Frequently Asked Questions

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General Information

What is Urbana?

Urbana is a missions conference for North American students hosted by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada, and Groupes Bibliques Universitaires et Collégiaux du Canada. Urbana 12 will be our 23rd conference. The first "Urbana" was held in Toronto in 1946. From 1948 to 2003, the conference was held at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Since 2006, Urbana has been held at the America’s Center Complex in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Generations of college students have come to Urbana to hear about issues in missions directly from the field and respond to God’s call to participate in his global mission. During the five days of Urbana, thousands of participants will experience multicultural worship and drama, dynamic speakers, in-depth Bible study, and focused prayer. They will also be encouraged to explore short-term and vocational opportunities as they interact with representatives from hundreds of mission organizations and educational institutions. Urbana 12 will be held December 27-31, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.

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When does Urbana start and end?

Urbana 12 will begin Thursday, December 27, 2012, with check-in between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM The first general session begins at 7:30 PM at the Edward Jones Dome.

Urbana 12 will end after the last general session at 12:30 AM on January 1, 2013 (that is, past midnight on December 31, 2012).

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Where will Urbana 12 be held?

Urbana 12 will be held in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The morning and evening sessions will be held at the Edward Jones Dome and the America’s Center. Seminars and manuscript study sessions will be held at the America’s Center and various downtown hotels around the America’s Center in St. Louis. The Edward Jones Dome and the America’s Center are located at 701 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, Missouri, 63101

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When should I arrive in St. Louis for Urbana 12?

You should arrive in St. Louis with enough time to complete your hotel check-in, conference check-in, eat dinner, and get to the first session by 7:30 PM Conference check-in will be from 10 AM to 6 PM on December 27, 2012. Please note that luggage is not allowed in the America’s Center, so you will need to give yourself time to check-in to your hotel before you come to the America’s Center for Urbana 12 check-in. Be aware that you may not be able to check-in to your hotel room before 11 AM Your hotel may allow you to store your luggage at the hotel until you are able to check-in.

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What should I bring to Urbana 12?

  • Government-issued ID (required for conference and hotel check-in)
  • Student ID card
  • Credit card (required for hotel check-in)
  • Money (for lunches, bookstore purchases, offering, incidentals)
  • Warm clothes and good walking shoes
  • Winter jacket, hat, gloves, scarf, etc.
  • Bag or backpack
  • Bible
  • Notebook/ journal and something to write with
  • Any medication that you regularly require (due to the high number of participants, plan ahead for any over the counter medications you think you might need)
  • Medical insurance card, if you have one
  • Water bottle to help you stay hydrated
  • Toiletries and other personal items
  • Snacks for in-between meals

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What's the weather like in St. Louis, and how do I pack?

Generally, December temperatures in St. Louis are below freezing. You should pack winter clothing (including sweaters, sweatshirts, socks, shoes, hats, gloves, scarves). Layer your clothing so you can remove layers when you are indoors. A well-insulated winter coat is advisable. During Urbana 12 we may experience periods of snow, ice, rain, or sleet. Be prepared for these conditions by bringing extra socks, water-repellent shoes, and warm clothing. You will spend time outside walking from your hotel room to various venues around downtown St. Louis so keep this in mind when packing. We also recommend researching the forecasted weather for St. Louis before packing so you will have a more accurate idea of temperature and conditions.

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Can I pay my Urbana balance when I arrive at Urbana?

If you are unable to pay your balance in advance, you may pay your balance onsite at the America's Center, but your check-in process will be lengthy. Your check-in process will be simplified greatly if you pay your balance in full before arriving onsite in St. Louis. Urbana 12 conference fees may not be paid at your hotel. If you have a balance due, you will pay it during check-in at the America's Center (Washington Avenue entrance) on Thursday, December 27, 2012,between 10 AM and 6 PM using credit card or check. (Onsite, we accept Visa credit and debit, Mastercard credit and debit, Discover and American Express. ) We do not accept cash.

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Who should come to Urbana?

Who should attend?

Urbana 12 is intended for anyone interested in missions. We welcome all who have a heart for God and his work. The target audience is college-aged women and men between the ages of 17 and 29, but every Urbana draws people from all over North America who want to learn more about global realities, current missions issues, and their place in God's mission, including:

  • College / university students
  • College / university faculty
  • High school seniors, 17 or older
  • Pastors and church leaders
  • International students
  • Recent college graduates
  • Youth or college workers
  • InterVarsity alumni
  • Missionaries, missionary candidates, and missionary support staff

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What about high school students?

