Top Sending Campuses – UC Santa Barbara

February 23, 2015 — 1 Comment

uc santa barbaraThis is part of a series on Learning from the Top Sending Campuses in Cru.

See the intro for a full list of all the campuses profiled (and links to each). 

Quick facts on UC Santa Barbara Cru:

  • # on staff team – 16 total on staff team
  • Total Movement Size – 384 total students (in 7 different movements)
    • We have found that it’s really helpful to communicate that we are all Cru
    • Cru is 7 movements but 1 family
    • 200 students in the Cru movement
    • More people go to Epic and Destino then go to Cru
    • It’s really important for us as MTLs to be at the multiple movements things (speak at Impact meeting) – they feel valued
    • As much as we can we resource them ($), that communicates love
  • Campus Demographics:
    • 22,000 students
    • 50% white
    • 20% latino
    • 20% asian
    • 3% black
  • 10 people at Winter Conference in 2013
  • 20 students on Summer Missions in 2013
  • MTLs (team leaders): Chris Comstock and Jen Hu (both have been on staff there for 11 years and have led the team for 6 years)


2013 Sending Stats:

  • 10 interns total
    • 5 returning interns
    • 2 part time Destino
    • 1 epic intern
    • 2 Cru interns
  • 2 STINT
  • 1 staff
  • Destino (focused on Hispanic students) has only about 10 students involved but they send 8 people on SP!


I talked to Chris Comstock and asked him about how UC Santa Barbara Cru became a hotbed of sending.

  • We haven’t always been a sending campus
  • We started becoming a sending campus 5-6 years ago

How did you become a sending campus?

  • Our team is a lot of fun and we love each other and love our jobs (and students know that)
    • We try to go away for a bonding/planning time once a year
      • Beach house, etc
      • We’ve seen value in being in 1 or 2 houses together
      • Go out one night, then cook rest of meals
      • Charge staff to go
      • Sometimes before year starts, sometimes in December
  • Interning with us is a viable option for most UCSB students
    • UCSB – You have to be smart to get in, but it’s very social
    • They’re leaders but they like to play
  • They’ve seen interns grow tremendously over the past few years (and it’s attractive)
  • We’ve focused heavily on Intern development
    • We give our interns time to work through their New Staff Development curriculum
    • All the interns submit their schedules every week
      • They felt ill-equipped and didn’t know how to spend their time
      • We break down their schedule by hour (this is how many hours you need to be in dorms)
      • It’s helps w adulthood/accountability
      • That’s been the biggest help
        • Turning in schedule
        • Treat them like adults
      • A lot of them have such crappy work ethics (since this is their first job).
      • Have hard conversations:
        • Like if they don’t turn in their schedules
        • One girl prays too long or dominates conversations
        • Financial stuff
    • The interns almost form an identity of their own
      • They have an intern breakfast
      • And then senior staff just sometimes meet together
    • Senior staff make a lot of the decisions
      • Everyone plans together for 2 days, then senior staff meet for one more day to finalize
  • We give them things to own
    • Impact (Cru’s ministry focused on African American students) and AIA (athletes) are owned by interns
    • Every on our team has 2 focuses:
      • Cru movement
      • One multiple movement
    • That’s why they need structure to be able to split time
  • We talk a lot about being sent
    • At weekly meetings
    • Discipleship meetings
    • We personally challenge every student
      • Give $10 per staff to take student out to lunch/coffee
      • We speak into their life on why we think it would be strategic for them to intern
  • We send Spring Break trips overseas
    • 2 trips (25 between the two)
    • There’s a good chance if students go on Spring Break, then STINT will be on their radar
    • We have an application process for Spring Break
    • We ask our interns where they want to go (because they have a lot of pull when they say “come with me”)
  • 2 Staff (Jake and Jen) coach the STINT leaders the whole year
    • We skype them in to weekly meetings
  • Mid year conference in Spain
    • We build into spring break trip money to pay for ½ of a staff member to fly over to Spain for mid year STINT
    • Call it “partnership funds”
      • Take STINT team out to dinner
  • Our team is highly relational – and we try to stay relationally connected to those we send
    • We have two families that welcome people into their home frequently
    • We do whatever we can to help the staff moms be involved
      • Getting babysitters for stuff (on the campus)
      • Rotate between the two families’ houses for staff meetings
      • Ministry team meeting is at the senior staff’s house
  • We have the Traveling Team come in every year
  • There’s no substitute for personally knowing well the people you’re challenging to go
    • We’ve watched them grow up


What are your big takeaways from UC Santa Barbara? What was most helpful? What clarifying questions do you have?


Posts Twitter

P.S. - I'd love to connect with you on Twitter: here