Our Students

In Their Own Words…

RUF provided me with the community, teaching, and grace to grow—both personally and in my faith—while at SMU. There, I found much needed refuge from the scrutiny and pressure of campus life, the perspective to accept life's challenges, and the joy of deep, fulfilling friendship. It's rare in college to find a community that simultaneously welcomes you as you are and encourages you to be the best version of yourself, the you that God created you to be. RUF was that for me.

-Kate Petsche, Class of 2015

Growing up in the church, I sought out campus ministry out of habit. What I found was RUF, a community of believers that pushed my faith far past my typical routine. Through RUF, God gave me friends that challenged me and loved me in ways I had never experienced before. Every week I learned more and more about what Jesus dying for my sins truly meant. RUF showed me that it is so much more than just being a good person and going to church. My faith went from being just one aspect of my life to encompassing the whole thing. I will forever be grateful for how RUF has changed my life and continues to in ways that God has yet to reveal to me.

-Mary Paxton Gibson, Class of 2016

“RUF has given me a place to find solid Biblical teaching, accountability, and incredible friends. I came to SMU from Tampa, Florida, and I didn’t know anyone on campus. Coming to RUF that first week, I met girls who would become my very best friends. Throughout my years at SMU, RUF has been an integral part of my college experience. From weekly large group to Bible studies to Summer Conference, I have learned so much about myself and my God while sharing in memorable fellowhip. I have also found through RUF priceless mentors in my campus minister and intern, and I have relied on them countless times for their guidance and friendship. RUF has given me a place to serve, learn, and grow, and I am so thankful for this ministry.”
-Sara Reinke, Class of 2008

“When I first came to college, I had never heard of a personal relationship with Christ, much less RUF…. Thanks be to RUF for pointing me to Him. I owe a great debt to RUF, and continue to be renewed by the Gospel through this ministry.”
-Stewart Swain, Class of 2010

“Though it may sound like hyperbole, I can confidently say that discovering RUF has been the single most important event in shaping my relationship with God and, as a result, my life…. I never dreamed I would find a ministry group like RUF, but having it now has helped me see the true beauty of God’s love for me. My knowledge of Scripture has always been lacking, but through RUF God has provided a wonderful small group bible study full of friends and led by Chad, my campus minister. We can honestly discuss both problems and blessings, pray for each other, and help each other continue to grow in our knowledge and understand of God’s Word. RUF provides in the name of the Lord, and it has been without a doubt the most rewarding experience and the biggest blessing I have had in my first two years in college.”
-Chris Palmer, Class of 2014

“After graduating from high school, after being away from church and fellowship, I was worried that my spirituality was going to weaken in college because I left the spiritual support that I had for so long. I could not be more thankful for my connection with RUF at SMU. They have made me feel so comfortable and it is so nice to have come on campus and almost automatically had a group to belong to. Everyone is so welcoming, encouraging, and accommodating to the needs of a new college freshman such as myself. Now thinking back, I can’t believe that I doubted God’s providence. I am so happy that He brought me to RUF because I’ve already built great relationships and I am learning so much more about my faith.”
-Lauren Walker, Class of 2011

“RUF equips me with the opportunity to serve whether it be in Peru, taking underprivileged kids to a football game, or simply serving my friends. The teaching at RUF doesn’t merely give principles to follow, rather, it offers the fullness of who Christ is and a broader understanding of His grace. As we enjoy dinners together at the homes of church members, engage in a weekly Bible study, and pray for one another, RUF gives me a sense of community with fellow believers. Through RUF, the gospel comes to life as Christ descends to meet me in the everyday here at SMU.”
-Susan Watkins, Class of 2010

“Over this past year I have grown in a relationship with Christ in ways I never though could happen - even at times resisted from happening. It will forever amaze me how God is able to pull you out of the darkest places of your life and claim you as one of His own. It also amazes me how He is able to use broken people such as myself to bring others closer to Him. RUF has greatly enriched my spiritual growth. In the past I would resist the Christian crowd and attempt to grow in my own way. The Christian crowd to me was a crowd of perfect people that you couldn’t relate to. With RUF I have found a group I can relate to. They know what it’s like to struggle and encourage you to fight the temptations of sin through knowing and obeying Jesus Christ…. It is often mysterious the way Christ works in one’s life, but when He does you can be nothing but grateful.”
-Kevin Phillips, Class of 2010

“RUF has been an obvious blessing to me in my day-to-day life on campus. Not only has it offered me an opportunity to serve, but it’s also provided me with a great group of Christian friends, offering love and support for my daily walk and chances to minister to my friends and fraternity brothers.”
-Dawson Shamblin, Class of 2010