We welcome all high school students in their final year of study, who are 17 years of age or older. High school is a great time to begin thinking seriously about how one can be a part of God’s global mission, and Urbana can be especially meaningful for students who attend with their church youth leaders.

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Can international students (studying in the United States) attend Urbana?

We welcome you! Any full-time or part-time international students attending a United States college or university through December 2012, may register for Urbana as a student. Learn more about our International Students Track

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Can international students (studying in Canada) attend Urbana?

We welcome you! Any full-time or part-time international students attending a Canadian college or university through December 2012, may register as a student. It is your responsibility to determine and provide any and all visas and paperwork necessary. Visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada for the latest list of information needed. Learn more about our International Students Track

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Can students living outside of United States and Canada attend Urbana?

We welcome all internationals, especially students and staff involved in national student movements of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES). All students may register online. You will need a US or Canadian mailing address and phone number when registering. When you complete the registration process, you will receive a confirmation email. Urbana 12 does not provide letters of invitation for visa purposes or other visa assistance.

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Can staff of the IFES attend Urbana?

We welcome you! If you are national staff of an IFES member movement outside North America, please contact your IFES Regional Secretary for details on how you may attend Urbana 12. You will need a US or Canadian mailing address and phone number when registering. Urbana 12 does not provide any direct scholarship assistance or letters of invitation for visa purposes.

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Can children come?

No children or nursing infants are permitted at Urbana 12 program venues. However, children may stay in Urbana hotel accommodations at their parent’s or guardian’s expense. It is the responsibility of parents or guardians to secure childcare for their children, if necessary.

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Is Urbana for my friends who are not Christians?

Urbana 12 is not specifically an evangelistic event. It is a missions conference. However, God has used Urbana to bring many people to faith in the past, and we anticipate that interested non-Christians may attend. We advise prayer and discretion before inviting your non-Christian friend(s) to attend. If you are going to invite a friend to Urbana 12, make sure your friend knows what to expect. Direct them to where they can view testimonials from those who have attended, learn about past Urbanas, and get a general idea of what Urbana 12 will be like. We also suggest that you and your friend are housed together so that you can help them process what they learn and experience.

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How do I register?

Register at A minimum $100 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit (USD funds only, no cash) must accompany your registration. The remaining balance should be paid by credit card or e-check by December 27, 2012. If you want to pay by check, your check must be received by the Urbana 12 Registrar by December 14, 2012. If you are unable to register online, please contact a member of our registration team at 608-443-3700 or by the online form.

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Can I use my login information from Urbana 09?

No. Urbana 12 is using a new registration system and did not import any login information from Urbana 09. You will need to create a new login when you register.

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How much does Urbana 12 cost?

Urbana 12 Conference Fees & Deadlines

Register by

Dec. 27, 2012$449$549

*To register as a student you must be a student as of December 2012. Participants who graduated in Spring 2012 may also register as students.

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What is my PUP? 

The PUP is your Personal Urbana Page. After you complete the Urbana 12 registration process, the PUP is where you will sign up for housing and tracks, sign up to be a communion steward or stadium servant, indicate your travel plans, pay the remainder of your balance, change your demographic information, and communicate any other information about yourself to Urbana 12. On your PUP you will also find periodic updates of vital Urbana 12 details.

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Is housing included?

No. Housing is not included in your registration cost. However, Urbana 12 has negotiated steeply discounted room rates with St. Louis area hotels. (Average cost per person with quad occupancy is $23/person/night plus tax.) These rooms and rates are only available through the Urbana Housing Bureau system beginning June 4, 2012. You will find a link to the Urbana Housing Bureau on your PUP.

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Are day-passes or multi-day passes available?

No. There is no option to purchase single day or multi-day passes to the morning, afternoon, or evening sessions, or to the Exhibit Hall at Urbana 12. We hope that you will consider registering as a participant.

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Can I transfer my registration to someone else?

No. The $100 (USD) deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable. If you are unable to come, please cancel your registration to make room for others to attend. Thank you!

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Can I receive a letter of invitation for visa purposes from Urbana 12?

No. While we welcome all internationals, Urbana 12 does not provide letters of invitation or any other visa assistance. You will need a US or Canadian mailing address and phone number when registering. Again, Urbana 12 does not provide any visa assistance or letters of invitation.

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How do I cancel my registration?

If you need to cancel your registration, please contact a member of our registration team at 608-443-3700 or by the online form. You may also mail a written request to Urbana 12 Registrar, P.O. Box 7895, Madison, WI,USA 53707-7895. Please include your name and Urbana ID Number (which can be found on your PUP). Notices received by Friday, December 14, 2012,will be refunded the amount paid less the $100 deposit. No refunds will be issued after December 14, 2012. Urbana 12 cannot accomodate registration substitutions or transfers.

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When should I pay my balance?

Please pay your balance in full as early as possible. This will simplify the onsite check-in process for you. To pay your balance, sign into your PUP and click Make a Payment. You can pay online by credit card, e-check, and by mailing a check. If paying by check, checks must be received by December 14, 2012, to be applied to your balance. Please make your check payable to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and mail to Urbana 12 Registrar, P.O. Box 7895, Madison, WI, 53707-7895. Please include your name and Urbana ID Number with your payment.

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Can we register as a group?

Yes. To register a group for Urbana 12 you will need to designate a group leader who will create a group registration account. The group leader will be responsible for registering group members and paying the $100 non-refundable deposit for each group member. If desired, the group leader can also make payment on group members’ registration fees. The group member needs to complete their registration in order to receive the current price (which goes up after November 12).

If you have questions about group registration, read this document for more detailed instructions.

Plan on staying in the hotel with friends? You can all register as individuals and still room together. Group housing and group registration are not related to each other. There is no need to register as a group and pay the $100 deposit for each group member if you just want to room in the same hotel together.

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When should I arrange my travel to Urbana 12?

We encourage you to make your travel plans early. Travel costs are not included in your conference registration fee. Please wait until you have received your registration confirmation before booking your travel.

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How do I get to Urbana 12 from the airport?

A special transit rate has been negotiated on your behalf for Metro Special Event wristbands. Wristbands will be available for purchase at the airport for CASH ONLY when you arrive. You may also purchase the wristband at the MetroRide store located at 7th Street and Washington Avenue inside the America’s Center during Urbana 12.

The cost of the five-day wristband is $19 and covers:

  • your trips to and from the airport
  • all MetroLink and MetroBus rides and
  • unlimited trips on the Downtown Trolley (#99) while you are in St. Louis

If you choose not to purchase a wristband, one-way MetroLink tickets leaving the airport cost $4 and may be purchased at Metro Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) located nearby. TVMs and the Metro Ride Store both accept Credit/Debit cards.

For specific MetroLink and MetroBus route information, please visit

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Where do I find charter bus information?

Go to the Transportation Info page and you will find the contact information for Charter Bus Coordinators who are traveling to Urbana 12 from different parts of the United States and Canada. If you would like information about bringing your own bus, contact Urbana and specify Travel in the Subject.

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What time should my charter bus arrive at Urbana 12?

Charter buses should arrive in St. Louis by noon on December 27 so that riders can be ensured sufficient time to complete, hotel check-in, Urbana 12 check-in and have time to eat dinner and rest up before the first session.

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Where should I park my car during Urbana 12?

When you check into your hotel, ask about discounted rates.

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What if I live in St. Louis?

If you live in St. Louis, plan to arrive at the America's Center by 2pm on December 27, to check-in to the conference. 

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Is there onsite transportation at Urbana?

You should have no need of a vehicle once you arrive in St. Louis. Most venues being used for Urbana 12 are within walking distance of the America’s Center Complex, and downtown St. Louis hotels. For hotels that are farther away, public transportation (MetroLink) can be used to travel to and from the America’s Center. If you have limited mobility, please choose your hotel options carefully.

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Housing and Meals

Is there a deadline for reserving housing?

To take advantage of the discounted Urbana 12 rates, be sure to make your hotel reservation by December 1, 2012, through the Urbana Housing Bureau located on your PUP. Discounted hotel rates are on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be guaranteed following December 1, 2012.

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How do I make a reservation?

You can reserve housing for Urbana 12 beginning Monday, June 4, 2012. To reserve up to 3 rooms log in to your Personal Urbana Page (PUP) with your InterVarsity account and follow the housing link to the hotel reservation page. If applicable, have your Track code available. If necessary, you may also speak with an Urbana Housing Bureau reservation agent via phone 8 AM to 5 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday at 888-882-5676.

