RUF International at UT was launched in 2008. Lee and Jennifer both grew up in the Knoxville area, met at UT through the ministry of RUF, and married in 1997. After Lee graduated from Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis), God led the Leadbetters to serve in Romania with Mission to the World during 2005-2006. Just prior to planting RUF-I at UT, Lee worked as an intern at Redeemer Church of Knoxville, directing Redeemer's ministry to international students at UT. The Leadbetters have adopted two Haitian sisters (Annie & Neissa).
The Leadbetters direct the ministry to more than 1100 international students at the UT-Knoxville campus. RUF-I is global missions on a US campus! It’s their belief (and ours as supporting partners) that God desires people from every nation, people, and language, to come to know Jesus Christ as the sum and substance of true religion and the answer to mankind’s deepest need. RUF-I seeks to serve international students and scholars at UT with the love and hospitality of Christ, and to sensitively engage them with authentic Christianity, in order that their lives, families, and home communities might be transformed by the Gospel of grace.
- For God to use our Staff and volunteer Ministry Team to love and serve students & scholars well
- For students from many diverse cultural and religious backgrounds to be drawn to Jesus as Lord and Savior
- For a strong marriage that is animated by - and that radiates - the Gospel of grace
- For the personal & spiritual growth of our kids (Daniel & Phillip in college and Annie & Neissa in Middle School).