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Breaking New Ground

"In the last four years, we have reached 12 campuses in three different cities. We hope in the next two years we can reach three to four new cities, which is pretty good because what that means is we will only have five cities left in Chile where there are universities but no student movements. We are very excited about this. Also, we are praying about sending people from Chile to the Southern part of Argentina to form new IFES groups. Please pray with us." Gustavo Sobarzo, General Secretary of GBUCH Chile


Goal: establish 100 new student groups in two years

Breaking New Ground is a new project to help IFES national movements expand to new cities and campuses. The focus of the project is to assist national movements to share ideas and resources with each other, and to provide seed-funding where money is a barrier to moving forward. 

We are able to offer grants of between $500 and $7,000, to help start new groups with new people. You can find out how to apply for these grants at the bottom of this page.

The different components of Breaking New Ground are: 

  • Research to assess the barriers national movements are facing in establishing work on new campuses. This will help ensure that our efforts are strategic and guided. 
  • Coaching will be given to equip and network a new generation of people with a vision to pioneer and be catalysts for pioneering in the future.
  • Funding in the form of small grants will be made available to national movements to help them establish in new cities and on new campuses. The intention of these grants is to assist with the initial pioneering work, giving the national movement time to develop a sustainable ministry model in this new field. 
  • Resources and toolkits will be developed by IFES to equip and support national movements as they plan and establish sustainable ministries. 
  • Student initiative is a priority for this project to ensure it harnesses the energy of students, and continues our focus to keep student initiative at the heart of IFES.


"IFES is a truly international network with student fellowships in 160 countries. But there are still many cities and campuses with no Christian student witness. I believe now is the time for us to push out our boundaries, to step out in faith and prayer to break new ground for the kingdom." Daniel Bourdanné, IFES General Secretary


Daniel Bourdanné (IFES General Secretary) has asked Nigel Pollock - currently the President of InterVarsity Canada - to lead a team from across IFES to champion this initiative.

"Pioneering new work has always been part of the DNA of IFES. It is rooted in a commitment to the Great Commission and sustained by a desire to see universities impacted with the gospel, students coming to living faith, and a new generation growing in Christian character and leadership. Breaking New Ground is an exciting new initiative encouraging, supporting and resourcing a new wave of pioneering around the world." Nigel Pollock, Program Director and Head Coach, Breaking New Ground


Get involved

Will you join us as we step out in faith and prayer to see 100 new student groups established in two years?

Your support of Breaking New Ground will provide seed-funding grants, training, and resources for student leaders and staff, and connect a new network of pioneers across the globe.

Give to Breaking New Ground

If your movement has materials or stories about pioneering new campuses, we would love to hear from you! Please email us on bng@ifesworld.org.

Apply for funding

In 2018, IFES awarded 67 grants to support pioneering work in 50 countries around the world. 

Applications are now closed.


Project team

Program Director and Head Coach: Nigel Pollock
Administrator: Erika McCulloch


Pioneering in practice

Latin America – reaching unreached students in Peru   

Chachapoyas is a small, remote city in the mountains of northern Peru. Its university has a small, new Christian student fellowship. They don’t have much experience or many resources. But they’ve started meeting up each week to read the Bible together – even outside if they can’t find an empty classroom. The new Chachapoyas group is being supported and trained by volunteer staff who make the 15-hour bus journey there once a month. It’s not just the staff who have a heart to pioneer here. Students from other AGEUP Peru groups have also travelled across the country to support the Chachapoyas students in getting a group off the ground, meeting new students on campus and modelling how to lead a Bible study.


EPSA – launching a student movement in Equatorial Guinea 

Equatorial Guinea is the only country in English- and Portuguese- speaking Africa without an IFES group. After praying for several months and exploring different options, momentum is finally gathering, thanks to astudent from GBUSpainand a partnership between the two movements. This studenthas spent time in Equatorial Guinea in thepast andhas been encouraging local Christian students from different churchesin Malabotostart meeting together. Later this year, GBUplansto sendthis graduateto Equatorial Guinea to spend a year investing in the new group, helping them to get established.Its exciting to see the partnership between these two Spanish-speaking countries develop.


Caribbean – pioneering schools work in Guyana  

Three years ago, a handful of people from IS/IVCF Guyana set out on their first scouting trip to Bartica. The mining town of 15,000 people lies between two large rivers. It’s not an easy place to live. Bartica struggles with problems of human trafficking, alcoholism and substance abuse. There are seven schools on the mainland and a few more in smaller nearby ‘river communities. These schools can be reached only by a boat – and the boat only goes once a week. Despite the challenges, staff are keen to pioneer here. Investing in the spiritual lives of these children will, in time, enable the ministry at the university level to flourish. The movement have the support of local pastors and headteachers to start something new. They are now praying that God would provide a staff-worker to oversee the work there this year. 

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