Advice for Choosing a Religious Group

Among the clubs and organizations on campus, you'll find numerous religious groups. Some are formal, and some are informal. Choosing a religious group is an important decision.

Healthy religious groups will tell you a lot about themselves - who they are, what they stand for, and what they expect from you. An open and responsible group will offer an easy entrance to - and more importantly - an easy exit from their group. Within the healthy group, one finds an appreciation of diversity, openness to criticism and doubt, and appreciation of other religious traditions. Healthy groups encourage the individual's growth and support the college experience.

Unhealthy and controlling religious groups may be organized or informal but have in common the use of high-pressure recruiting tactics and practices designed to produce uniformity within the group. Group names can change frequently. However, you can identify these groups by what they do.

Students should be wary of any group exhibiting some /all of the following behaviors:

1) Constant calling/texting.

2) Insisting that only those people within the group “have it right.”

3) Isolating the students from outside friends or activities.

4) Harsh or heavy pressure to “repent of sin” or withdraw from critical inquiry. 

5) Pressuring the student to cut class or withdraw from the university all  together.


Click here to submit a concern about an unhealthy or controlling group.