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Guiding Policies and Procedures for Student Religious Organizations

Guiding Policies and Procedures for Student Religious Organizations

Vision and Relationship with Campus Ministry

Religious/faith-based student organizations are groups guided or motivated by religious beliefs whose primary purpose would change without their religious identity.  They function to encourage the practice of or education about a religion or to support the religious identity development of students.

Students, faculty, and staff represent a variety of religious expressions at UD.  In the spirit of fostering a climate where respectful religious dialogue can occur and in support of the many who seek to deepen their faith experience while at UD, all groups pursuing a religious/faith-based purpose must adhere to the Catholic and Marianist mission of the University of Dayton.  The spirit of this is expressed in the position statement

Religious/faith-based organizations broaden the educational experience at UD and serve the needs of current UD students.  Therefore, all religious/faith-based groups seeking to assemble and function on campus must be initiated by current UD students and recognized by Campus Ministry in cooperation with Office of Student Life and Kennedy Union.  Groups must also engage in an ongoing way with the Department of Campus Ministry through the application/renewal process and a UD Campus Minister adviser to secure or maintain recognized organizational status.   This is to foster collaboration and communication and deter competition among religious/faith-based groups, ensure that groups understand the context for religious ministries at UD, and see that they comply with UD’s student organizational policies and procedures.  

As a private Catholic university, it is not UD’s mission to be a host site for other religious, para-church, or denominational organizations as a public university might be.  Protestant ministry and worship on campus seeks to build community through an interdenominational (not denominational) approach.  Student organization affiliation with non-UD religious organizations is permitted solely for the purpose of advising student groups, not for establishing satellite, personal, or denominational ministries. 

Campus Ministry assesses and determines the compatibility of campus religious organizations with the overall mission of the University of Dayton.  The following policies and procedures guide the process through which student religious/faith-based organizations obtain organizational status.


All religious/faith based groups are advised by a UD campus minister.  Organizations may also designate an additional full-time UD faculty/staff adviser or resource if desired. 

Criteria for off-campus liaisons

In the event that a student organization has an affiliation with a non-UD religious organization, one liaison who represents this religious organization may be designated.   Since the role of the liaison is to advise the student leaders who generate the thrust of the student organization (not to establish satellite, personal, or denominational ministries), the number of liaisons is limited to one.  This liaison must be endorsed by Campus Ministry and will:

  1. Possess at least a Bachelors degree.
  2. Demonstrate evidence of understanding or training in ministry to young adults in the context of Catholic higher education.
  3. Affirm the essential thrust of higher education and the aims of the University of Dayton as a Catholic and Marianist University.
  4. Refrain from behaviors that question the legitimacy of the belief that the Roman Catholic tradition is a path to salvation.
  5. Be in good standing within the non-UD religious organization they represent.
  6. Be persons of strong moral character and sensitivity who adhere to standards of professionalism and who maintain appropriate boundaries with students.
  7. Undergo a criminal background check initiated by the University of Dayton (if not a UD employee).

Criteria for recognition

Campus Ministry seeks to ensure that an organization’s purpose, methods, and activities adhere to the values stated in the Position Statement on Religious/Faith-Based Organizations at UD.  Advisers, liaisons and student officers are responsible for upholding the following principles and guidelines as they oversee organizational leadership and activities. 

  1. Ensure that the organization is initiated and driven by current UD students.
  2. Affirm the essential thrust of higher education and the aims of the University of Dayton as a Catholic and Marianist University.
  3. Refrain from activities which ridicule, misrepresent, or question the legitimacy of Catholic theology/belief. 
  4. Maintain respect for the various religious traditions represented at UD and recruit or present programs in such a way that the integrity and legitimacy of the person who holds a given faith (or no faith) is not disparaged.   This includes avoiding recruitment and promotional strategies and activities that denigrate, misrepresent, ridicule, or portray disrespectful attitudes towards other faith traditions or the people who practice them.
  5. Understand that proselytizing (using coercion, pressure, manipulation, deceptive or other aggressive methods to enlist, convert, or influence people, particularly those who might be vulnerable in their faith or personal lives) is prohibited.
  6. Identify the sponsoring group clearly and accurately in all advertising, outreach, and programmatic endeavors. 
  7. Refrain from intruding on the privacy of students and staff, especially in their residence halls, houses, or offices.
  8. Support UD’s vision of an ecumenical spirit and mutually respectful religious dialogue in the mission and activities of the student organization and non-UD religious organization (if applicable).  Be willing to collaborate with and/or be in dialogue with other religious groups on campus.
  9. Demonstrate that the group will provide perspective or activities that contribute uniquely to the campus religious environment.  New organizations may not duplicate or compete unnecessarily with existing campus religious organizations.  Current UD students must show significant interest (8-12 students minimally).
  10. Maintain an ongoing relationship with the Department of Campus Ministry through regular communication about events and activities with their campus ministry advisor and annual meetings with the Director of Campus Ministry or designee.

Student officers, advisers, and liaisons set the tone and mission of organizational activities and should uphold these standards within the organization.  Organizations that fail to adhere to these principles will not be permitted to function on campus.


Responsibilities of recognized religious/faith-based student organizations include:

  1. Meet with the director of Campus Ministry or designee/committee to review the purpose and activities of the organization and discuss their contribution to the religious climate at UD before organizational status is approved and then annually.
  2. Obtain approval of fundraising plans, publicity and promotional activities from campus ministry adviser.
  3. Communicate regularly with campus ministry about the organization including notification of campus wide events and activities, meeting time/place and event dates/changes.
  4. Maintain positive relationships with UD Interdenominational Ministry and with other recognized religious/faith-based groups on campus avoiding competition and duplication.
  5. Follow student organization policies and guidelines as articulated by Office of Student Life and Kennedy Union.


