Asbury revival ignites student worship

Christian college in Kentucky welcomes thousands.


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Students raise their hands in worship.

Jenna Wirtz, Freelance Writer

Over the past weeks, Asbury University, a small Wesleyan Christian college in Wilmore, Kentucky, has welcomed over 3,000 visitors from across the nation who want to participate in the Asbury revival.

“A week and a half ago, we didn’t know this would happen — this is just something God decided to do,” said Joshua Curry, a senior at Asbury College studying ancient languages.

Asbury students attended a typical Wednesday morning chapel on Feb. 3 in Hughes auditorium, which indiscernibly shifted into something holy. Rather than students rushing to class, work or any other responsibilities once the worship set had ended, they stayed.

That was over a week ago now, and students are still worshiping at Asbury. Some are reading Scripture, while others are delighting in worship through song. Images and videos have flooded social media channels of students embracing one another, praying, worshiping and crying. Videos of the service are going viral with the hashtag #asburyrevival, garnering over 30 million views on TikTok. 


Worship, as many have experienced, can be twisted into something that is sensationalized and pressures individuals to have an emotional experience. From the testimonies shared, it appears that the staff and students are obediently following this unique move of the Spirit, not exaggerating it. 

“All that had happened was people had stayed and just kept worshiping,” said Curry, a self-described skeptic. “That was all that was going, there was a palpable difference just spiritually, this tender love permeating the whole space.” 

On Feb. 8, the day the outpouring began, Curry was journaling about his spiritual state, explaining that he has grown tired of “milquetoast Protestantism.” He heard a group of men walking past his door, saying that people had yet to leave the chapel and Curry ran outside to confirm the news. 

He is also a theater minor, so on top of balancing disconnection in his relationship with the Lord, he was also busy with tech week for his upcoming show. Despite his busy schedule with rehearsal the week the revival began, after rehearsal wrapped — 11:25 pm — he felt drawn to return to Hughes. 

Curry described his experience in the chapel as “an ever-increasing assurance of holy love.”

It felt like where students were standing was holy ground, he described. 

The individual transformation that occurred during students’ time in Hughes bled into their community life. Curry said that the crass language that usually accompanies the whiteboards across the walls of his dorm hall has been erased and replaced with praise. 

“The best way I could describe it [is that] we all noticed that God suddenly had arrived in our chapel,” Curry said.


Asbury is no stranger to revivals, as there was a revival that happened at the university in 1970. 

Similarly to this current revival, Asbury students stayed after a chapel which extended into a weeklong worship service. Then, determined to empower other college students around America, Asbury students packed up their cars and drove to college campuses around America, including Biola. 

Michael Longinow, a journalism professor at Biola, worked at Asbury for 16 years along with doing his dissertation on revivals throughout U.S. history. 

“[Revival] sounds like an outdated word, it sounds Pentecostal, it is not something Christian Evangelicals are familiar with,” he said.

Revival is a widespread reawakening of devotion toward God. It is not just a renewing of zeal for individual experience, but something to ignite Christians to go out and participate in what God is doing in the world. That is what happened at Asbury in 1970, and what is starting to happen again.


Dr. Joe Henderson, a Torrey professor, is an alumnus of Asbury, class of ‘91. He is not surprised about the spiritual outpouring at Asbury.

“It is a part of the atmosphere, there is an openness to that kind of [revival] happening,” Henderson said. 

Above the pipe organ in Hughes Auditorium, “Holiness unto the Lord” is etched into the wood in white paint. Henderson says that this encapsulates the posture of the university, seeking God and asking for His holiness. 

Henderson hopes that Biola students can have a similar posture as Asbury.  

“[My hope is] that it would stir up a hunger for God to move here in a surprising new way and that it would turn us to ask him in prayer for what he could do for us here,” Henderson said. 


After nearly two weeks of keeping their doors open, Asbury has decided to shift the hours of the worship event in hopes of better serving its student body. Asbury will continue to host evening services for college-age and high-school students. Additional updated information can be found on their website.

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