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Campus Interfaith Council


Policy on the Role of Campus Ministers

Northern Kentucky University seeks to promote the presence of a vigorous and diverse religious community on campus, to foster interfaith dialogue, understanding and co­ operation within that community, and to encourage its active participation in the public discourse of the University. To this end, NKU welcomes the presence of a wide range of denominational and non­denominational ministries reflecting all faiths and religious traditions.

Recognized campus ministers work closely with the Dean of Students Office and the division of Student Affairs to serve the pastoral needs of students, faculty, and staff, to strengthen the faith communities they represent, and to model mutual respect, love of learning and care for the common good. In return, the University offers campus ministers an acknowledged place within the University community, while honoring their relative autonomy as agents of the religious organizations to which they report.

This arrangement presupposes the University’s ability to ensure that the qualifications and actions of its campus ministers reflect the highest professional standards for religious leaders in their own communities, that the religious organizations to which they report are in a position to provide adequate accreditation and supervision, and that the University’s own standards are met. With this in mind, the Dean of Students employs the following guidelines for the recognition of campus ministers:

All applications for recognition must originate from a religious council, church or other religious body or organization. The University does not consider applications from individuals. The sending agency submits its application in writing to the Dean of Students along with a resume of the individual it is nominating, and a letter of application for recognition (see below). The Dean, in consultation with the Vice­President of Student Affairs, confers recognition.


To be recognized as a campus minister, one shall be:

  • Nominated and endorsed by a legitimate national, regional or local religious organization prepared to supervise and assume ultimate responsibility for his or her activity
  • Ordained and in good standing with an ordaining body and/or professionally trained for religious work.
  • Evidence of prior experience in campus ministry or related areas (e.g., youth work, congregational ministry, teaching, etc.)
  • Committed to interfaith co­operation and collaboration
  • Equipped and eager to participate in the intellectual life of an academic community
  • Able to provide character references and willing to submit to a background check

In addition, no campus minister may function in the function of a corresponding student religious organization duly established and registered with the University through the Office of Student Life.

To maintain recognition as a campus minister, one shall:

  • Attend regular meetings of the Campus Interfaith Council
  • Provide annual evidence of continuing sponsorship by their authorizing body
  • Inform the Dean when hiring interns or other staff members
  • Participate, whenever possible, in Campus Interfaith Council events (a pattern of non­participation are grounds for revocation of recognition)
  • Adhere to the policies and procedures of Northern Kentucky University that do not conflict with the organization’s religious values or practices
  • Support and adhere to the University’s policies and procedures as set forth in the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities.

Role or Function

A recognized campus minister may

  • Advise student campus religious organizations
  • Serve as pastoral counselors for students (those who wish to serve in this capacity must submit their name and contact information for posting in counseling areas for students seeking such information – this does not establish campus ministers as agents or employees of the University)
  • Provide services to faculty and staff


In order to promote the presence of a vigorous and diverse religious voice and community on campus, and to provide opportunities for campus ministers to serve the needs of students, faculty and staff, the following benefits are provided to all recognized campus ministers.

  • University identification card
  • Listed in the NKU Faculty/Staff Directory (under the Dean of Students office)
  • Access to the University Library
  • Individual membership to the Campus Recreation Center (eligibility to purchase a family membership)
  • University e­mail account
  • Placement on the University mailing list for official University bulletins and announcements including Student Life and Student Organization publications
  • Permission to reserve and use University space for regular gatherings and special events at no cost
  • Access to program funds through a registered student organization

Recognized campus ministers function within the jurisdiction of the Dean of Students and the division of Student Affairs, which may revoke the privileges of any campus minister who fails to live up to the requirements outlined above.

Letter of Application

The following questions must be answered in full and in writing and returned to the Dean of Students office for consideration as a campus minister:

  1. How will your ministry serve the campus community?
  2. What student organization will you be affiliated with?
  3. In what way have you determined a specific need for your ministry at NKU?
  4. What types of activities do you propose to offer the NKU community?
  5. Describe the function of your individual campus minister positions and provide their names as well as their educational an experiential background.
  6. What is the nature of your governing body? (Attach a copy of your constitution and by­laws)
  7. What are the primary sources of your campus ministry funding?
  8. Describe how you or you ministry will collaborate with the Campus Interfaith Council.


The campus minister agrees to indemnify Northern Kentucky University, the Board of Regents, its agents and employees, against any and all claims made by individuals arising out of a relationship with any registered campus minister.


This agreement shall be reviewed in person periodically by both parties in order to maintain a clearly defined and close working relationship between NKU and the recognized “campus minister/ministry.” Such an evaluation shall occur at least one time per year. Part of this review for initial qualification and continuing eligibility as a campus minister may include a complete record and background check.