A Christian ministry center will open later this week at Yale University where students will be able to host faith-focused activities including leadership training and prayer groups.
The facility will be operated by Christian Union, a national faith-based organization set in place at seven Ivy League universities, and will serve as the fourth ministry center at Brown, Cornell and Princeton.
"As we are growing, we need a reliable space where we can meet and host events," said Josh Ginsborg, president of Yale Faith and Action, the official undergraduate chapter of Christian Union, according to Yale Daily News. "It will be a gathering point where we can come together for Bible study or hang out at night."
The ministry center is named in honor of abolitionist James W.C. Pennington, the first African American to take classes at Yale. Organization leaders aim to promote Pennington's character of faith and leadership throughout the campus and will honor his memory at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday.
In addition to using the facility for Christian Union activities, the center will serve as a place for students to work on projects and a locale for student-led efforts that oftentimes include distributing goods to other students during "campus kindness" initiatives.
"I am very much looking forward for it to be set up since it will be a good place for students to get away from campus for a bit," said Emily Poirier, former Yale Faith and Action vice president. "It is rare at Yale to interact with professors who aren't grading you, but now you can go there and spend an hour talking and drinking coffee. … God has really blessed us in allowing us to have this space."
Chris Matthews, director of Christian Union's undergraduate ministry at Yale, noted that funds for the center were raised through private donations to Christian Union, reports the Yale Daily News. Matthews also said that ministry center leaders already have plans in mind to expand the facility's first floor into a reception venue for all Christian groups on campus.
The building that houses the ministry center is a historic venue. It was built in the 1850s and was moved on rails in the 1970s to its current location near Yale's campus.
For more information on Yale's Christion Union Ministry, visit www.christianunion.org.