Proselytizing Policy at Elon University

The religious life staff and campus ministers worked together with the chaplains to produce a faith sharing policy for Elon University that applies to all religious groups, student members, and religious life staff.

Faith Sharing Statement
Some of our religions mandate evangelism and the sharing of faith. For others this is a foreign, surprising, and even disturbing notion. In order to live and work together in respectful and faithful authenticity, we advocate faith sharing as a way of being in conversation, as dialogue about the good news we discover and live towards in our faiths, perspectives, and traditions. These conversations should be initiated as invitation, with transparency as to their nature and intent. Ideally, they will occur organically between friends, in the context of relationship, friendship, and kindness. If an invitation to “conversion” is made, we trust that it will be in an openly advertised context, purely invitational in nature, that recipients will have the freedom to answer honestly, and that all relationships will be entered into with integrity and for the sake of friendship alone. We affirm all faith sharing that is invited and welcomed.

Safety and Choice
As in any relationship, students must be safe and have the choice to dissent or to discontinue a given conversation. We decry any form of pressure, coercion, judgment, diatribe, ganging up on, or other subversive means that call into question a person’s eternal standing or tradition, and relationships that objectify persons by making them targets or means to an evangelistic end. Our mission to be “a safe place for spiritual growth and interfaith exploration” is harmed by these actions.

Transparency of Intent
With all this in mind, we encourage transparency in publicity and relationship. Evangelistic events must be plainly identified as to purpose with the sponsoring group’s whole title and religious tradition: for instance, Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship, Campus Outreach (Christian), Secular Society at Elon, MSA (Muslim Student Association), Hillel (Jewish), Iron Tree Blooming (Buddhist meditation), etc. When outside religious groups are part of evangelistic endeavors we expect those occasions to be transparently identified, and for all participating external groups to be noted, as well as the sponsoring campus groups, and to be clearly identified on all publicity. All external groups or speakers participating in campus programs must be registered with the Chaplain.

Pamphlet and Flyer Distribution
All flyers and publicity for religious organizations and events must be approved by the Chaplain. The student organization or department sponsoring the event must be clearly identified.  Pamphlets for outreach to the campus must also be approved and follow the faith-sharing policy. Off campus advertising will not be approved for display. See Moseley Campus Center for additional information on Elon University's policy for advertising, publicity, and flyer posting.

Reporting an Incident or Concern
In the unfortunate circumstance that a member of our community finds themself the target of high pressure or subversive faith sharing, or has any concerns related to faith sharing, please report the details immediately to the office of the Chaplain. Call 278-7729 or email Chaplain Jan Fuller.

Further details about Elon University's proselytizing policies.