Greek InterVarsity is a nationwide group of fraternity and sorority members who aim to be a Christian resource within their Greek communities.
When one thinks of the “typical” sorority or fraternity experience, activities such as hard partying, drinking, hazing, and other risky behavior may come to mind.
Despite all of the good work that fraternity and sorority members do on their campuses, within their communities, and as members of national organizations, some of these stigmas may be off-putting to students who live a life in accordance with their religious teachings.
For Christian college students who are also members of fraternities and sororities, Greek InterVarsity is a way for these students to connect with fellow Greek members who share their interest in faith, but to also become a resource regarding Christianity within their chapters and Greek communities.
What is Greek InterVarsity?
Greek InterVarsity is a part of the nationwide InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, which brings together Christian college students of all denominations to bring Christian teachings to college students, faculty, and staff. According to InterVarsity’s website, the fellowship has chapters on 860 college and university campuses throughout the United States, with a core group of over 35,000 students and faculty who are active in the organization.
Greek InterVarsity has chapters on college and university campuses in twenty states throughout the country. Members of Greek InterVarsity may sponsor events that are open to all members of the Greek community as well as independent students, and may work with chapter members to coordinate Bible studies or interfaith discussions within their chapters.
The Purpose of Greek InterVarsity
According to Greek InterVarsity’s website, the organization has three goals in regards to its ministry:
- Evangelize: Greek InterVarsity strives to minister to Greek students, who have been historically regarded as a student group that has a low percentage of religious affiliation, practice, and devotion. Greek life has also been condemned by critics as a pagan culture due to certain aspects of fraternity and sorority life, such as organized rituals and the taking of oaths.
- Empowerment: Greek InterVarsity serves to empower students to not only be full participants within their respective organizations and campuses, but to also live a meaningful life that abides by Christian teachings, and to inspire others to do the same.
- Equipment: Members of Greek InterVarsity intend to be resources within their chapters and communities regarding living a Christian life, and the third goal of Greek InterVarsity is to equip sorority and fraternity members with the knowledge to make decisions that reflect their Christian background, as well as to become leaders in their communities.
Greek InterVarsity also allows Christian sorority and fraternity members to come together at national conferences to share their stories of faith, brotherhood, and sisterhood within their chapters. With the movement growing, this year’s conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, was covered by The New York Times.
Greek InterVarsity Activities on College Campuses
Each Greek InterVarsity chapter has unique places within a college campus and a Greek community. On some campuses, Greek InterVarsity has a small presence, while at other schools Greek InterVarsity has a large presence.
At Purdue University, Greek InterVarsity sponsors Tuesday night Bible studies on preselected passages, as well as ice cream socials, social events, and international mission trips. Purdue University’s Greek InterVarsity boasts around 100 members and, according to the chapter’s website, provides multiple opportunities for Greeks to get involved.
The University of Wisconsin – Madison’s chapter sponsors a Wednesday night Bible study, as well as a summer Bible study for Greek students who are still on campus or in the local area. Madison’s chapter also sponsors house ministries, where Greek InterVarsity members lead Bible studies and faith-based discussions within their chapters.
Clemson University’s chapter also hosts Greek IV Tuesday Nights, a chance for fellowship, reflection, and study with fraternity and sorority members from across campus. The Clemson chapter also sponsors other events where students, faculty, alumni, or community members can share how their Christian beliefs have impacted their lives, their time at Clemson, and their life experiences.
In a culture that is often regarded as faith-deficient and pagan, members of Greek InterVarsity strive to become active members of their Greek communities and to also become resources regarding Christianity within their chapters and their communities. For students who have sound beliefs, being a member of a fraternity or sorority or being a Christian is not simply a one-or-the-other choice, but two aspects of their lives that can coexist.