Join students and churches around the world in February each year to mark the Universal Day of Prayer for Students (UDPS) or 'Student Sunday'.
The Universal Day of Prayer for Students (UDPS) is coordinated by the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), and has been celebrated since 1898, making it one of the oldest ecumenical days of prayer. It is marked on the third Sunday of February every year, serving as a tangible sign of our common life, connecting student movements and WSCF friends across the world.
Student Sunday is a great opportunity to pray for Britain's student population, whether you have students in your church or not.
At SCM, we celebrate Student Sunday every year and invite all our members and supporters to unite in prayer for the world, the church, students, and WSCF. Student Sunday is normally celebrated in mid-February, but some churches choose an alternate date that is more convenient for their community. In 2023, Student Sunday was held on Sunday 19 February. If you missed it, you can still hold a Student Sunday, just on a Sunday of your choice!
To help you mark the occasion, we are creating some resources for you to use, including prayers and ideas for fundraising. You can use these resources in your Sunday service, mid-week group, or one-off event.
How you can get involved:
- Download our prayers and use them in your service or event
- Invite one or more students from your congregation, or someone from the local university (contact the university chaplain or the SCM office for details), to share their story during the service or event
- Invite someone from SCM to speak at your services or event - Contact the office to arrange
- Fundraise for SCM as part of the service or event - Head over to our Fundraising page for more information
- You can use social media to get the word out and share any other messages using #StudentSunday
- Use the SCM logo and UDPS logo - Contact the office to access these
Prayer is a mighty counter-cultural activity. Our courage to dare to communicate with the holy God who holds the world in God’s own hands is an act of hope and defiance. It is an act of hope because prayer is the voicing of our deepest yearnings and our reception of God’s own faithful promises for the future of the world. It is an act of defiance because we refuse the popular notion that we hold the world in our hand and must manufacture futures for ourselves. Prayer is a pause in the presence of God’s holiness that makes all of our life penultimate, and so delivers us from both pride and anxious despair. It is a recognition that our life is grounded in gifts that are freely given to us in God’s generosity.
I imagine that a large host of university students engaged together in prayer is a mighty testimony to the world of our hope and courage. But more than that, such common prayer among us is a connection to the faithfulness, mercy, compassion, and justice that pervade our entire life. I am grateful to God for a new generation of students who are willing and able to engage in this daring counter-cultural action. As long as we pray together we will not give in to the fear, greed, and violence that beset our world. We will not lose heart, but will have the stamina and energy for our vocation as God’s own witnesses
Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary