Proselytizing Policy at Elon University

In order to live and work together in respectful and faithful authenticity, to foster transparency, and to ensure the spiritual and emotional safety of members of our community, the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life has adopted the following guidelines for religious organizations, community ministries, and religious professionals working on the Elon University campus.

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 support respectful faith sharing as a way of being in conversation and 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 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 faith sharing that is invited and welcomed, respectful and transparent.

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. Student well-being and interfaith exploration are harmed by these actions.

Transparency of Intent

We require transparency in publicity and relationship. All marketing from religious life groups on campus must clearly identify the sponsoring organization or ministry. Outreach and evangelistic events must be plainly identified as to purpose with the sponsoring organization’s identity. When outside religious groups are part of evangelistic endeavors, the external groups and speakers must be clearly identified. Full disclosure of the nature of the event is required in all personal invitations and publicity, including print, electronic, and social media. External religious groups and speakers are not allowed to work on campus with students without the prior approval of the Chaplain.

Publicity and Communication

All student organizations and campus ministries must follow Elon University’s policies for event registration, publicity, and flyer posting, including registering all events through Phoenix Connect. Any publicity for external groups or speakers must be approved in advance by the Chaplain. Students should not be proselytized or recruited to join religious or spiritual groups in their private spaces (e.g., residence halls), nor should they be approached randomly on campus, in dining halls, or on social media. Students must be free to dissent or to leave a conversation, group, or event at any time without judgment, and groups must cease contact with a student and immediately remove them from any email or distribution lists when this is requested by the student. See the Moseley Campus Center for additional information on Elon University’s posting policies and event registration policies.

Reporting an Incident or Concern

In the unfortunate circumstance that a member of our community finds themselves 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 Kirstin Boswell.

See the Truitt Center’s Policies for Religious and Spiritual Life for more information.