To reserve between 4 and 10 rooms together, speak with an Urbana Housing Bureau reservation agent via phone 8 AM to 5 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday at 888-882-5676. If applicable, have your Track code available. You may use one placeholder name to hold multiple reservations, however you will need to supply the registered participant names by November 16, 2012 or the placeholder reservations may be subject to cancellation.

Contact Urbana to request special arrangements and approval of larger sub-blocks. Please include your phone number and any special needs in your initial correspondence.

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What should I do if I have extra space in my hotel room?

Think about opening your room to "new friends" still in need of housing. You can post the need for a roommate on your PUP by clicking on Find a Roommate and starting a new thread. The search is filtered by male and female, so you will not see posts from the opposite sex.

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What if I'm not staying in Urbana 12 housing?

You will need to go through conference check-in at the America's Center between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM on December 27, 2012. You will need to provide your own transportation to and from the conference venues each day.

If you'll have a personal vehicle, public parking is available in multiple locations near the America’s Center and nearby hotels. For more information, visit the St. Louis parking service webpage.

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Where will I be eating?

Breakfast will be provided at your hotel for those staying in Urbana 12 hotels from 6:30 AM to 8:00 AM on December 28-30, 2012, and January 1, 2013. Breakfast on December 31, 2012, will be provided from 7:00 AM to 8:30 AM.

Lunch is on your own. Information on local restaurants will be published  in the Urbana 12 Conference Handbook, which you will receive upon checking-in on December 27.

Dinner will be provided to all Urbana 12 participants from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM on Friday December 28, 2012, through Monday, December 31, 2012. No dinner will be provided by Urbana 12 on Thursday, December 27, 2012.

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What will I need to check into my hotel room?

  1. Picture ID

    Make sure you have a government issued photo ID available when checking into your hotel. For security, you will also need to show ID if you need a new or additional room key. A good rule of thumb when traveling is to keep your ID on you at all times.

  2. Reservation confirmation info

    The Urbana Housing Bureau, which will make your reservation for you, will give you a confirmation number for the reservation (which the Bureau uses for tracking in their system). This will not match the hotel’s confirmation number. It is important that you bring your Urbana Housing Bureau confirmation to verify your reservation in the unlikely event that the hotel is not able to locate your reservation record.

  3. Payment

    You should also have a method of payment ready (debit card, credit card or cash), whether it is to pay for the full room bill or just for incidentals.

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What if I have special dietary needs?

Dinners will not be able to accommodate special dietary needs. If you have special needs, please come prepared with your own food.

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What time should I check in?

If you are arriving in St. Louis on December 27, 2012 you are encouraged to arrive at your hotel for check-in between 11 AM and 6 PM. Urbana 12’s first session starts at 7:30 PM, so leave plenty of time for dinner and conference check-in.

The published check-in times for hotels are usually 3 PM or 4 PM. If the room is available earlier the hotel will check you in at no additional charge. If the room is not ready when you arrive at the hotel, you can usually store your luggage with the Front Desk or Bell Desk until it is available. Luggage is prohibited at the Edward Jones Dome and the America’s Center, so wisely plan the storage of your luggage.

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What time should I check out?

Most hotels have an 11 AM check-out time. You can contact the Front Desk to request a later check-out, and if possible, they will extend it to 12 PM or 1 PM. However, they may charge a half-day charge if later than 1 PM, or a full day charge for later than 3 PM. If you are not leaving directly after the last session on December 31, 2012, we recommend checking out of your hotel before 11 AM on January 1, 2013. Luggage is prohibited at the Edward Jones Dome and the America’s Center, so wisely plan the storage of your luggage.

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Are taxes included in my room price?

Lodging taxes range from approximately 14% to 17%, depending on which municipality you are staying in and are in addition to the room charge. Budget this extra expense accordingly.

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What type of housing is available for Urbana 12?

Housing at Urbana 12 will be in St. Louis area hotels. Urbana 12 has negotiated steeply discounted room rates for you. The average per person with quad occupancy is $23/person / night plus tax. These rooms and rates are only available by using the service provided by the Urbana Housing Bureau after you register for Urbana 12. You will need your Urbana ID number to complete your reservation. Your Urbana ID Number is displayed on the left hand side of your PUP. You will be charged separately for housing. You are responsible for reserving and paying for your own housing.

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Will my hotel have internet access in my room?

