RESOURCES FOR LOCAL RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES
It’s our hope and expectation that local religious communities provide safe, healthy, and vibrant opportunities for students to grow while simultaneously honoring students’ educational commitments and who they are as a whole person.
To that end, we offer a resource guide with suggestions for how local religious communities can connect to TCU students. Within it are suggestions of ways to connect and support students while honoring their privacy and safety as well as university guidelines and policies.
THE ROLES OF ON AND OFF-CAMPUS RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES
It’s important to note that for over 30 years, in order to best-serve students, TCU has maintained an important distinction between 1) on-campus student religious organizations, 2) campus ministries with associate university staff from national organizations, and 3) off-campus college ministries within local congregations. All have a valuable, yet distinctly unique role with different abilities and limitations. Each of these is explained below:
Student Religious Organizations – independent university-recognized organizations run by students whose primary purpose is for the creation of on-campus student religious community. These groups are advised by a full-time faculty/staff adviser and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. These student-led organizations are not affiliated with local communities or agencies. They must comply not only with all university policies, but also state and federal laws relating to higher education student organizations.
National Organization Campus Ministries – these are university-approved campus ministries who adhere to the same policies and expectations as independent student organizations; yet, in addition to receiving support from a faculty/staff adviser and RSL staff, they also receive leadership and pastoral support from associate staff. These staff are approved by the University based off assessed student need, desire, and populations. Associate staff are always non-university employed campus ministers who represent a particular religious tradition, denomination or other population. These individuals go through an annual recognition, approval and training process, and must carry their own certificate of insurance (COI).
Congregation-Based Campus Ministries – student ministries and programs that are connected to or sponsored by a local religious community, organization, or congregation. These can range from college student small groups, Sunday schools, worship services, young-adult based nonprofits, etc. Because these are not on-campus organizations, they are not required to adhere to the same organizational policies and standards as university recognized organizations. At the same time, they are expected to advertise, recruit, and host opportunities at off-campus locations only. For questions about how off-campus religious communities can interact with the university community in safe and healthy ways, please view our resource guide or contact our office.