CRUX: an intentional, transformational learning cohort where first-year students, residential and commuters, will experience Christ formed in them and participate in the revealed and unfolding Kingdom of God.

One Year. Learn and Grow Together!

As a CRUX student, you will grow in your identity in Christ, increase your knowledge of the city around you, and discover your unique place within the world through GE credited courses, co-curricular community development, mentorship, and practical discipleship regardless of church tradition. NPU core values and distinctives — Christian, intercultural, and city-centered — come together in this intentional program to pursue Jesus. For a full academic year, CRUX students are led by NPU faculty, staff, and previous CRUX cohorts to deepen their formation as followers of Jesus Christ, broaden an understanding of the Kingdom of God, and engage in the city of Chicago.

Serving God and the City

As part of North Park’s guiding educational philosophy—that Chicago is our classroom—CRUX puts learning and faith into practice through first-year experience. On and off campus, students deepen their Christian identities through academic, spiritual, and creative formation. All the while, they are earning credits in North Park’s general education curriculum.

CRUX Students

  • Live together in an intercultural environment
  • Immerse themselves into Chicago
  • Serve with Urban Outreach partners
  • Prepare for work and ministry
  • Learn alongside peers while earning credit towards a bachelor’s degree
  • Connect with Seminary student mentors
  • Explore calling and vocation

About the Name

A synonym for the word CRUX is “essential” – the CRUX of the matter. At North Park, we believe that following Christ is essential for your identity, key relationships, purpose, and service.

About the Mission

CRUX creates a space to learn in an active, intercultural, city-centered, and Christian discipleship community.

How to Apply

  1. Apply and be accepted to North Park University as a first-year student for Fall 2021.
  2. Fill out and submit the CRUX Application online. Priority consideration will be given to those who apply by May 1, 2021; applications received after this date will continue to be reviewed as they are received.
  3. After your CRUX Application is submitted, you will receive an e-mail with more information about next steps.

Apply to North Park Apply to CRUX

Students share their CRUX experiences.

“CRUX has been such a joy to experience life alongside these men and women who share a deep love for our divine creator. Eight very different people, moving towards a common goal: to grow together inside and outside of the classroom.” —Megan Hamilton

“CRUX is a life-changing community that has supported me as I wrestle through some hard things. The tools taught in CRUX have made a huge difference in my life and the lives of everyone else in CRUX.” —Bailey Haveman

“CRUX has been very enjoyable to grow in spirit and to make some life-long friends.  I am astonished on how I have grown in faith, trusting God more, and how happy I am for the other people around me, and what they have done.” —Noah Whitney

“CRUX has changed the way I look at the Kingdom of God and those around me. I love getting to experience Jesus in ways I had never imagined.” —Matti Zander

“CRUX pushes the boundaries of what you think you know and exposes you to unfamiliar perspectives pertaining to a multitude of topics. It’s unpredictable.” —Torie Shi

“CRUX is an intentional community that is uniquely shaped by the members within. CRUX helps you navigate the important questions in life as well as offer mentorship, accountability, and a positive environment that is needed in your first year of college.” —JDrew McGovern

“I love CRUX because it pushes me out of my comfort zone and helps me to grow in my faith. CRUX has opened my eyes to a new perspective on the world and the Kingdom of God.” —Hallie Olson

“CRUX helps you see God in so many different ways and perspectives. That can be challenging yet amazing! It makes it worth the while!” —Kayla Sutton

Getting Started With North Park University

Finding your fit at North Park is straightforward, and we’ll be here to help you along the way. Here are the three most important steps.


We admit students on a rolling basis, so it’s never too early (or too late) to start your application.

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Find out if North Park is the right fit for you by coming for an individual visit, joining us for a NPU Preview Day event, or attending one of our many special events throughout the school year.

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Determine Your Cost

Keeping college affordable is as important to us as our expert faculty, vibrant community life, and student success. Use our tools for a basic estimate, including scholarships and financial aid options.

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