Cru was founded by Bill and Vonette Bright at UCLA in 1951. One year later, Bill Bright wrote The Four Spiritual Laws – likely the most widely distributed religious booklet in history, with approximately 2.5 billion printed to date.

By 1960, Cru was established on 40 campuses in the United States and in two other countries. During the 1960’s the ministry began conducting international Christmas conferences and summer mission projects.

In 1983, a major event called KC’83 was held in Kansas City that drew 17,000 college students. Almost a decade later, in 1991, Cru relocated its headquarters from California to Orlando , Florida.

US News & World Report rated Cru as the top religious charity in the United States in 1995. Money magazine ranked the ministry as the most “efficient” religious ministry in the U.S. in 1996.

By the year 2000, Campus Crusade for Christ International, the parent organization for teh college ministry, had more than 24,000 full time staff members and more than 500,000 trained volunteers serving in 191 countries.  Founder Bill Bright passed the leadership torch to new president Steve Douglass, formerly executive vice president and director of U.S. Ministries in 2001.

In 2003, the campus ministry of Cru currently has active movements on more than 1,000 campuses with 44,000 students involved. There are 2,900 full-time campus ministry staff members serving in the U.S. and internationally. The ministry is sharing the gospel with approximately 5 million students each year with 11,200 recorded decisions by students who accepted Christ last year.