Nashville, TN – Due to religious discrimination at public universities, Christian campus establishments—including InterVarsity Christian Fellowship—have struggled to find ways to organize after being forced off of school grounds. At Vanderbilt, more than a dozen Christian groups lost their official standing after a university official asked the students to cut the words “personal commitment to Jesus Christ” from their list of qualifications for leadership. In spite of these setbacks, one star is shining brightly in the same exact environment; the fraternity Iota Chi Theta Upsilon Sigma.
The key to the success of Iota Chi Theta Upsilon Sigma is that they are not a parachurch religious organization, but simply a UBS5 Greek Bible studying fraternity and underground house church that goes on weekend fishing trips. “We began as an interest group of like-minded Christian guys in our classical Greek class,” founding father Malcolm Wesley told us. “We began to study the Greek Bible together on our own and then we decided to apply to start a fraternity. Most fraternities sit around and BS all the time, but we sit around the UBS all the time on our fishing trips. We gained a building near campus and then after living together, we naturally started worshiping with each other as a house church. Its living life together, you know? We also invite people on campus to our killer vespers parties. We’ve grown exponentially as a frat from there.”
As a sign of belonging, all members of the fraternity wear t-shirts that say ΙΧΘΥΣ around campus. “This is an excellent way for us to stay an underground movement and pique curiosity,” head of recruitment Ken Lee told us. He continued, saying “Outsiders think we are a fishing fraternity. But unlike most fraternities, we actually understand Greek, fraternity titles, and symbolism. In fact, our motto is: *Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, explain the fraternity’s name.* Still, we are watching out for Diocletian, otherwise known as the campus president.
Photo Credit: By FIRST CHRISTIAN (OLD AGE) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons