College students' missions convention draws 19,000

Posted: Friday, January 09, 2004

URBANA, Ill. (AP) Some 19,000 college students, young adults and others converged on the University of Illinois campus for five days to consider foreign missionary careers, hear inspirational speakers and study the Bible.

The event, one of the largest religious gatherings for North American college students, is held every three years by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, which has 810 chapters on U.S. campuses. It also is hosted by the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada.

InterVarsity said attendance was the most ethnically diverse since the first convention in 1948, with 39 percent of the students of nonwhite descent including international students and a record 1,074 black Americans.

Attendees were asked to sign cards pledging either openness to considering foreign missionary work or definite commitments to such careers.

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