Saturday, February 15, 2014 12 comments

Christians on Campus: A Cult?

The question: Is Christians on Campus a cult?

As an undergraduate at The University of Texas at Austin, I became aware of the accusation that Christians on Campus was a cult. I often heard of other students running into this allegation, but I was not personally approached until my senior year, in fall 2012. During a conversation about my future plans, one of my chemical engineering professors expressed genuine concern that I might be involved in a cult: Christians on Campus.

I was taken aback by this conversation because this professor was one of my most trusted advisors. I had been working as an undergraduate research assistant in his lab for more than two years. We were co-authors on several scientific research papers. Most recently, we had published a paper in Science magazine about an innovative method for controlling the orientation of block copolymer nano-structures []. We had a very close relationship, almost like that of a father and son. In addition, I knew that he had my best interests at heart. His genuine concern prompted a similar concern within me. So I was forced to reflect on my experience with Christians on Campus and investigate the allegations against Christians on Campus. Was this club a cult?

The answer: a resounding NO

I began participating in Christians on Campus as a freshman in fall 2009. The truth revealed in the Bible, fellowship, and friendship that I found with the club became a big part of my college experience. During my investigation, I discovered that some allege that Christians on Campus is a cult because the leaders try to control the lives of the club members. Throughout my four years with the club, I never once felt controlled or pressured but rather I sought and received much helpful shepherding. This care touched my heart and led me to willingly volunteer my time and energy to club activities. These activities were so enjoyable and enriching to me both spiritually and academically. Another allegation that I discovered during my investigation is that Christians on Campus is a cult because club members are brainwashed and damaged mentally. In my experience, however, being involved with the club helped me to keep my mind properly balanced and contributed significantly to my success as a student. I can recall attending weekend retreats with Christians on Campus during the middle of the semester and returning to school refreshed and ready to attack the books and the lab. Eventually, as a senior, I was recognized by the university for my involvement in making a breakthrough scientific discovery []. I can say with certainty that my academic success was not hindered, but rather bolstered, by my participation with Christians on Campus.

I have no regrets about spending four years with Christians on Campus at The University of Texas. I know that there are negative rumors about Christians on Campus and that others rightfully have fears as a result of these rumors. I am happy to say that my professor is no longer concerned that I was involved with a cult in college. I hope that my story can help to assuage similar fears and concerns. Meanwhile, I would encourage any students who are seeking Jesus Christ and Christian fellowship at UT to consider joining Christians on Campus!