Privileges of recognized religious/faith-based organizations include:

  1. Rights, responsibilities and privileges of other campus student organizations including use of university bulletin boards and electronic media (upon event approval by Office of Student Life and Kennedy Union).
  2. Eligibility for Office of Student Life and Kennedy Union and other university awards.
  3. Eligibility to apply for university funding (per funding criteria) (e.g. through the Student Government Association).
  4. Use of University facilities and services for organization activities.  See Campus Chapel Use Policy below for guidelines related to campus worship.   
  5. Listing in selected campus ministry publications (including faith-based student groups on Campus Ministry website).
  6. Ability to make photocopies and to send faxes (at the expense of the organization) in Liberty Hall for organization activities.
  7. Ability to request partial financial support for activities and functions through the Department of Campus Ministry (depending on availability of funds).
  8. Use of Liberty Hall for regular meeting space on a first come first served basis after Campus Ministry departmental activities are scheduled.
Use of campus ministry vehicles for organization functions on a first come first served basis after Campus Ministry departmental use is scheduled (with UD certified drivers at cost to the organization).

Worship and Chapel Use Policy

Campus Ministry serves as a resource for organizations when prayer experiences are part of their activities.   When planning prayer, be sure to be in contact with your campus ministry adviser and keep the following policies in mind:

  • Recognized student organizations are welcome to use university chapels for informal prayer services and other purposes primarily devoted to prayer.  Reservations should be made through the appropriate Campus Ministry office. 
  • Meetings and other activities are more appropriately held in other spaces on campus.
  • Worship services on campus (both in chapels and in other rooms/spaces) are limited to Catholic Masses and the Interdenominational Worship Service sponsored by Campus Ministry. 
  • Invitations to visiting preachers and ministers, including Catholic priests invited to lead worship on campus, will be made by or through the Director of Campus Ministry.

Violation of Policies and Procedures

If a religious/faith-based organization fails to abide by stated principles, guidelines and procedures, the Director of Campus Ministry will give a written warning outlining the areas of concern.  Failure to correct the violation, repeated or additional violations will result in a repeal of recognized status.  Religious/faith-based organizations which are not recognized will be prohibited from functioning on UD’s campus.

Application Process for New Organizations

STEP 1:  Indicate Intent to Organize

Representatives of groups seeking to register as religious/faith-based student organizations may begin the process by logging into "Community" on the Student Life tab on the Flyers First page of Porches.  Groups must indicate that they are a religious/faith-based organization when completing the Intent to Organize form.

STEP 2:   Complete Campus Ministry Application Process

Part A:  Meet with Director of Campus Ministry

Once the Intent to Organize form is received through the Community software on Porches, groups will be asked to meet briefly with the Director of Campus Ministry and/or another designee to discuss the application process.

Part B:  Complete Application for New Student Religious Organizations:

Here groups must include:         

  1. a brief description of the purpose of the proposed organization;
  2. a list of probable activities;
  3. a statement describing the unique perspective this organization brings to campus religious life;
  4. a statement disclosing how the group plans to fund itself;
  5. names and current contact information for student leaders and advisors and signatures indicating intent to support and comply with the vision, policies and procedures listed here.

If the group has a relationship with a non-UD religious organization, representatives must also complete the Non-UD Religious Organization Information Form which asks for:

  1. the name and current contact information for the liaison from the organization who will be associated with this student group, and signatures indicating intent to support and comply with the vision, policies, and procedures listed here;
  2. a current resume of the liaison
  3. a criminal background check if liaison is not a UD employee
  4. a statement of philosophy which governs the mission and approach to ministry of the organization (preferably an officially adopted statement) and their mission in higher education;
  5. information showing the financial relationship between the student organization, the non-UD religious organization, and the organization’s liaison to the students.

Part C:  Schedule Campus Ministry Review of Application for organization approval.

Once the Application for New Student Religious Organizations has been received, the adviser, the liaison (if applicable), and student officers will be asked to meet with the director of Campus Ministry or other designee, and a review committee to discuss the application.    The committee will make a recommendation for recognition to the Director of Campus Ministry who will make the final decision about religious/faith-based organization approval.  If this approval is not given, the process stops here.

STEP 3:  Complete Application for Recognition with Student Life and Kennedy Union 

If religious/faith-based organizational approval is granted by the Director of Campus Ministry, groups can then complete the procedures for organizational development in the Student Life and Kennedy Union office through the Community software on Porches.   Final approval is given once this process is completed.

Application Deadline

New religious/faith-based student organization applications are due March 1 for consideration for the fall semester. 

Annual Renewal Process

Existing organizations renew their organization annually through both Campus Ministry and Student Life and Kennedy Union.

STEP 1: Submit renewal application by May 31

Information required for the renewal application includes:

a. names and contact information for new student leaders and officers
b. names and contact information for new advisers or non-UD liaison’s (when a liaison changes other material is required. See application for Non-UD Liaisons).
c. a brief summary of activities for the year to provide a realistic picture of the impact the group had on UD campus life in the current year.
d. A description of goals and plans for the future
e. A year-end financial report (Due by April 15)

STEP 2: Follow the annual renewal process for student organizations outlined by Office of Student Life and Kennedy Union.

Based on the information submitted, the Director of Campus Ministry or designee will review the mission and activities of religious/faith-based student organizations to confirm that they are meeting their intent and contributing to campus life in accordance with the values expressed here and in the Position Statement on Religious Ministries at UD. Organization leadership may also be asked to meet with the Director of Campus Ministry or designee and/or review committee to review their summary and goals for the future.


Campus Ministry

Liberty Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0408