RUF stands for Reformed University Fellowship.
We'll start with the "F" and we'll work back to the "R."
The "F" stands for Fellowship. From the beginning God made us humans to be relational people. God made us to be in a relationship with Him and with fellow humans. God desires all men and women to know Him and to be in fellowship with Him. The problem is we have all fallen into sin, and this sin has caused a rift between us and God.
To reconcile oneself with God, one must turn to the gospel (literally "good news"). The good news in this life is that in the midst of our sin and rebellion against God, He has chosen to show us grace. God shows us his mercy and grace by having sent His Son, Jesus. God sent Jesus to atone for our sins through his death. Jesus' body and spirit suffered the wrath of God due us and died in our place. That is what the message of the cross is all about. It is through His tremendous death by crucifixion on the cross where Christ took the punishment that we deserved. This is what the Bible verse II Corinthians 5:21 is talking about when it says, "God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to become sin for us. So that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."
Only when we have true fellowship and friendship with God can we have meaningful fellowship and relationships with one another. Our generation sometimes struggles to have authentic and genuine relationships with one another. It is the desire of RUF that Penn State students would come together to enjoy meaningful fellowship with one another through edifying relationships centered on what Jesus has done for us.
Not only do we as humans desire fellowship, but we actually need it. For us to grow as Christians we need to be surrounded by other Christians who are encouraging to us as we in turn encourage them.
The "U" stands for University. RUF is pro-University. We believe that getting an education is an important calling for Christians. God tells us in Genesis 1:26 that he has called us to "rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." In other words, God has made us to be responsible for and work in the world. It is here at Penn State where we receive the education we need to rule over God's world as teachers, engineers, lawyers, nurses, social workers, etc.
This is why RUF believes your "spirituality" or Christian walk is not separate from your education but necessarily encompasses it. RUF believes that one of the best ways a student can glorify God is through being diligent in their studies at Penn State in preparation for ruling and reigning over God's world.
Finally, we come to the "R" which stands for Reformed. Reformed is a loaded word - it can mean lots of things. But generally "Reformed" speaks of the Protestant Reformation of the 1500's when Christians broke away from the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) because they felt the RCC was no longer being faithful to the Bible and to a scriptural understanding of how someone can know Christ and be saved.
Out of this Reformation came 5 points for which Christians need to stand upon:
1) Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura): This says the only way we can know truth is from Scripture. Scripture alone has authority in the life of a Christian. At RUF we put great emphasis on knowing God's Word. This is the main reason all RUF campus ministers must have been trained in seminary and ordained.
2) Christ Alone (Sola Christos): This doctrine says that the only hope we have in knowing God is through His Son Jesus Christ. It is through Christ that we are forgiven and accepted by the Father. True to Scripture, we believe that Christ is the only mediator of salvation.
3) Grace Alone (Sola Gratia): Grace is the free gift of God. It is never earned, deserved or merited. We are saved by grace alone. We are blessed to grow to be like Jesus because of grace as well. The Christian life from the beginning to the end focuses on grace and what God has done for us - never about what we have done for Him.
4) Faith Alone (Sola Fide): When someone asked Jesus, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered "the work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (John 6:28-29) This sounds simple, but the Christian life is a life of faith. We receive the gift of grace from God by faith alone. We are saved by faith alone. We are to live by faith, which is to believe in God and His Word and that Jesus is all we need in this life. It is to live confidently that God is with us and for us at all times because of the salvation Jesus provides.
5) To The Glory of God Alone (Sola Deo Gloria): The word "glory" in the Hebrew means weightiness or significance. When we give God glory, we show Him and the world that He is weighty or significant. RUF believes that not only do we give God glory when we sing about Him, but we give God glory as we live our day-to-day lives. That is why the Bible says, "whatever you do, whether word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus." We can glorify God in our lives in the way we date, study, work, and play. All of life matters to God, not just time spent gathered in worship. That is why every hour of every day we can give glory to God with our lives.