James and Katie Chambers
Jesus followers. Chapter planting coach. Evangelists. Equippers.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
20 million students
20 millions students in our universities are regularly taught that following Jesus diminishes their ability to think. Only 1% of the faculty at elite universities describe themselves as “born again;" more than half of all professors believe that the Bible is a book of fables. Their education actually leads most students away from the Christian faith. Only 20% of high school students who grow up in churches will still be actively involved in Christian faith at the age of thirty.
The university is changing students - away from God. What can we do?
Charles Malik, former president of the United Nations put it this way: "The university is arguably the single most important institution in the western world. Change the university and you change the world!"
We believe that truly encountering Jesus in the power of the gospel can change these students, change the campus culture, and change their lives!
This is happening on campuses all over the country, for students in the Greek system like Julia. “I joined a Group Investigating God with my sorority sister and Katie. When I read Jesus’ words in John 1 ‘Come and see!’ I felt like He was talking straight to me! I started a new life following Him. Now I’m starting a fitness non-profit and helping young girls find the love of Jesus like I did!”
How you can help
Even if you never set foot on campus, you can impact students and shape the spiritual environment on campus! Our ministry is made possible by partners who give so that we can equip students for a lifetime of Christian leadership. For '20-'21, we have a need of $24,000 in new partnership pledges.
We rely on the intercession and prayers to soften hearts, break down barriers, and open us up to the guidance of the Holy Spirit! Let us know you'd like to join our prayer team.
The task in front of us is far-reaching and we need help meeting the partners that God has prepared for us! We need Advocates who love to see connections form between people who love Jesus and want to see ministry advance. And we need Volunteers who will join us on campus in reaching and equipping students.
"I had a real solution"
We're always proud when our alumni get highlighted for following Jesus into mission!
Read all of Ely's story, featured on the national website, here.
Taking Risks for Jesus
"I remember how often we would do evangelism on campus, and Katie would challenge us to talk to complete strangers about Jesus. I would look at her like, 'Why?!? They probably aren't going to want to!'
Then one day I struck up a conversation with a student and found out that he had been looking for a Christian organization, and that he was contemplating suicide! I was shocked. This was real life for this guy and I had a real solution. From there on I saw evangelism as literally life and death."
- Ely, InterVarsity alumni
Journey to faith
The result of your partnership in words and videos...
A student shares how a Group Investigating God helped her get to know "her God."
What We Do
We plant communities of students and faculty that are transformed by the love and truth of the gospel, renew the campus through His grace, and become world changers for His mission.
Start new ministries on unreached campuses
As Chicagoland Planting Coach, Katie helps staff and students start new witnessing communities that bring the Kingdom to unreached campuses. In 2014-2015, Katie coached two successful new chapters - read more here about the impact that InterVarsity is now having at the College of Lake County. Chicagoland still has 17 unreached campuses that need witnessing communities!
Train staff and students to share the gospel
Through evangelistic speaking, workshops, modeling and doing evangelism, James and Katie equip others to share Christ with love and passion.
Find more of our resources for evangelistic equipping at
Groups Investigating God - GIGs
Start new GIG movements to reach the lost and equip students
GIGs have had amazing impact bringing non-Christians to Christ and transforming their Christian friends into passionate, prayerful evangelists in the process! As non-Christians encounter Jesus in the Bible through the discussions groups, they learn to love and trust Him for themselves. As Christians lead, they learn to pray, love & present Jesus truthfully and effectively. Learn more about GIGs, and get help starting your own, here
Ministry at Lake Forest College
Through prayer and evangelism, we birth disciples who bring Jesus to this school where faith is considered irrelevant. We help students to love God and serve His people through leading daily prayer, GIGs, campus engagement, and be equipped as leaders and disciples.
What InterVarsity has meant to me...
Words from students
"James Chambers played a key role in leading me toward salvation when I was a student at Lake Forest College. He was my first encounter with a young, passionate, and happy man of Christ."
"While I was always active in church growing up, it was not until my involvement with InterVarsity that I realized that Jesus was less about works and more about developing and cultivating a deep personal relationship with God."
"I learned from them how to minister, how to share the gospel, and how to truly love others. I now run a ministry to young girls in Malawi where I use the passion and skills that I learned in InterVarsity to change lives on a daily basis."
New ministries on unreached campuses
Katie serves at Chicagoland Chapter Planting Coach starting witnessing communities that renew the campus
College of Lake County
Seeing ministry started at CLC has long been a dream; over 17,000 students with the potential to hear and be involved in the gospel's work! Facing the typical commuter challenges of high turnover, low participation, and poor campus moral, Lara, a new IV staff, shared her vision with everyone she could find:
"You are not at CLC by accident. God wants you here! God wants to meet you and use you in your time at CLC."
Students were intrigued. So intrigued that they started coming to things - studying the Bible, inviting others, sharing the gospel on campus, reaching out to non-Christians, starting GIG, going on mission trips. Now there are over 30 students involved who are using their time at CLC to meet God and share Him!
University of Illinois Chicago
Stepping onto the UIC campus is a little taste of heaven's diversity - different races, languages, and interests all visibly present. IV started last year with three adventurous students and a gifted new staff, Jerrica. In prayer, they discerned a call to "Encounter God, Establish community, and be Equipped to extend God's love to others."
The IV group can be seen multiple times a week on the quad or student center starting conversations and praying with students. On a campus of of 27,000 students, it's hard to get known, but their creativity and consistency is gaining trust and recognition! This spring they celebrated four students who have encountered God's salvation for the first time, and have 30 students in their community extending God's love to the campus.
Katie and James Chambers
Chapter planting. Evangelism. Equipping.
Katie is a Ministry Planting Coach for Chicago area and the InterVarsity campus ministries staff at Lake Forest College, IL. While planting her first ministry in Youngstown, OH, God gave Katie the way she is to establish the culture of her ministry, “Your leadership will be based on love and prayer.” She has become a fruitful evangelist, visionary, and leader through growing vibrant witnessing communities that have transformed some of the university’s top students and athletes from non-Christian or nominal Christian to sold out followers of Christ and culture-changers.
Katie has written a series of evangelistic Bible studies called "Come & See studies" that are being used across the nation. She has lead missions trips in China, Jamaica, and urban areas, lived in Kenya, and teaches on cross-cultural competencies, evangelism, prayer, and leadership. She has a heart for prayer and intercession.
Inspired by his vision to mobilize the Church to reach the lost, James Chambers has dedicated his life to preaching the transformative power of Christ’s love to restore people to God & one another. James received a Masters in Evangelism & Leadership from Wheaton College where he has been invited back to teach. Over the past decade, James has equipped 90 missionaries to advance the Gospel all over the world, and equipped 15,000 believers to take the Gospel to one of the fastest growing mission fields- the United States of America.
James served full time for 10 years, and now part time, as an Evangelist with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, where he’s helped lead Intervarsity to historic numbers of conversions. He founded A Faith That Overflows, a ministry whose vision is to see the Church awakened and mobilized to share Jesus with Love & Passion. The Lausanne Movement founded by Billy Graham, also invited him to join their Young Leaders Gathering of emerging world Evangelism Leaders to equip the Global church in taking the Gospel to every nation over the next decade.