Guidelines and Procedures for Recognition of Religious Workers at Gallaudet University

revised August 2014


Gallaudet University recognizes the importance of a diversity of religions or faiths on the overall spiritual development and educational experience of students. The Office of Campus Ministries (OCM), a unit under Student Affairs, exists to serve and minister to the entire Gallaudet University community.

Membership in the Office of Campus Ministries is composed of people appointed by their jurisdictional supervisors and recognized by the University as religious workers to serve and minister on campus. The Office of Campus Ministries’ recognized members may minister in a variety of ways:

  • fostering the moral and spiritual development of members of the community;
  • leading worship services, both of their own denomination and ecumenical;
  • offering pastoral counseling, encouragement, and solace;
  • explaining and giving instruction in the beliefs and practices of their faith, to those who inquire;
  • participation in, and discussion of, social justice and responsibility issues;
  • providing social and religious events and experiences; and
  • maintaining a ministry of presence on campus.

The members of the Office of Campus Ministries, in carrying out their individual ministries, also work together for mutual support, occasional ecumenical programs and services to the Gallaudet community.

General Definitions

The term “recognition” refers to the process by which a religious denomination applies to obtain the status as a registered member of the Office of Campus Ministries.

For the purposes of the Gallaudet University Office of Campus Ministries, the term “denomination” refers to groups of religious organizations with the same, or similar faith traditions, usually referred to by the same or similar name. (For example: “Baptist” refers to all the varieties of Baptists, “Methodist” refers to all the varieties of Methodists, and so on.)

The term “religion” refers to an organized set or particular system of beliefs in a supreme being.

The term “religious worker” refers to a person recognized and appointed by their jurisdictional or local supervisors to serve the religious needs of the community at Gallaudet.

The term “faith” refers to a religious belief.

The term “University property or premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of, owned, used, or controlled by the University.

Procedures for Registration

Religions, denominations, and other national religious organizations desiring University recognition for the Office of Campus Ministries must register their intent, in writing, with the Dean of Student Affairs. The Dean of Student Affairs Office will provide a current copy of the “Guidelines and Procedures for Recognition of Religious Workers at Gallaudet University” that outlines registration procedures.

Conditions of Registration

Gallaudet University is a private university, and recognition of religious organizations is not automatic. All religious workers are guests of the University. A religious group desiring representation in the Office of Campus Ministries at Gallaudet University must:

a) make a formal request, in writing, to the Dean of Student Affairs or to the Dean’s appointed representative with the name and address of the person and the organization to whom the religious worker will report;

b) provide a statement of the philosophy which governs the approach of that body of ministry;

c) provide information showing the financial relationship of the religious worker to the sponsoring organization, and

d) provide a resumé of the religious worker’s education and professional experience.

Religious workers designated to serve in religious organizations recognized by the University will:

a) hold at least a Baccalaureate (Bachelor’s) degree as well as appropriate credentials, qualifications, integrity, training, skills, and experience appropriate for the conduct of campus ministry at Gallaudet University;

b) be fluent in sign language and able to effectively communicate with students, faculty and staff of the University;

c) maintain respect for various religious faiths represented at the University and ethically conduct programs of worship, witness and enlistment in such a way that the integrity and legitimacy of the individual who holds a given faith, or no faith, is not disparaged. Specifically, there is to be no proselytizing of members of the University community; and

d) be aware of the diversity of beliefs and practices of the members of the Office of Campus Ministries and shall allow for free exercise of faith by all members of the campus community.

Only one religious worker of a particular denomination will be recognized for membership in the Office of Campus Ministries. Each religious worker will make reasonable accommodation to other organized expressions of similar faith traditions.

In order to facilitate ongoing meaningful service to the campus community, the University expects its religious workers to live and work within proximity to the University, i.e. the greater metropolitan Washington, DC, area.

Recognized religious workers may utilize interns, practicum students, and other assistants in their ministry at the University. Religious workers must supervise and monitor the activities of their interns and assistants. Interns and assistants must adhere to all policies of the Office of Campus Ministries. Except at the discretion of the Dean of Student Affairs in special circumstances, interns, practicum students, and other assistants will are not qualified to receive staff ID cards, University Email accounts, office keys, or parking privileges.

Benefits and Rights of Recognized Members of OCM

A recognized religious organization is entitled to be listed as a member of the Office of Campus Ministries in publications on campus. Recognized religious organizations may use the name of the University, or an abbreviation of the name of the University as part of its name, but cannot advertise or promote events or activities in a manner that suggests the function is sponsored by the University or the Office of Campus Ministries. Stationery indicating affiliation with Gallaudet University and as used by the Office of Campus Ministries must be approved by the Dean of Student Affairs’ Office. Publications, papers, flyers, etc. relative to the Office of Campus Ministries should first be reviewed by the Campus Activities Office.

Members of the Office of Campus Ministries are also able to sponsor or present a public event on University property, raise funds or make other permissible solicitations on University property in accordance with University policy.

Other benefits of recognized religious organizations include the use of campus space for meetings, borrowing of equipment, use of bulletin boards, telephone services as it relates to OCM business, shared use of the Student Activities Center Chapel, and shared space assigned by the University.

Annual Review and Renewal of Registration of OCM Denominations

The privileges of conducting a ministry at Gallaudet University depends upon initial and continued recognition by the University. Continued recognition will be dependent on:

a) demonstrated willingness to relate and cooperate with religious workers of other faiths, on a basis of mutual respect;

b) demonstrated willingness to abide by all University policies, including those related to solicitation;

c) demonstrated campus membership among currently enrolled full-time students, in a number required to form a chaplaincy or a club/organization as defined by Gallaudet University; and

d) regular attendance and participation in scheduled OCM meetings, and regular email contact with the Campus Ministry liaison and staff.

At the end of each academic year, each recognized religious organization shall submit to the Dean of Student Affairs, or designated office, an annual report that includes the number of students served, programs and services offered, and other related contributions and achievements. (Campus Ministry reports may be submitted to the Dean’s office via Email. ) Religious organizations that do not submit an annual report will be considered inactive and will lose the benefits entitled to recognized religious organizations. Religious organizations inactive for at least one year will be considered officially unrecognized, and will need to reapply for recognition.

Withdrawal or Denial of Recognition

Recognition of a religious organization will be denied if the faith group fails to meet any part of the registration requirements. Recognition may be withdrawn from any religious organization which

a) fails to maintain the requirements for recognition,

b) fails to submit a complete and accurate annual report,

c) fails to maintain an active presence on campus, providing little or no service to the University community,

d) proselytizes members of the University community, or e) engages in activities or actions that are detrimental to the educational mission and purposes of the University.

Determination to withdraw recognition is made by the Dean of Student Affairs, after providing a letter to the individual and the sponsoring religious organization which notifies them of the possibility, and setting up a meeting to discuss the issues that may affect its continued recognition.

Liaison/OCM Meetings

Members of the Office of Campus Ministries shall choose a Liaison to work with the Dean of Student Affairs, or designated office , to address religious issues and concerns of the Gallaudet community. The Liaison shall

a) foster ongoing communication among the Campus Ministry staff through Email and staff meetings to address the needs of Office of Campus Ministries, its representative religious organizations, and the campus community. Periodic meetings between OCM and Student Affairs staff is encouraged,

b) maintain the OCM website, keeping the posted information current and accurate, and

c) respond to inquiries from the community regarding the University’s campus ministries.

Contact Us

Office of Campus Ministries

Ely Center 114 - 119

(202) 510-9594

(202) 651-5144

(202) 651-5651

9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm

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