I recently visited a PC(USA)-related college who is thinking about its church-relatedness in terms of developing a statement about faith and learning on campus.There seemed to be some concern by faculty and staff that such a statement would be constrictive and make them into one of the Christian colleges who require ascription to some common statement of belief.
I don't think that campus is unusual. I don't think we have done a good job in articulating and publicizing what it means for a campus community to be influenced by the Presbyterian ethos. Many corporations, especially those in the service industry, have an orientation program where the company ethos is presented and discussed. The PC(USA) has ordination requirements which help provide an immersion into the Presbyterian ethos. (Can much of the denomination's debates over ordination standards, presbyteries and synods, connectionalism, etc., be an indication that we are not doing a good job in this area either?)
Colleges and Universities should have some part of their orientation for new faculty and staff and students about what it means - as well as what it does not mean - for their institution to be in relationship with the Presbyterian church. The Chaplain would be the natural person to present this. A one-page take home sheet might be helpful to reinforce the campus ethos.
Campus Ministries might also find such a handout useful for those students and parents who wonder how the Presbyterian campus ministry differs from other Christian groups on campus.
Workshop Leader Bios - Katie Gordon is the Program Manager of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute and Coordinator for Campus Interfaith Resources within the Division of Inclusion & ...
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