Although the need had been growing for some time, the spark to start the Urban Cross-Cultural College Consortium, or U4C, came in 2003. At that time evangelical leaders from all over the Twin Cities had gathered to plan the Ethnic Worker’s Summit, an annual conference for those who minister to new international immigrants. In their meetings they identified a growing issue here in Minnesota and throughout the world; the need for Christian leaders trained in the new paradigm of urban and cross-cultural ministry that are also equipped to reach out to new international immigrants here in Minnesota and throughout the world.
Rev. Roland Wells, senior pastor at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and director of the School of Urban Ministry, had been training Christians in urban and cross-cultural ministry since 1995 in South Minneapolis. He developed a vision for how this growing issue might be addressed . . . use the existing strengths and resources of our Christian colleges in the Twin Cities area to assemble a new kind of undergraduate degree with the mission to raise up a new kind of urban, cross-cultural leader.
With help from Harvest Now, City Sites Urban Media, Religious Information Resources and others the basic concept for U4C started to develop and take shape.
A dedicated group of visionary leaders started meeting, led by Rev. Wells, to begin the arduous task of building an undergraduate degree program through a collaboration of Christian colleges. What seems impossible for people is indeed possible with GOD! And in the spring of 2005, St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church and University of Northwestern - St.Paul were the first to join the Urban Cross-Cultural College Consortium. Not long after, Crown College joined. And in early 2006, Concordia University - St. Paul also joined U4C.