We’re so excited for the impact Just Love could have on a generation of Christian students graduating equipped to lead and envisioned to pursue Jesus and justice with their whole lives.
The Just Love vision is hugely significant – and we believe that our carefully thought through strategy, and our highly gifted team, mean that we are well placed to deliver that vision. We want to share stories from individuals who have had their lives deeply transformed through Just Love, and you can find some of those here.
Our surveys of over 130 alumni also highlight that these stories are not one-offs – deep change runs throughout the movement.
People care more about justice
We want to inspire and release every Christian student to pursue the biblical call to social justice. On our survey we asked people whether they (strongly) agreed or disagreed with this statement – I care more about social justice as a result of Just Love. 97% agreed, and 73% strongly agreed. This is a clear indication that we are performing our essential function, and it is clear that we are also tying this passion for justice to faith. 97% agree that ‘Just Love has developed my theological understanding of social justice’ and 92% agree that ‘Just Love has helped deepen my relationship with and understanding of God’. This is really welcome news, particularly in a university context where people commonly lose their faith.
“Just Love has given me a grounding in the theology of justice and has deepened my understanding of God’s heart for justice. These two things have provided theological confidence in the prioritisation of social justice both for me personally and for the church.”
Imogen Ball, Just Love Bath alumna and Ordinand in the Church of England.
“Again and again since coming to faith, my teenage years were marked with me being told, “being a Christian is so much more than going to church on Sunday, when you make the commitment you’re agreeing to give Jesus your entire life.”
And again and again me asking, “what does that mean?”
When I got to university, I initially went on Just Love homeless outreach simply because clearly Jesus would stop and chat with people he walked past every day. Engaging with Just Love Oxford helped me to line up who I saw Jesus to be in the gospels with my own life, whilst bible studies at Just Lunch helped me to make sense of the Old Testament. When I’d read Leviticus as a teenager, I remember thinking “what is going on?” but studies on how those laws brought about justice, set radical new rhythms and prioritised community suddenly meant that the Old Testament made a lot more sense.”
Molly Kemp, Just Love Oxford alumna, now founder of a social enterprise, Eden estate team member in Bradford, and trainee teacher.
People take action
People care more about justice as a result of Just Love – and then they turn that passion into action. Since Just Love Oxford was founded in 2013, students at Just Love groups have run over 4,000 events with an aggregate attendance of over 49,000 students. They have raised over £95,000 for other charities, and given 29,000 volunteer hours in local communities. These numbers don’t fully capture some of the stories behind them, such as the setting up of a winter night shelter in Durham, or the successful refugee scholarship campaign in Cambridge. You can hear about both of those below.
As well as taking action through campaigns, volunteering and fundraising, students will often think about making changes to their consumer habits to boost ethical supply chains and move demand away from products that damage the environment or have unethical supply chains. In fact, 93% of alumni agree that Just Love has made them more likely to choose ethical products or services.
It changes the direction of their lives
The action that students take is encouraging. However, we believe that Just Love’s most significant impact will come from the alumni network. We want to release a generation who have been equipped to lead and envisioned to pursue Jesus and justice wherever they go, consuming ethically, giving generously and transforming the industries in which they work.
85% agreed that they would give more generously in future as a result of Just Love, with 50% strongly agreeing. Now future giving is a fun thing to play with. This year we hope that around 300 people will be graduating from Just Love groups – if each of those people becomes more generous to the extent that they give away an extra 1% of their income – assuming an average income of £25,000 a year for 40 years, that one year group of graduates will give away an extra 3 million pounds as a result of Just Love. That’s some serious impact. I think the future giving stuff will be big, but I think future career and influence will be bigger – 93% agree that Just Love has motivated them to pursue social justice through their career, and we’re so excited about what people are going on to do.
“As the end of university approached, I still wasn’t sure what the next step was. I knew I wanted to learn to love God and love people more, but I didn’t see a career that clearly fitted for me. So, I had a google, wrote a list of the cities named ‘top ten worst places to live in the UK’, spent some time praying and decided to move to Bradford. I’ve been here ever since I graduated. I’m part of an Eden Team – doing incarnational mission in the poorest parts of the UK. I’ve been a church intern, worked for a Christian charity, founded a social enterprise and in September will start studying for a Maths PGCE (still in Bradford).
I’m so grateful for the friendships that I have gained through Just Love. Jesus rarely (if ever) asks us to do the easy thing and I’ve been so to have people to rant to, pray with and who inspire me with stories of how God is building the Kingdom through them. I am not sure where I will be in ten years, but I know it will involve following Jesus on mission into areas of poverty, loving those society would call unlovable and a whole lot of prayer. I am so thankful for Just Love and the way it has shaped and will continue to shape this story.”
Molly Kemp, Just Love Oxford alumna
It is not just about the careers that people go on to pursue, but about their ability to lead and influence within those careers. 89% of those who were on committees, and so accessed our training and coaching, agree that Just Love has developed them as a leader, with 66% strongly agreeing.
‘Just Love also helped me realise that I wasn’t enough on my own. That for me to lead well, I needed a team around me, and I needed to be willing and able to release them to do things I could never have achieved on my own. It helped me develop facilitative leadership styles and gave me practise in creating cultures and spaces in which everyone feels able to belong and contribute their gifts’.
Neil, Just Love Cambridge alumnus, PhD student in climate change policy and technology
We have a very strong track record of changing the people we work with, and developing leaders who are set on exciting trajectories.