Learn. Partner. Journey. Together.
Crux, North Park’s discipleship cohort for first-year students, provides a deep dive into all three of the University’s distinctives: Crux is deeply Christian, relationally intercultural, and intentionally city-centered in all that we do. Open to students from all majors and church backgrounds, Crux is a community of students who follow Jesus together throughout their first year at North Park. With curricular and co-curricular elements, Crux provides a holistic approach to transformation in Christ, equipping students for a lifelong journey of faith and formation.
Discipleship Philosophy: Dynamism
The word “dynamic” is derived from the New Testament Greek word, “dunamis.” Our discipleship is meant to be as dynamic as the lifestyle that Jesus came to establish. It is rooted not in doctrinal beliefs but in real relationships and our mutual pursuit of Jesus, who came not to bolster our beliefs or create a conformist culture, but rather, to transform all life.
Because Jesus is about transformation, Crux emphasizes spiritual formation. Everything we do flows out of and back into the formation of our identity in Christ. Practically, this means the following opportunities to reflect on our formation:
- Weekly spiritual formation groups led by Seminary students
- Regular communal meals and discussions
- One-on-one mentorship
- Communal life with other Crux students
Students in each Crux Cohort take classes together, asking honest questions about the bible, the church, and the Kingdom of God, while reimagining what Christianity could look like. Teaching is collaborative and discussion-based, and classes provide interactive experiences throughout the city. Classes often fulfill general education requirements and may include:
- Kingdom Theology and Practice
- Introduction to the Bible (GE)
- Mosaic of Christian Spirituality (GE)
- Other credit-earning courses in sociology, history, philosophy, etc.
Intercultural connection with our neighbors is a vital part of Christian discipleship, which calls for restructuring relationships. Crux students commit to partner with organizations both on campus and in the city, forging relationships of mutual transformation and interdependence. Some sites where students have served include:
- Misericordia Home
- Letter-writing to people in prison
- Various tutoring sites
- By The Hand
- Open Arms Ministry
- Young Life
- Student Government Alliance
- Muslim Student Association
- Many on-campus student-led organizations and cultural clubs
Jesus led his disciples outside of socially and traditionally acceptable spaces to re-encounter the “other.” As Crux students travel around Chicago, we seek re-humanization—not only of the “other” in our lives, but of ourselves. In the process, we begin to see judgments fall away and real relationships form. Immersive experiences may include:
- Visiting churches of various theological and cultural backgrounds
- Visiting Stateville Correctional Facility
- Connecting with neighborhood community leaders
- A three-part Chicago Mosaic Experience throughout the city
- A trip to Mexico City
- Form a community of discipleship with peers on campus
- Gain valuable volunteer experience in the city
- Get involved in multiple student communities on campus
- Immerse themselves in the city of Chicago
- Learn alongside peers while earning credit toward a bachelor’s degree
- Connect with Seminary students mentors, NPU faculty, and staff
One year. Open to all first-year students, commuter and residential, athletes, all majors.
How to Apply
- Apply and be accepted to North Park University as a first-year student for fall 2023.
- Fill out and submit the Crux application online. Priority consideration will be given to those who apply by May 1, 2023; applications received after this date will continue to be reviewed as they are received.
- After your Crux application is submitted, you will receive an email with information about next steps.