North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Undergraduate Programs

What is CRUX?

CRUX is North Park’s one-year residential academic program designed for first-year students who want to grow in intercultural Christian discipleship through both classroom and extracurricular programming. Through CRUX, North Park University’s core values–Christian, city-centered and intercultural–will intersect in a one-year living/learning environment all while fulfilling general educational requirements.

What’s in a name?

The word CRUX is defined as the heart of an issue and refers to the most vital, basic, and core values in any discussion. The name CRUX is also synonymous with the word cross and speaks to our deep desire to lay down our lives to walk alongside students so that they might be thoroughly equipped for the life laying down work to which Jesus Christ calls all of us. We believe that the CRUX of Christian discipleship is the profound and difficult work of becoming the answer to Jesus’ final prayer that followers of Jesus “may be brought to complete unity” (John 17:20-23).

What is the mission of CRUX?

We are seeking to raise up a generation of Christian leaders who are equipped to live out the core of Jesus’ call to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbors across all well-held divides.

What does the CRUX curriculum entail?

Coursework will focus on building a biblical foundation, acquiring the necessary skills for intercultural communication and community building, and an introduction to evangelism and mission.

How is being in a cohort part of the CRUX experience?

Exploring deep formational issues of life and faith requires relationship, trust and time. The CRUX cohort provides an opportunity for individuals who are committed to intercultural Christian discipleship to build these deep relationships by living, learning and serving with one another.

What extracurricular activities do students participate in with their CRUX community?

There will be a weekly rhythm for CRUX students which will include serving with one of our community partners, participating in a discipleship small group, attending Chapel and participating in the life of a local multicultural church.

What is the living arrangement?

The CRUX cohort will live in an intercultural community with one another in one of our residential dormitories. Many Resident Assistants (RAs) that serve the CRUX community are current North Park Theological Seminary students who will also lead the weekly discipleship small groups and serve as mentors and guides within the community.

Beyond living in an intercultural community how will CRUX equip me for the work of racial reconciliation?

Over Christmas break, CRUX students participate in Sankofa, a racial reconciliation trip that concentrates on the United States Civil Rights Movement. Sankofa includes a student trip to locations that played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement and learn from those who are currently investing their lives in compassion, mercy, and justice.

Will there be an opportunity to engage in the mission of the global church?

CRUX students will join in either a domestic or international Global Partnership (GP) trip during the first few weeks of summer break. Current GP sites include India, Zambia, Mexico, South Africa, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Appalachia, Alaska, and Washington D.C.

How is CRUX different from a typical freshman experience?

CRUX students commit to living together in a residential community as well as taking the core of their coursework with one another. CRUX students will be learning together inside and outside the classroom how to become a compelling Christian community.

What type of student is a good fit for CRUX?

We recognize that living together in an intercultural community with a commitment to intentionally breaking down barriers is difficult work and we are seeking Christian students who are committed to doing this compelling work with one another. CRUX students will also have a desire to serve the city, to humbly learn from different cultures and a willingness to commit to a life of Christian discipleship.

Will it take longer to complete my undergraduate degree?

The CRUX curriculum is designed to work in conjunction with meeting General Education requirements, so students can remain on track for completing their degree.

What other courses can I take?

CRUX students fill out the remainder of their course schedule with either additional general education requirements or prerequisites necessary for the major they hope to pursue.

How does CRUX tie into North Park’s mission of Christian, city-centered, and intercultural cultural mission and values?

The beauty of CRUX is that all three of North Park’s distinctives–Christian, city-centered, and intercultural–intersect simultaneously in a one-year living-learning environment both inside and outside of the classroom.

Is tuition higher to be in the CRUX cohort?

CRUX tuition is commensurate to all of our full-time residential students. There will be an additional cost to participate in both the Sankofa and Global Partnership experiences, but we are committed to helping CRUX students fundraise for these expenses and will make scholarships available on an as needed basis.

What are the admissions requirements to be accepted into CRUX?

Enrollment in CRUX requires acceptance into North Park University as well as an essay application. Upon acceptance, the CRUX committee will evaluate applicants for readiness and overall fit. Students should remember to note their interest in CRUX when applying to North Park.