Many hotels offer in-room internet access for a fee, while others have it complimentary. Please check with your hotel, as each hotel has its own pricing and guidelines.

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What is a hotel "incidental"?

An incidental is hotel industry jargon for anything that you would possibly charge to your room. Most often items include: movies, room service, internet access, parking, telephone, laundry, and restaurant charges. Hotels require you to either put a credit card or other payment down to guarantee the charges, or they will turn room charging privileges off. Each hotel has a different policy and amount they require a guest to put down, but plan on at least $50 per night. If you put cash down, any remaining amount that you did not spend will be returned to you at check-out. Check deposits are usually returned in the form of a mailed check. Credit cards and debit cards have the holds reversed.

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Is tipping important? Who should I tip?

When you are in your hotels, remember the staff that is serving you. Housekeeping would appreciate a tip at the end of your stay, and $2-4 per room per day is recommended. Hotel Porters usually receive $1 per bag for helping with luggage, boxes, or other deliveries such as ice or faxes. For shuttle rides or valet parking, $2-3 is standard.

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Can I room with friends?

Yes. Once you have registered for Urbana 12, use the Urbana Housing Bureau located on your PUP to reserve a hotel room for you and your friends. You can all register as individuals and still room together. Group housing and group registration are not related to each other.

If you would like to room with someone, but do not know of potential roommates, click on Find a Roommate located on your PUP. There you can post your roommate needs and view posts from other Urbana 12 participants, of the same gender, who are looking for people to fill rooms.

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Are rollaway beds available in Urbana hotels?

A rollaway bed is a portable twin mattress that can be placed into a room as an extra bed. They are often very limited in availability, cost at least an extra $10 per day (some hotels can be as much as $25), and can be restricted due to space in the room. Also, Urbana has been told that under no circumstance can two rollaways be placed into one room. If you are interested in using a rollaway in your room, contact a reservation agent at the hotel ahead of time and be aware they are first come, first served.

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How can I find a roommate to share hotel costs?

If you would like to room with someone, but do not know of potential roommates, click on Find a Roommate located on your PUP. There you can post your roommate needs and view posts from other Urbana participants, of the same gender, who are looking for people to fill rooms.

If you are interested in using our roommate search tool, it is highly advisable that you make a reservation after you connect with your roommates.

Most tracks do not have a track hotel. If your track does require or encourage housing in a specific hotel, your Urbana 12registration will include a private access code to use during the hotel reservation process. Using this code will help direct you to reserve rooms at hotels set aside for your specific track.

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Are there special arrangements for people with disabilities and their aides?

Yes. After you register, please contact Urbana using this online form and indicate what special arrangements will be needed during the conference. Public transportation (MetroLink) and bus transportation during Urbana 12 will be handicapped-accessible. For hearing-impaired participants, interpretation of the general sessions will be available in American Sign Language. For blind participants, Braille translations of key convention materials will be available 

If you need a personal attendant to accompany you, you will be responsible for their registration and travel costs. Everyone attending Urbana 12 must be registered, so your attendant will need to complete an Urbana 12 registration. Wheelchair-accessible accommodations are available for those with physical limitations.

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Are pets allowed at Urbana?

No pets are allowed at Urbana 12, however service dogs for disabled participants are welcome. Please communicate this need both to Urbana 12 and to your hotel prior to arriving in St. Louis.

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Schedule and Events

Will interpretation be available?

Yes! Interpretation and translation of the morning and evening sessions will be available in American Sign Language, French, and Spanish. Translation of some printed materials will be available in Braille if notified via this online form. Please indicate on your PUP the need for interpretation and translation services.

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Who will be speaking?

A list of speakers will be posted in spring 2012.

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What is Launch Lab?

God has given you incredible ideas. It’s time to make those ideas real, and Urbana 12 provides you the space to work through your ideas in Christian community. Join like-minded participants in our new Launch Lab to plan, create, and implement ideas together. Whether you bring an idea with you to Urbana 12, develop an idea on site, or want to help others with their ideas, Launch Lab is for you to shape ideas for use in God’s global mission. You will be provided the location of Launch Lab when you check-in at Urbana 12.

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What are Tracks?

Urbana 12 offers several tracks to provide a conference-within-a-conference experience. Participants who choose to join a track will focus on specific issues, have access to specialized seminars, and meet others with similar passions while still being part of the larger Urbana 12 conference. Spaces are limited and participants who are interested in a track must sign upon their PUP after completing registration.

