New Student Outreach

welcoming new students

What is New Student Outreach?

New Student Outreach (NSO) is InterVarsity’s concerted effort to reach freshmen and other new students on campus at the start of the school year. It’s a key season of ministry to kick off the year with intention and hospitality.

students giving high five
pocket proxe discussion
students around a campfire

More than anything, freshmen want to make friends. That’s why they need you to welcome them, reduce their anxiety, get to know them, and help them get to know Jesus.

“I’m really nervous about making friends in college. Most of my friends I’ve known since elementary school, but in college, I won’t know anyone. I want to make friends and feel at home.”

Incoming Freshman in Wisconsin

The beginning of the school year has the most potential for lifechanging ministry. It’s when non-Christian students are the most open than any other time in their lives to say yes to Jesus.

Plan your NSO with the following steps. Or, to make things even easier, skip to the NSO Calibrator (link coming soon!) to get a customized plan made for your campus.

Plan Your NSO


More than the most winning strategy, more than having the most fun and engaging events on campus, prayer is the foundation of a successful NSO! Start planning your NSO by walking through this guide (can be adapted to be done by yourself or with others).

Prayer Meeting Guide


“Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”

—Mark 6:31

Gather your leadership team before the school year gets underway to cast vision and intercede for NSO. Use this template as a loose schedule you can customize.

Retreat Template


Check back soon for our interactive NSO Calibrator! It’ll give you a tailored plan based on how you want to see your ministry grow this year.


Start by learning how to invite well — to an outreach event, Bible study, or to follow Jesus — whatever you want to focus your NSO around. Take our Ministry Playbook course on Inviting Well!

Inviting Well Playbook Course


Tabling during your school’s organization fair or in a space you can reserve on campus is a great way to meet students. As they approach your table, you’ll get to know them and invite them to explore Jesus with you.

Hosting an Interest Table Guide

Share Jesus

You might opt for doing a Proxe where you can go all in and share the gospel with new students. Consider using our newest Proxe with video and Bible study resources, Refresh.

Refresh Proxe and Resources

Following Up Well

Follow-up is essential for sustaining and growing relationships while giving others invitations to take next steps in faith. Take our Ministry Playbook Course to learn the best ways to follow up with students!

Follow-Up Playbook Course


Debriefing NSO will help you celebrate the ways God has been faithful and help you more effectively serve the campus in the future. Check out this guide to learn how to lead life-changing debriefs!

Life-Changing Debrief Guide

NSO Tent & Proxe