From the cliffs we climb to the rivers we raft, we help people pursue real relationships with God and others.
We believe this is our greatest adventure and our greatest reward.
What We Do
Our method is experiential learning. As opposed to a lecture or letting mountains speak for themselves, we intentionally use the activity to draw parallels and make the experience stick. We learn together in a grace-filled community, the truth of God and His Word being our guide.
A Lifelines experience has three significant elements: community, activity and content. While most involve outdoor adventure, we also do many of them indoors or on your campus green.
- Intimacy- With God and man
- Risk- Faith risks for the kingdom
- Ownership- Everyone owns, not rents
- Teams- Power is multiplied through numbers
- Process- Life is process: both Christian growth and coming to Christ are processes
Who We Are
We value adventure, experience, connection and authenticity. These ideals permeate everything we do.
Lifelines is part of the interdenominational Christian ministry called Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), which has a presence on more than 1,100 campuses in the United States. Our purpose is to use the outdoors to help people grow in relationship with God, in relationships with each other, in character and in leadership. Our main audience is college students, though we also take high school students, faculty and Cru staff members on trips.
How We Started
Lifelines began in 1998 with a group of friends, a stash of outdoor gear and a hunch. They believed at a gut level that outdoor adventure would help people form real relationships with God and others.
They had already seen it happen, on several hiking and whitewater rafting trips. Students in the Northeast would not always come to a Christian meeting, but they would come outdoors. The love of adventure and experience was contagious—and kept spreading.
Soon they bought more gear, got professional outdoor training. They named it Lifelines, because a lifeline is what one holds to save their life. This lifeline would be for all students.
The effort grew and they launched the first summer mission in 1999. Soon more staff joined and they started more teams and expeditions, from the Rocky Mountains to Patagonia.
Today, the movement continues. From the high desert of Bend to the Blue Ridge Mountains, adventure, experience, authenticity and connection are the rally cry for dozens of Lifelines staff, reps and volunteers. What began as a hunch is now a reality.
New Zealand Partnership
During the spring semester of 2017, Lifelines sent a team of staff members to New Zealand to partner with the Cru campus ministry team there (called Tandem) and train people in outdoor ministry. Based out of Dunedin and Otago University, they spent more than three months working shoulder to shoulder with Kiwi staff members doing various outreaches and leading outdoor trips with college students, including rock climbing and hiking. They trained several Kiwis in outdoor ministry, and the partnership continues to grow. Lifelines plans to send more teams there in the future, as soon as January 2018.
National Leadership Team
We are so excited by your interest to join with us in any way you can! There are a variety of important ways to partner with us in using the outdoors to reach students with the Gospel. These range from being a prayer and financial partner, to volunteering with one of our teams in the field, all the way to becoming a full time staff member with us. All of these are vital to the continued success of our ministry, and we’d love to have you be a part of our team in any way that you can!
You can explore all of these options.
Every day can be an exciting adventure for the Christian who knows the reality of being filled with the Holy Spirit and who lives constantly, moment by moment, under His gracious direction.
— Dr. Bill Bright —
They say the first step in every journey is always the hardest. Well, Lifelines helped me take my first step. If you had asked me what my plans were last semester, I would have told you I was transferring. Now I have my place at UVA. You see, meeting this group, meeting Lifelines, has introduced me to a new world. The Christian community here can only be described with one word: love. These are the kinds of people who never meet you once. You are never just a familiar face or a simple acquaintance. From the first time you meet, you are a friend.
Lifelines is an innovative approach to personal and team development. I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in growing in character and leadership.
Lifelines does an incredible job of bringing the learning environment to a new level. The intentional and challenging outdoor experience coupled with thought provoking discussion was a powerful combination. It was a tremendous aid in brining participants to significant discussion and points of learning. In addition it provided a common experience that bonded the group, enabling a deeper connection. All this added together to be a fantastic learning experience that I would highly recommend.
Though challenging at times, my day with Lifelines was both very enjoyable and invaluable. I was impressed at how professional the Lifelines team was and how well they created an environment that surfaced some growth issues in my life that I was able to process with my peers in a manner that felt neither forced, nor crafted. I hope to have them come to our campus soon. They really are equipped to help our students experience the gospel and develop as leaders in ways we are not able to.