GRADUATE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
Graduate Christian Fellowship is a campus ministry for graduate and professional students at the University of Washington.
Whether you’re a new or current grad student, we’d love to meet you!
Welcome to Seattle and to the University of Washington! As a community of Christian graduate students at the UW, we’d love to meet you.
Everyone knows that you need brains and emotional brawn to be able to survive grad school, but a lesser known but equally important fact is that you need community. And if you’re a Christian, you need Christian community. As Christians who can relate to what you face in the lab, library and classroom, we’d love to walk with you through these years of grad school.
How can you get involved with Graduate Christian Fellowship?
Have our pastoral staff take you out to coffee.
Join a small group.
Attend an event.
Sign up for our mailing list. (Click here or send your email to and ask to be added to the mailing list)
Ask to join our private Facebook group, which is where we do most of our communicating about events and activities.
Please don’t hesitate to email us if you have questions about who we are, what we do, or why we meet. We are excited that you are here and we hope to have the opportunity to get to know you. God’s peace to you as you begin your journey through grad school.
On Thursday nights we gather as a whole community and enjoy a meal, time of learning and small groups.
During this time of pandemic, we're meeting online at 7 P.M.
This is a great time to connect with academic peers and join in conversations about faith and theology.
GRAD BOOK GROUPS
The GCF community loves to read...we are all academics after all.
Christian Essentials Book Group
This book group meets quarterly and is a group for lifelong Christians, new believers, and seekers alike who want to explore or rediscover the core beliefs of Christianity. We will use the book Simply Christian by NT Wright.
Grad Faculty Book Group
Throughout the academic year, faculty and students meet on campus bi-weekly for lunch and discussion of a wide range of topics. To receive updates about this group, join the listserv.
THE KUYPER FELLOWS PROGRAM
One of GCF’s newer offerings is a fellows program designed for University of Washington graduate students. It’s called the Kuyper Fellows Program, after the 19th century Dutch theologian, statesman and founder of the Free University of Amsterdam, Abraham Kuyper, who once wrote:
Whatever man may stand, whatever he may do, to whatever he may apply his hand – in agriculture, in commerce, and in industry, or his mind, in the world of art, and science – he is, in whatsoever it may be, constantly standing before the face of God. He is employed in the service of his God. He has strictly to obey his God. And above all, he has to aim at the glory of his God.
Because we believe that we are “employed in the service” of God and are called to always “aim at the glory” of God, we want to help students think well about what that looks like in the context of academia. This fellows program is designed to help students dig deeply into questions like the following:
What is the purpose of higher education?
What does it mean to be a Christian academic?
What are the justice issues involved in higher education?
How should my Christian faith affect my research and teaching?
How do I navigate university culture as a Christian?
The fellows program consists of monthly half-day gatherings in which we discuss previously assigned readings that focus on questions like those above. In addition, each student is matched with a faculty mentor who serves as a sounding board and guide through the year of the student’s involvement in the program. And finally, each student in the program is asked to produce a work (talk, written piece, or other medium) in which they reflect on the relationship between their faith and their academic work.
If this program sounds like it might be for you, keep reading to get more of the specifics and then fill out this application. This first year, we intend to accept up to six students into the program. Priority will be given to students who are further along in their graduate studies because we want as many students as possible to participate before they graduate. So, if you are not accepted this year, please apply again!
What sort of time commitment will the program require?
We are well aware that graduate students are busy people. For that reason, we intend to keep the reading list manageable. Students can expect to spend an hour or two each week on the readings, in addition to the once monthly half-day meeting.
Can I participate if I’m not a PhD track student?
The program is geared toward those students for whom a career in the academy is the goal. For that reason, we will give priority to PhD track students. However, if you’re pursuing another degree and are still interested in the program, please do apply.
Our Vision, Mission, and Beliefs
Our Vision is to see graduate and professional students shaped by the Gospel and renewing the campus and the world for God.
Our Mission is to build a witnessing community of graduate and professional students who study, worship, pray, play and serve together.
Along with believers around the world, we hold to the Christian faith as it is succinctly and eloquently expressed in the Apostles Creed.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus, Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Ashley Van Dragt
After completing seminary and a brief pastoring stint in Ann Arbor, MI, Ashley and her husband, Geoff (below), moved to Seattle to plant a campus ministry. Along with pastoring the campus ministry, Ashley and Geoff are raising their two sons, some ducks and chickens and now a new church community.
Geoff Van Dragt
After several years living and working in Latin America, Geoff attended seminary, leaving with a Master of Divinity degree and a wife (Ashley). He’s been in Seattle since 2011, doing campus ministry and learning the culture of the PNW. Geoff has no hobbies because he has two young sons.
Calvin calls both Chicago, IL and Taipei, Taiwan home. Before seminary in Vancouver, BC, he briefly attempted to become an opera singer then worked in campus ministry with undergrads in Madison, WI. He enjoys volleyball, cooking, and being snobby about coffee and tea.