Culture Leadership

Why Campus Crusade changed its name

The big news, as you may have now heard, is that Campus Crusade for Christ has changed its name to Cru for our US ministries. This name change comes as we are celebrating God’s good hand on this ministry for 60 incredible years. The two-year process of seeking the Lord for a new name engaged the majority of our U.S. Staff members, many key partners and alumni, students currently involved with us, and most importantly, followers of Jesus who have never heard of us but long to make a difference with their lives.

You may have already seen some of the very positive or somewhat negative media coverage regarding this change. As a staff member who was intimately involved in this process for the past nine months, I want to let you know some of the reasoning behind this change.

  1. The problematic words in the name were Campus and Crusade. The term “Campus” has not represented the full scope of our mission for many years. We have a few dozen sub-ministries under our umbrella, and many of them don’t involve ministry on a campus.  There is a family ministry, a humanitarian ministry, a ministry to professional athletes, a workplace ministry, a military ministry and many others.  The word “Crusade” has drawn negative attention in parts of the world and among groups who associate it with Christians who forcefully push their faith on others (as in the middle-ages).  In changing the name, we didn’t set out to remove the word Christ.
  2. As an organization we have not wavered in our commitment to Jesus Christ or raising up his name – the only name that ultimately matters – among every tongue, tribe, people and nation.
  3. The majority of Christian missions organizations and most local churches do not have the name Jesus or Christ in their name. This doesn’t lessen their devotion to Christ or their effectiveness. The media bashing we have received has been accusing us of kowtowing to political correctness by dropping the name “Christ.” Let me assure you, this is completely ungrounded.
  4. Our mission remains the same: To help fulfill the Great Commission by winning, building and sending Christ-centered multiplying disciples and to give every person a chance to say YES to Jesus. It’s the same mission that God gave to Bill and Vonette Bright in 1951.
  5. We are not backing away from Jesus but rather moving toward those who need to hear the gospel, more effectively in Jesus name.

I pray it helps you to know this.  You can find much more information on our Cru FAQ site here.

Some have asked “What does Cru mean?” Well, it will mean what our volunteers, alumni and staff members live out and thus fill the meaning with. After all, what did Apple, Nike, Starbucks and Google mean before they began living out their names? Here is an excellent video that demonstrates “The Power of Words” to reshape perspective and invite engagement.



By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

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