ISU students can find a variety of religious groups in Ames

Ashley Hunt

Students new to Ames may be looking to find a religious or church group to join upon coming to Iowa State. Finding a church and making connections within that church can help a student feel more at home, which can help them more easily adapt to their new environment.

There are many religious and faith-based organizations in Ames that are especially designed for college students.

Campus Christian Fellowship

Campus Christian Fellowship is a group of Iowa State students that aims to encourage relationships with Jesus Christ through the Bible, worship, prayer and fellowship.

It is non-denominational and is supported by churches across the state of Iowa. Locally, Campus Christian Fellowship partners with two local churches: North Grand Christian Church and FreedomRidge Church.

During the school year and the summer, the group meets every at 7 p.m. For more information visit the group’s website.

Cru at ISU

Cru, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ, is a student-led, faculty directed Christian group for ISU students.

Each Thursday night at 8 p.m. the organization meets as a large group in various places on campus. Worship music is played following the large group meetings at 9 p.m. in 1414 Molecular Biology.

Small Bible study groups are held throughout the week for various groups of people — including several men’s studies groups, women’s studies groups and co-ed studies groups. More information can be found on Cru’s website.

Catholic Student Community

The Catholic Student Community is associated with the St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Catholic Center which is located on Lincoln Way, adjacent to the ISU campus.

St. Thomas Aquinas offers Catholic Mass for the Ames community on Saturdays at 4:45 p.m., Sundays at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 7 p.m. Thursday Night Liturgy, also known as TNL, is the organization’s informal mass planned by students. TNL is each Thursday at 9:15 p.m. during the course of the school year.

Small groups are also featured through the St. Thomas Church and Catholic Student Center. For more information, check out St. Thomas Aquinas’s website.

The Rock

The Rock is a Christian group that branches from Stonebrook Church. The group, designed for college-aged students, meets in both a large group and smaller groups.

Large group meetings are the second Friday of each month around 7:30. The group meets at Zeke’s music venue for “Friday Night Rock.” Small groups are held throughout each week at various places on campus. 

The group also encourages members to attend Sunday morning church service held at Stonebrook Church throughout the year. For more information visit the Rock Ames website.

The Salt Company

The Salt Company is one of the most popular religious organizations for ISU students. The Salt Company, branched from the Cornerstone Church meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Cornerstone Church.

The Salt Company also offers a specific freshman group which usually meets at 7 p.m. Sundays. Many leadership roles are also available through the organization. Members are encouraged to attend Sunday worship services at the Cornerstone Church at 9 and 11 a.m.

The Salt Company kicks off its summer groups at 7 p.m. June 7. For more information check out the official website

The ISU Navigators

The ISU Navigators is a student organization that not only offers Bible studies but social activities as well. “Nav Night” is the group’s weekly meeting. This night features a live band each Thursday night at various different locations. The large group meeting often times features guest speakers.

Each week, following the large group meeting, the Navigators hold social events. These events are aimed at providing an environment for students and group members to connect with each other, as well as a neutral atmosphere for friends who may not be Christians.

These social events range from activities such as sports tournaments to game nights to scavenger hunts. For more information visit the Navigators’ website.

There are also several organizations offered at Iowa State that are non-Christian religious groups.

Atheist and Agnostic Society

The Atheist and Agnostic Society aims to provide a support group for students who believe that one can live a fulfilling and ethical life without religion. The group also aims to create a good image of atheists and for the group members to be seen as good citizens of both the university and the broader community. During the school year, the group meets regularly at 7 p.m. Mondays in the Gold Room in the Memorial Union. The group also meets each Sunday for brunch at 11 a.m. at Angie’s Cantina on Lincoln Way.


The Ames Karma Kagyu Study Group offers a meeting place for students who wish to practice Buddhism. Weekly meetings and meditation classes are open to the public. The group also has lamas and monks as guests throughout the year who teach on the practice of Buddhism and meditation and can offer refuge ceremony for those who want to participate in the formal practices of Buddhism. There are also special practices for formal practitioners of Buddhism. The group meetings begin with an hour of meditation followed by an hour of education.

Muslim Student Association

The Muslim Student Association offers students the opportunity for students to practice religion as Muslims and to learn more about Islam. The group collaborates and meets with other organizations throughout the year to celebrate the diversity of Islam. 

Art of Living Club

The Art of Living Club aims to create a stress free and violence free atmosphere on Iowa State’s campus and the city of Ames. The group promotes effective practices to manage emotions and deal with stress and violence. The club offers courses and instructions in yoga, meditation, breathing exercises and other tools to properly and effectively deal with stressful and violent situations.

ISU Hillel

ISU Hillel is a student organization created for Jewish students at Iowa State. The organization aims to increase awareness and knowledge of the Jewish cultures on campus. The group offers a range of social, cultural, religious and educational activities and meetings. 

Incoming students should consider the possibility of joining a religious or spiritual group. There are a variety of options and something for everyone. These groups can provide an intimate atmosphere and help with the transition time of moving to a new home. Regardless of a student’s belief or practice, there is a group or organization with people like you who are willing and exciting to meet you make you a part of their group.