Recently I’ve been thinking about how our surroundings affect our faith. Who you interact with and what you spend your time on can have a huge impact on how or even if you connect with God. I took this idea to some friends and asked them about their faith within their campus community. The following is the third post in this series.
Of all of the communities I am a part of, Greek life is the one that confuses people the most. “You’re in a sorority? How can you be in a sorority and be a Christian at the same time? Don’t you guys just drink and go to crazy house parties all the time?” The answer to that last one is obviously no, but some of the other questions are more difficult.
I have found it relatively easy to maintain my faith while involved in Greek life, but I wanted to hear another perspective so I interviewed a sorority president here at Pepperdine:
What is your faith background?
My faith background is a bit peculiar. Both of my parents grew up attending church, but decided against that when bringing up my family. We didn’t start attending church until I was in middle school because my sister was having fears about death that my parents couldn’t answer. I retaliated at first , but eventually (aka after a few years) I began to like church and the community it brought. Although I was surrounded by Christians and Christianity, my faith didn’t become a part of my identity and life until freshman year of college.
Do you feel that your greek affiliation has affected your faith (positively or negatively) in any way?
My greek affiliation has without a doubt affected my faith positively. It was my sorority sisters that first started bringing me to church, got me involved in our sorority’s club convo, and opened the door to friendships with other greek women who have been foundational in my faith journey.
Do you ever find it difficult to uphold your faith (beliefs, values, etc.) in greek life
Occasionally my faith values have been challenged in the greek community, but I don’t find these challenges any different from ones I faced in high school or outside the greek community. The experiences have challenged me to stay true to my faith despite peer pressure, and I’ve learned that my sorority sisters are very encouraging and supportive of that decision.
Do you ever discuss faith at greek events or with your sisters?
Although not as frequent as I may have liked, I have had numerous faith conversations with different women of my sorority. I’ve loved getting to learn from and walk beside these other women.
Do you think that faith should be more integrated or less integrated with your greek organization?
My hope is to bring more of my faith into my Greek organization, and although it’s been difficult to maneuver with my position as President, I think it’s been a slow (but visible!) process. I’ve found that I can’t implement my faith into policies or even Chapter meetings, but what I can do is share stories of my faith with other women, hear theirs in return, encourage members to lead club convos, and continue living a Christian life, as best I can, in plain view of others.
What advice do you have for currently affiliated members or potential new members who want to maintain their faith while involved in Greek life?
I advise them to continue living an authentic life in Christ. By doing so, they will no doubt attract other believers, or even those who are simply curious, and create their own faith community within Greek life. I also encourage the members to find faith mentors within their sorority who can get them connected in other ways they might not have been aware of before. Lastly, joining your sorority’s club convo is always a good place to start.
Anything else you’d like to say about faith, greek life, or your experience with those?
As doubtful and strange as it may sound, Greek life has been an integral part of my faith journey. The women I have met in my sorority are the same women who brought me to faith my freshman year, and for that I am so grateful.
If you want to learn more about Greek life specifically at Pepperdine, see here.
Throughout this whole series I have been trying to show other students that a life of faith is not incompatible with a life in college community. You do not need to alienate yourself, and you can be part of whatever communities you wish. In fact, Jesus calls us to be in community with others. It may be difficult at times, but I believe that you can use those hard situations to grow your own faith and grow the Kingdom of God here on Earth.