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Bill and Vonette Bright
Bill Bright gets a hug from his wife, Vonette, after receiving the 1996 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion on March 6, 1996. (AP Images/Marty Lederhandler)

Campus Crusade for Christ in the U.S. is changing its name to Cru. The new name will be adopted in early 2012. The U.S. ministry hopes the new name will overcome existing barriers and perceptions inherent in the original name.

"From the beginning, Bill (Bright) was open to changing our name. He never felt it was set in stone. In fact, he actually considered changing the name 20 or 25 years ago," says Vonette Bright, who co-founded Campus Crusade for Christ with her husband. "We want to remove any obstacle to people hearing about the most important person who ever lived—Jesus Christ."

The new name and identity was unveiled to 5,000 staff Tuesday who were gathered at the ministry's biennial U.S. staff conference in Ft. Collins, Colo. The news was met with enthusiasm and excitement.

"Our leadership team and board of directors are united in their belief that this is the right time to embrace a new name, and that this name meets our objective of achieving a greater level of effectiveness in ministry," says Steve Douglass, president of Campus Crusade for Christ. "This decision has been saturated with prayer. We only want what God wants for us. And while we are excited about this name, we are even more excited about our renewed commitment to our mission. We believe this new name will position us to connect better with the next generation."

The name, selected from a pool of 1,600 potential names, has a track record within Campus Crusade for Christ. Since the mid-1990s, it has been used locally on the majority of their U.S. campus ministries.

"We believe wholeheartedly that God has given us this new name," says Steve Sellers, vice president for the U.S. for Campus Crusade for Christ. "Our team understands that our name is really for the benefit of others. Ultimately, it's not about our name, but how we live out our mission everyday."

Campus Crusade for Christ is a worldwide, interdenominational Christian evangelism and discipleship organization, founded by Bill and Vonette Bright in 1951. Since its founding, Campus Crusade for Christ has become one of the largest Christian organizations in the world. Campus Crusade currently is served by more than 25,000 full-time and part-time team members in 191 countries around the world and is comprised of 29 different ministries.


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