Guest / Limited Access /

Campus Crusade for Christ International (CCCI) is embarking on a nine-month mission to change its name to Cru, years after its founder, Bill Bright, wondered whether the evangelistic ministry should alter the brand.

It's already a popular shorthand for the ministry, though other evangelicals often call it simply "Crusade," the half of its name that has caused it problems overseas. The word carries connotations to the Crusades, military conquests by European Christians intended to reclaim the Holy Land from Muslims in the 11th to 13th centuries.

"It's become a flash word for a lot of people. It harkens back to other periods of time and has a negative connotation for lots of people across the world, especially in the Middle East," said Steve Sellers, the CCCI vice president and U.S. national director who is leading the name change project. "In the '50s, crusade was the evangelistic term in the United States. Over time, different words take on different meanings to different groups."

The 60-year-old ministry is one of the largest evangelical parachurch organizations in the world, with about 25,000 staff members in 191 countries and $490 million in annual revenue. Founder Bill Bright always assumed it would become broader than its "campus" ministries at colleges and universities.

"There will be any number of people who will say, 'Finally, it's about time you changed your name.' On the other extreme, there might be people who have been part of the ministry who think, 'Oh, you've gone liberal. You've changed your mission,'" Sellers said. "We don't shy away from our desire to communicate the gospel."

With the name Crusade, Sellers said people might conjure images of people being forced into something.

"We think the name of Jesus and ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueWhen God’s Mercy Sounds Like Bad News
Subscriber Access Only
When God’s Mercy Sounds Like Bad News
The patience of the Lord can be a heavy burden.
RecommendedUnder DeVos, the Real School Choice Christians Face
Under DeVos, the Real School Choice Christians Face
The future of public education will depend on the church.
TrendingTrump Adviser’s Megachurch Withholds Major Donation from SBC
Trump Adviser’s Megachurch Withholds Major Donation from SBC
Prestonwood Baptist diverts denominational giving over concerns about Russell Moore’s ERLC.
Editor's PickUrban Mix-and-Match Religion Didn't Start with Nick Cannon
Urban Mix-and-Match Religion Didn't Start with Nick Cannon
Why this 'new spirituality' is really just old-fashioned syncretism.
Christianity Today
Campus Crusade Changes Name to Cru
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

July 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.