Welcome to SMU RUF! We are blessed to have been on SMU's campus for over twenty-five years and are excited about this school year!
In short, we are a community that is: animated by the gospel, growing together in grace, respecting each individual, loving and serving our campus.
To describe what we mean in a little more detail: The gospel is the good news that God is making all things new through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This transformation is gracious in appearance and cosmic in scope. It brings healing to the broken, pardon to the rebellious, and confidence to the ashamed. Even more, it animates us to love God, love others, and love God’s world. We intend for the gospel to shape all that we are and to set the course for all that we do. The gospel gives birth to a new family. God’s family is not defined by race, class, success, appearance, or utility, but by God’s grace and God’s mission.
At RUF, we intend to be a community who cares for one another, welcomes outsiders, invests in our common life, and celebrates often. Ministry is not the job of religious professionals. Rather, it is the calling of the entire Christian community to love others by what they say and how they live. Most ministry takes place in the ordinary business of the world, or in our case, the day-in and day-out of campus life. It involves challenging individual, ideas, and institutions with the claim that Jesus is Lord, affirming truth, beauty, and justice wherever they are found, and seeking the conditions for our neighbors to flourish. We intend to live faithfully in our calling to love SMU.
James Madden was born and raised in Dallas, TX. He attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA from 2004-2008 where he graduated Summa Cum Laude Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Spanish and History. During his time there he was very involved with RUF, played baseball, and was in a fraternity. From 2008-2010, he worked as an RUF Intern at Wake Forest University, afterward returning home to Dallas to begin attending Redeemer Seminary. During that time, he started and ran an outdoor services company before moving into the Elementary Children's Ministry at Park Cities Presbyterian Church. He was the Elementary Coordinator from 2012-2014, until he graduated with a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Redeemer and joined RUF. Ordained in March 2015, James enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, writing, sports, coffee shops, and a little hunting and fishing. James was married in the fall of 2018 to his wife Happy!