Tracks offered at Urbana 12 are:

  • International Students
  • Business Changing the World
  • Urban Poverty
  • Pastors and Church Leaders (residential and non-residential)

Read descriptions of each of these tracks

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What are Seminar Series?

Urbana 12 will offer a wide variety of challenging and inspiring afternoon seminars designed to help participants take their next steps in missions. A Seminar Series is a categorical seminar curriculum designed to cover foundational to advanced topics in mission. You can attend all the seminars in a series or mix and match to create a series that matches your interests.

Seminars will deal with missions-related issues such as healthcare, the arts, the environment, business, advocating for the poor, and strengthening spiritual disciplines.

Seminar Series offered at Urbana 12 are:

  • Ready to Go
  • Growing in Understanding of Missions
  • Global Issues in Mission
  • Poverty and Justice
  • Proclamation
  • Mission in Every Sector
  • The Mission of Healthcare
  • The Heart and Soul of Mission
  • World Religions

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What else will be going on at Urbana 12?

A lot! Participants will get career advice, receive prayer, browse the bookstore, and connect with others with similar passions. Experiential prayer rooms provide a quiet place to interact with God. Art spaces provide creative outlets. In-depth Bible study each morning is a time to interact with God's Word. Urbana 12 provides opportunities to experience, engage, and investigate what God is doing around the world, here at home, and in your own heart.

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What are the exhibits at Urbana like?

In the Exhibit Hall there will be representatives from hundreds of mission organizations, relief and development organizations, as well as seminaries and Christian schools to talk with you about the work God is doing throughout the world. You'll be able to:

  • Learn more about what God is doing throughout the world
  • Have conversations with organizations and school representatives
  • Make connections and learn of opportunities to serve at home and abroad

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How do I exhibit at Urbana?

If you are interested in exhibiting at Urbana 12, please visit the Exhibitor pages on Details about Urbana 12 exhibits and the application process can be found there.

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Helping at Urbana 12

Can I volunteer at Urbana?

Yes! Urbana greatly benefits from the service of hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers give of their time and energy to assist in directing foot traffic, helping with registration, and many other tasks that take place behind the scenes. However, volunteers are not guaranteed access to the Urbana 12 program. If you are interested in volunteering at Urbana, please check out the types of opportunities available.

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Can I work for Urbana?

Thank you for your interest in working at Urbana 12. Keep checking here for employment opportunities at Urbana.

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Can I sing or speak at Urbana?

Thank you for your interest in singing or speaking at Urbana 12. All of the main speakers and the members of the worship team have been selected, so we do not have positions open. We hope that you will find many ways to share your story and your talents—many mission organizations are looking for gifted people like you. Come to Urbana 12 and check out the possibilities!

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What are the different types of volunteers at Urbana?

There are two ways non-students can volunteer. Please note that we encourage all students who would like to experience Urbana 12 to come as participants, rather than volunteers. There are ways for students to contribute to the work of Urbana 12 by serving in the stadium and as communion servers. More information is provided when students register.

For non-students, there are two different ways to volunteer: for the entire conference or for a single day. We call volunteers who work for the entire conference Stewards. Urbana 12 covers Stewards’ registration fees, but other costs such as housing, meals, and travel to St. Louis are the responsibility of the Steward. Jobs for Stewards will be assigned closer to the conference. When Stewards are not scheduled to serve, they are free to experience and take part in the conference.

A Daily Servant is a volunteer who may serve for a portion of a day or a few complete days at the conference.  As a thank you, Daily Servants will receive a one-day pass to attend the conference on a day that they are not volunteering. Like Stewards, Daily Servants are responsible for paying for housing, meals, travel, and other costs as necessary. Typically, Daily Servants live in the St. Louis area and do not require a hotel.

Registration for Stewards and Daily Servants is different from registration for participants. Register here as a Steward or Daily Servant.

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How do I become an Urbana 12 volunteer?

Send us a message and tell us about yourself and your availability for volunteering.

Registration for Stewards and Daily Servants is different from registration for participants. Register here as a Steward or Daily Servant. Since Stewards and Daily Servants are serving in necessary roles while at Urbana 12, no registration fee is required, but donations to the Urbana Scholarship Fund are welcome. Thank you for your interest!

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What qualifications are required of volunteers?

