Towson University encourages a broad range of religious and spiritual traditions represented by campus Ministers. Individually and collectively, these Ministers and spiritual advisors offer many services and programs that include worship, counseling, personal growth and empowerment, and opportunities for service involvement. Campus Ministers serve as faculty advisors to religious and spiritual student organizations and as key participants regarding religious and spiritual wellness for the University campus community.
To establish a procedure for Campus Ministers & representative(s) to be assigned to the University, in accordance with USM Policy VI-7.00.
“CMC” means Campus Ministry Center.
“ICMA” means the Interfaith Campus Ministers Association.
“Minister” means a representative of a religious or spiritual organization recognized by the University in accordance with this policy.
“RSCC” means the Religious & Spiritual Coordinating Council.
“University” means Towson University.
“USM” means the University System of Maryland.
Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity
Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity
Representatives of religious and spiritual organizations serving the University’s campus community.
Official Structure. The Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity serves as the primary liaison between Campus Ministers and the University. The University recognizes ministries on a two-tier system:
The RSCC is composed of Ministers who have been recognized in accordance with this policy, and the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity. Membership in this council enables Ministers to receive University privileges, as established by the University in its sole discretion, that may include: University identification cards, University email addresses, parking passes at the lowest faculty/staff rate, authority to reserve space on campus for student activities, and others as determined by the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity.
The ICMA, a subcommittee of the RSCC whose membership is determined by the RSCC, is made up of members of the RSCC who advise and liaise with the University. ICMA members promote a broader dialogue and connection to faith and spirituality on campus. They are the University’s primary contact with the spiritual and faith-based community and carry the status of Campus Chaplains. The ICMA advises the University on policies and/or procedures for interacting with the various religious and spiritual communities on campus, promotes the University at official events, and works to promote the spiritual and physical well-being of the entire campus community.
Appointment of Ministers. The nature of religious or spiritual activity of Ministers is determined by their respective religious affiliation. Ministers are assigned to the campus by external religious or spiritual organizations, which remove or reassign their representatives at will. The sponsoring religious or spiritual organization shall notify the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity in writing when a minister has been appointed to serve at the University; the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity will notify the Chair of the RSCC as a courtesy. The assigned Minister must be qualified and endorsed to represent the religious affiliation, and shall be provided with official credentials or endorsements to be presented to the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity, or a designated representative, when a new appointment is made. The Minster’s credentials must be acceptable to the University insofar as extending campus privileges and the use of University facilities are concerned.
Any religious or spiritual organization wishing to establish a new ministry at the University must apply to do so in writing to the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity, who may, in the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity’s discretion, consult informally with the Chair of RSCC. The Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity shall review the application and gather any additional information necessary to determine:
whether the national religious or spiritual organization is willing and able to financially support the ministry; and
whether there is a demand among the members of the campus community for such services.
In addition, all representatives of the religious or spiritual organization working on campus must sign and agree to abide by the RSCC Code of Ethics and the RSCC Bylaws, as those may be amended from time to time, before assuming duties at the University.
Once a Minister has met the qualifications described above, the Minister will be a probationary (non-voting) member of the RSCC for the University’s next (fall or spring) academic semester. The Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity will notify the Chair of RSCC when the determination has been made that a Minister has met the qualifications described above. If the Minister complies with the RSCC Code of Ethics and/or the RSCC Bylaws during the probationary semester, the Minister will receive full (voting) membership in the RSCC.
The membership of any RSCC member found to have violated the RSCC Code of Ethics or RSCC Bylaws will immediately be terminated. Termination of RSCC membership also means that the University will automatically revoke its recognition of the Minister whose membership is terminated. The chairperson of the RSCC will notify any member whose membership has been terminated of the termination. Any privileges granted by the University, as described in section VI.A.1, will be revoked immediately upon termination of the membership.
A Minister whose membership in the RSCC is terminated may appeal the termination of RSCC membership by filing a written request for an appeal with the chair of the RSCC within five working days after membership is terminated. The chairperson of the RSCC will schedule a meeting with the chairperson, the Minster, and the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity. After the meeting, the chairperson of the RSCC and the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity will make a final decision.
When a Minister severs their relationship with the University, it is the responsibility of the sponsoring religious or spiritual organization to notify the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity and the Chair of the RSCC.
Conduct of Ministers. When officially accepted by the RSCC and confirmed by the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity, campus Ministers become part of the University community, and persons from whom the University expects reasonable conduct. Should lapses occur, the University asserts the right to consult with the RSCC to investigate and determine appropriate action and/or to request the governing body of the Minister’s religious or spiritual organization to consider its complaint and to take such action as may be appropriate.
Should a disagreement arise between the University and an individual Minister regarding the Minister’s conduct that may be in violation of University or USM policies or procedures, the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity shall:
Notify the Minister, and the proper representative of the religious or spiritual organization, of the disagreement in writing.
Should there be no timely resolution; a meeting among all concerned parties should be arranged within a reasonable period of time to resolve the matter(s).
If the issues are not resolved by discussion, the University reserves the right to withdraw its recognition and any campus privileges extended to the Minister and shall notify the Minister’s sponsoring religious or spiritual organization of its intention.
Campus Ministry Center. The University provides the CMC for use by all the RSCC member groups at the University. The CMC is managed by the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity. The RSCC coordinates room reservations and policies for the CMC, with the approval of the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity.
Approval Date: 08/10/2011
Effective Date: 08/26/2011
Approved By: President’s Council 08/10/2011
Signed By: President’s Council
This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, generalcounsel AT_TOWSON.