University of Washington serves as the epicenter of culture formation. UW mirrors the greater Seattle area as it is drawing individuals from all around the world. More than 8,000 international students walk the University of Washington’s campus each year. This kind of diversity paired with UW’s prestigious influence results in the equipping and mobilizing of new leaders into every area of society. From agriculture to computer science, local coffee shop owners to Congress; today’s UW students are the future leaders of the world.
Finally, Seattle is the most unchurched city in the United States. Besides that, the millennial generation (today’s college student) is the most unchurched generation in US history. As the largest campus on the west coast, it is estimated that only 3-5 percent of the 45,000 Udub students are actively engaging their faith through area churches or ministries. This means the University of Washington may be one of the most unchurched campuses in the United States.