The most important qualification of anyone who volunteers at Urbana 12 is a desire to help facilitate the best possible environment for God to do what he purposes to do in the hearts and lives of participants. Flexibility and a servant attitude are key, as needs often change in the days before and during the conference.

Examples of other qualifications include:

Stewards (full-time volunteers) should be prepared to:

  • Purchase their own meals
  • Cover their hotel and travel expenses if coming from out of town
  • Serve throughout the entire conference
  • Be willing to be housed in an assigned hotel (in some cases)
  • Arrive as early (in some cases) as December 25 and/or depart as late as January 1

Daily Servants (part-time volunteers) should be prepared to:

  • Purchase their own meals
  • Cover their hotel and travel expenses if coming from out of town
  • Choose days and time blocks when they will serve during the conference
  • Serve in jobs remote from the actual conference
  • Help with pre-conference preparations

General qualifications that may be taken into account when matching volunteers with jobs are:

  • People skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • The ability to lift heavy boxes or move equipment
  • Organizational skills
  • Management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Professional skills
  • Computer skills
  • Familiarity with the St. Louis area
  • Ability to drive in winter weather
  • Resilience to serving outside in winter weather
  • Availability to attend pre-conference  training
  • Availability for pre-conference set-up and post-conference take-down, etc.

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Is anyone disqualified from serving?

Only residents of the US, Canada, and Mexico may register to serve as Stewards or Daily Servants. High school seniors and college students may not serve as Stewards or Daily Servants since it is InterVarsity's desire to have students fully participate in Urbana 12. However, Urbana 12 participants (of all ages) are needed to volunteer for two important service opportunities: Stadium Servant and Communion Server. Please indicate your availability/interest to volunteer for one of these opportunities after you register on your PUP. You will be informed of required training (onsite at the conference) and receive more information about your role prior to arriving at Urbana 12.

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Are there volunteer opportunities for groups?

Yes! Examples of possibilities for a group of adults to serve together include filling volunteer job assignments by helping with conference check-in or with communion preparation. Please send us a message for more information about volunteering and/or getting your group involved serving at Urbana 12.

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Making the Most of

How can help me?

God is active in the world today, telling the same story he has been telling since he created time. As creatures made in God’s image, we are more than characters in that story, we have been invited to join with God in creating his story. Accepting this invitation is such a complete and overwhelming good that the invitation is given as a command: Go and make disciples of all nations. is dedicated to empowering and equipping you to take your unique part in telling God’s story. Many of the resources that will help you on this journey can be found in the Go and Do section of the site. However, the primary way accomplishes this mission is to connect you with the Urbana conference. This site is your source for information about the conference, where you come to register for the conference, and a resource for you as you prepare for and process your experiences at the conference.

The Urbana conference and have the same goal: to compel this generation to give their whole lives for God’s global mission.

Can I copy or use articles from

Yes! If an article encourages, convicts, challenges or inspires you, please pass it on! However, to print or distribute articles to more than just a few friends—or translate articles into other languages—you must contact the editors prior to doing so. If permission is granted, we’ll ask that you provide a link to the article with a note that you’ve been granted permission (something like: "Granted permission for multiplication and use by"). You’ll be given precise instructions when permission is granted. For all other content-related questions, or if you’d like to contribute content to (image or word-based), please send us a message.

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What is Urbana Ministry Match?

Urbana Ministry Match is a search engine located on that is designed to help you locate mission organizations, schools and ministries at Urbana 12 based on interests, skills and callings. Beginning in fall 2012, you will be able to fill out a questionnaire through your PUP prior to attending Urbana 12 that is designed to connect you with ministries that will be exhibiting at Urbana 12. You will be provided with a list of “matches” to organizations, based on your Urbana Ministry Match profile.  You will be able to indicate interest in organizations and view the organizations through their Urbana 12 profile page, where exhibitor links and contact information can be found. Based on Urbana Ministry Match profiles, exhibitors will also indicate interest in Urbana 12 participants. You may receive a list of exhibiting organizations that are interested in you prior to Urbana 12. Your Urbana Ministry Match lists will assist you in navigating the Exhibit Hall at Urbana 12, where you will be able to have more in-depth conversations with your matching organizations.

Through Urbana Ministry Match, information indicated by Urbana participants may be shared with exhibitors. No information will be shared with any individual or organization not participating in the Urbana 12 conference. Exhibiting organizations will have their information shared with all Urbana participants; their contact information will only be visible publically on if they have given permission for that to happen.

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