In 1964, the General Council of Baptist Mid-Missions appointed a committee to research the possibility of launching a campus ministry which would be developed within the framework of mission policy. It was the conviction of the committee that a Scriptural ministry should result in the converts' going through the waters of baptism and uniting with a local Baptist church. It was the committee's concern that this ministry be distinctly separatist and committed to teaching the historic Christian faith to students.
At the same time, Pastor Hal Miller of Iowa Falls, Iowa, had begun ministering to students on the campus across the street from the church he pastored. He had a burden to start a campus group with the very distinctives mentioned above. Pastor Miller approached Baptist Mid-Missions. God had worked in the mission and in the man and brought them together. He presented his burden at the Triannual Conference in Portsmouth, Ohio, in the summer of 1965. The General Council voted to authorize Campus Bible Fellowship as a ministry of Baptist Mid-Missions. Hal and Patty Miller resigned the church and were authorized as the first missionaries in April 1966. The work then spread from Ellsworth Junior College to the University of Northern Iowa, a major campus in Cedar Falls, Iowa. CBFI has since been developed in several states and some foreign countries.
As the ministry developed and grew on campuses in the United States, missionaries with Baptist Mid-Missions began expressing a desire to minister to students on campuses in cities where they were planting churches and developing Bible colleges and seminaries. On many of their fields of ministry, the 18-25 year age group was the most responsive element, but these missionaries lacked the training and/or time to conduct campus ministry. After a time of consultation and planning with BMM administrators, the name of the organization was officially changed in the summer of 2008 to "Campus Bible Fellowship International" and missionary candidates are now being recruited and trained both for ministry in the United States and for service alongside international church planters.
CBFI exists to "make disciples" in fulfillment of the Great Commission given in Matthew 28:19, 20. Our purpose is to provide sound, Biblical fellowship for Christians, to preserve a Christian witness, to reach out to the unsaved and bring them to faith in Christ. Converts are taught the whole counsel of God, including baptism and local church membership. The goal of CBFI is to see Christian students become faithful, serving members of a good local church so that they will migrate to strong, Bible-believing churches wherever they locate in the future. These are our strengths and distinguishing characteristics.