World Student Day
the third Friday in October
World Student Day, created by IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students), is for prayer, celebration, support, and connecting. According to IFES, "World Student Day is an annual day that unites our global movement to celebrate all that God is doing through IFES, and to pray for one another and the needs and opportunities for the coming year." Students in IFES groups around the world connect with other student groups and support each other in prayer. Groups can celebrate wherever they are, and events are also often organized. Some examples of events include prayer walks and skype calls with students in other countries. Each year there is a different prayer theme.
IFES started in 1947, when Christian student movements from ten countries around the globe came together. Today, IFES has student fellowships in more than 170 countries. IFES works to bring ministries to university campuses around the globe: they want a student witness in every university in the world, and they want students of every background, culture, and language at every campus to know Jesus as Lord.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by gathering together your Christian friends, student group, or church members in order to join in prayer. IFES suggests a few ways to pray:
- Find and connect with another student group in the world and pray for each other: IFES suggests a few ways to make this happen, such as asking international students if they can get you in touch with a student group in their country, talking to students you know who have studied abroad, or picking a country and contacting the IFES national movement to find more about student life there.
- Prayer walks: pray as you walk around campus.
- Pray with music: put on worship music; you could listen to a song in the language of another IFES group in a different country.
- Pray with resources: print off prayer cards, photos, or a map of the world to "fuel and inform" prayers.
- Pray while fasting: give up meals and pray in solidarity with Christians suffering from hunger and need.
Your group could also have a Skype call with students in another country or eat an international meal. The day's website could be checked to learn about this year's theme, to create a "prayer card," and to find information about planning a prayer meeting. You could also add your group to the IFES world prayer map. You could continue to support IFES beyond World Student Day, by donating to IFES, by subscribing to their email list, or by becoming involved with them. IFES is a non-denominational group, so any Christians can participate. If you are not a Christian and are of another religion or of no religion, you could celebrate the day by joining together with people of the same faith or beliefs, and by supporting students in some way.