Baptist Student Union

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File:Raleigh Baptist Student Union Logo.jpg
Baptist Student Union Logo. The inward arrows represent the support individuals receive from the group; the outward arrows represent community involvement.

The Baptist Student Union (BSU) is the traditional name of a college-level organization that can be found on many college campuses in the United States and Canada. As the term BSU became associated with other organizations, many local ministries changed their name. In areas where Baptists are strongly and positively recognized, the organization is now commonly known as Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCMs). In other areas of the country they are known as Christian Challenge, Christian Student Ministries or other similar names. Whatever they are called, these ministries are groups of students, faculty members and staff who are seeking to grow in their faith and to reach the world. Nationally, these groups are predominantly composed of Baptists and Southern Baptists, but are also open to people of other Christian denominations, as well as those who profess other religious ties or who profess none at all. In some areas of the country, however, there are more participants from other backgrounds than from the Baptist traditions.

The BSU/BCM/etc. is supervised by state-level Baptist organizations (known as conventions), which is why they possess the Baptist moniker. In areas where the state convention is financially strong, the BSU/BCM/etc. is usually financially sponsored by that convention. In other areas of the country, the ministry staff raise their own financial support for their salaries and the programs they operate. Regardless of funding, BSU/BCM/etc is geared toward reaching out to their campus communities in service and in love for the cause of Christ.

Most BSU/BCM groups have some set meeting place on their campus, although some have separate property on or near campus that is easily accessible to all students. Besides hosting events they sponsor themselves, these organizations are known to host campus- and student-led events as a part of their outreach including bible studies, retreats and mission trips.

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