Part VII. – POLICY ON RELIGIOUS GROUPS

Pacific Lutheran University . . .

  1. understands and identifies itself as a Christian university in view of its Lutheran heritage, ownership and governance, mission, and educational philosophy.
  2. formalizes this identity as a Lutheran—and so, Christian—university in part through the provision of regular opportunities for worship (University Chapel and the University Congregation) and through the support of campus ministry staffed by Lutheran clergy (Campus Ministry Office).
  3. actively encourages the Christian faith and life of students, staff, and faculty while recognizing the diversity of Christian denominations and traditions represented within the university community.
  4. values the presence of those from other faith traditions, and also those who belong to no faith tradition, acknowledging the benefits within an educational institution of pluralism of ideas and commitments.
  5. provides for the academic study of Christianity and other religious traditions through the course offerings of its Religion Department.
  6. allows for members of the university community to organize recognized religious clubs whose activities are consistent with the university’s educational objectives.
  7. retains the right to restrict and/or prohibit those religious groups whose activities originate outside of the university, conflict with the educational objectives of the university, or violate established university policies or procedures (for example, active, coercive, or confrontational proselytizing on campus, excessive use of university bulletin boards, or the excessive influence of off-campus organizations).
  8. To implement the above, Pacific Lutheran University will make provisions for organized religious groups and activities at three (3) distinct and differing levels. relating to a group’s official level of involvement with the Campus Ministry Office.
    1. LEVEL I – Campus Ministry Sponsored Religious Groups/Activities
      1. Sponsored groups and activities are those officially presented, supported, or organized by the university or the Campus Ministry Office. As such they shall be consistent with Pacific Lutheran University’s identity and mission as a Lutheran University, but in addition they shall operate within the bounds of a Christian doctrine and principles, broadly construed. (This is consistent with the presentation of controversial positions within an educational setting.)
      2. The Campus Ministry Council and the Campus Ministry Office are administratively responsible to the university president for the development and supervision of these sponsored religious groups and activities. Such groups and activities shall include (but need not be limited to) University Chapel, pastoral leadership for University Congregation, non-credit classes and discussion groups, and service-oriented projects to the community. Full institutional support shall be available for these groups and activities, including use of campus media, priority access to meeting space, and appropriate financial support.
    2. LEVEL II – Campus Ministry Partnerships (Endorsed Religious Groups/Activities)
      1. Endorsed religious groups and activities are those organized and supervised by Christian denominations or groups other than the ELCA. These shall also be consistent with Pacific Lutheran University’s identity and mission as a Lutheran university and in addition shall operate within the bounds of Christian doctrine and principles, broadly construed. (This is consistent with the presentation and discussion of controversial positions within an educational setting.)
      2. When sufficient interest is indicated by students belonging to one of these organizations (typically this would mean a minimum of 50 students interested in denominational activities), the Campus Ministry Council shall recommend to the university president that they invite the appropriate church judicatory to suggest for appointment an official pastor/priest/chaplain for this organization. The suggested person, if acceptable to the council and the president for appointment, would be administratively responsible to the president and ecclesiastically responsible to the judicatory. The duties of the appointed person shall be developed in consultation with the council and carried out in cooperation with the staff of the Campus Ministry Office. Institutional support would include use of campus media, access to meeting space, and provision of university identification for the appointed professional. No direct budgetary allocations for salary, honorarium, or programming would be made. Endorsement would be subject to annual review and renewal by the Campus Ministry Council and the university president.
    3. LEVEL III- Recognized Religious Groups/Activities (Religious Clubs)
      Members of the university community may organize a religious club and seek recognition from the Campus Ministry Council under the following conditions. The groups seeking recognition shall submit to the council a written statement of purpose or constitution, a slate of responsible officers, a list of ten (10) charter members from the student body, and the name of an acceptable faculty or administrative staff advisor. The purpose of the group as well as its projected activities must be in accord with university objectives and in keeping with university policies. A designated officer of each group shall be responsible for reporting to the Campus Ministry Council concerning the nature and scope of club activities. Groups meeting the above conditions will be recognized by the Campus Ministry Council at a regular meeting. A current list of recognized religious clubs will be supplied to the scheduling office by the council. Recognized clubs will be provided use of campus media and access to university space. Recognition is subject to annual review for purposes of renewal or termination by the council.