Here are some of the most common questions parents have about Chi Alpha.
If I am on campus may I stop by one of your events?
Of course! You are always welcome at any of our events and you are also welcome to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a pastor if you would like to ask any questions about Chi Alpha.
In addition, Chi Alpha usually hosts an informal reception during Family Weekend and so if you’ll be here for that then be sure to come and see us.
Is Chi Alpha the university church?
No. There is a university-sponsored church on campus led by Stanford’s Deans for Religious Life. We are not them. Chi Alpha is a voluntary student organization (a VSO, in Stanford parlance) registered with Student Activities and Leadership (SAL). We are allowed to exist by the university, but they do not endorse our theology. Glen, our pastor, is not a university employee nor is our group funded by the university (although we do on occasion receive money from the student government for specific events).
Is Chi Alpha part of a denomination?
Chi Alpha is sponsored by the Assemblies of God. According to the statistics at the Association of Religion Data Archives, it is the fourth-largest Protestant denomination in the United States after the Southern Baptist, United Methodist, and Evangelical Lutheran churches. There is likely an Assemblies of God church in your community that you didn’t realize was part of the Assemblies of God – our churches often do not have “Assembly of God” in their name.
It sounds like Chi Alpha has a lot of activities. Is this going to hurt my child’s grades?
Not at all. Here is a profile of one our alumni, Joel Goh, who served as a professor at Harvard and is now at the National University of Singapore. We have alumni working in fields ranging from academia to medicine to engineering to ministry.
One of the things we teach students is that we honor God by doing our best, and that our academics are an expression of worship. This has born great fruit. In fact, one year 10% of the Stanford students who won national awards (such as a Rhodes scholarship) were involved in Chi Alpha. The percentage is usually not that high, but having Chi Alpha students excel is not unusual.
Is this group going to cost me or my child money?
Chi Alpha has no dues or fees. In order to comply with university policy we do not receive offerings, but we do encourage students to be generous to off-campus charitable causes.
For some events (retreats, for example) we charge enough to cover our costs. These events are never mandatory, and we make financial assistance available for students who need it.
Who is this Glen my child mentions?
Glen is our pastor. He usually preaches at our worship services and also meets with students to give them counsel on a variety of issues. He is ordained with the Assemblies of God, has a Master of Divinity degree, and has been ministering to students at Stanford since 2002. He maintains a blog at glenandpaula.com and is on Twitter @theglendavis.