Society Suggestion for BJU

My son is enrolling as a freshman at BJU this fall. Can someone suggest a society that is known for attracting spiritually mature students?

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Pastor Joe Roof's picture

I would be careful about joining a society that presents itself as the one that attracts spiritually mature students. That environment can breed a despicable self-righteousness.

Look for a society where you can make a contribution for the cause of Christ. Look for a society that knows how to have a good time. When I was there, I joined Phi Beta. We had a day at the lake one time where we rented ski boats, hired a ski instructor, rented to jet skis, and had pizza and pepsi. In an environment like BJU, you sit in enough classes and chapels that make a powerful impact on your life but you need times of just simple fun. Phi Beta knew how to do this back then.If you like a certain sport that the societies play, look for a society that has an interest in that sport and join the team.

Interestlingly, I believe there are as many people from Phi Beta out there serving God in some capacity today as there are from other societies who thought they were more spiritual.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

I'm in agreement pretty much with Joe (and that's not because I was in the same society, though I was).

You need to look at the purpose of "societies" as they are at BJ to decide which one to join. BJ societies provide a sort of controlled social outlet that compares and contrasts well with the other parts of the university that are geared toward the academic and spiritual maturation of the students. Since there is almost 100% complete turnover every 4 years, there is no way to say which society will have the most spiritual members, especially since the student decides for himself which society to join. Students that self select for "the most spiritual society" are likely to end up just as Joe described them. And even if the determination is made by trusted people on the outside, the next year's new students will change the spiritual character of the society quite a bit. There might be certain things each society is known for (sports, snootiness, etc.), but those characteristics are not in direct correlation with spirituality. I knew plenty of Phi Beta guys I looked up to spiritually, and I knew plenty of the opposite, and I pretty much saw that in the other societies as well.

In all honesty, I didn't originally want to join any society -- my view was that they should not have been required, and I wasn't really interested in social development at the point of a gun, so to speak. In the long run, I'm sure it was good for me, but my longest lasting university friendships and professional relationships did not come from my society. Nearly all of them I met and developed much later, and the somewhat artificial society interaction (which I personally think existed because we *had* to pick one) was completely tangential. I will say this -- it did help me learn to form teams among people and work with people that would not have chosen to be together otherwise, and I did have some good times in spite of myself.

Why not just give your son some good advice on what to look for in friends and other relationships, and let him pick a society based on his interests -- he'll be able to find good spiritual friends in pretty much any one of them.

Dave Barnhart

Diane Heeney's picture

In my day, there were societies during rush week that tried to entice interest by demonstrating that they were really fun or really great at sports. The society I joined attracted me because the girls were sincere, helpful, and proactive (a servant spirit--and they wanted to know if I was interested in serving as well). They were not bribing with donuts or attracting attention with goofy songs, balloon hats, and cheers. I got a solid impression of what their "mission statement" was by talking to their girls. I wasn't sorry...I found I had joined a great bunch of gals, many of whom were not only respected leaders on campus, but continued on to be leadership material beyond graduation. Chi Theta Upsilon helped me grow up. I have great memories of my society days , but there is no guarantee that they have continued the legacy for certain. Of course, I hope so, but things can change, depending upon leadership.

My advice is ask questions, and spend time with some of the members of your prospective society. Get to know the officers, who will largely influence the spiritual temp and direction of the group.

"I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian." --Whitefield http://strengthfortoday.wordpress.com

rogercarlson's picture

I would like to echo what Joe and Dave said. While I think that you do want to look at spiritual development, your son will find that as much outside of soceity as in it. For the record, I was in Beta Gama. We have alot of great guys serving the Lord (Kevin Priest, Registrar at Northalnd and Missionary Rob Howell, Camp director Kevin Carlock, and BJU Professor and singles pastor at Hampton Park, Chris Barney). We had a lot of fun and a great group of men who wanted to grow spritually. I had the privilege of being chaplain for a couple of years.

At the risk of offending, Chi Delt was not known for its spriitual people. Yet one of the most spiritually mature guys I knew at BJ was in Chi Delt. So, I would look for a balanced group of guys that also have similar interests. He will develop great spriitual relationships with a cross section of guys...soceity being just one place.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

jvberryjr's picture

I appreciate the feedback. Its just that my son had a friend that joined a society that did more to hinder than help spiritually (according to his friend). It is a truth that bad acquaintences can corrupt good morals, and I have no delusions that most folks that go to BJ are spiritually mature.

I agree with the idea that whatever society he ends up with, he is responsible for his own spiritual welfare. I just didn't know if there were societies that tended to attract the more serious students.

Angela Stewart's picture

Yeah, I'm gonna pretty much echo what the others said. If you're not a current student or recent grad, it's hard to know the makeup of any society. They change with the membership. I got the impression that a significant percentage of freshmen end up joining one of their roommates' societies. I did. Biggrin It's actually not an unreasonable way to make the decision. A freshman on ANY campus is going to be faced with so many new experiences, responsibilities, and challenges. Making that 4-year commitment so soon after starting college can seem overwhelming. Honestly, I think freshmen ought to be able to float the decision for the first semester. I've known more than one girl to end up in a society that, having had more time to make the decision, they would have turned and run from.

iCart's picture

rogercarlson wrote:
At the risk of offending, Chi Delt was not known for its spriitual people.

Chi Delt actually got disbanded two years ago, if it puts any worries to rest Wink

iCart

rogercarlson's picture

Ian,

When I was there is was a big soceity but was considered a rebel soceity. But there were some good guys in it, just like everyone. I almost joined Chi Delt.....LOL

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

iCart's picture

By the time of my freshman year (Chi Delt's last year), it had very few guys . . . BUT those very few guys knew how to make a LOT of noise! lol I actually thought they were decently big during society rush, just b/c of how loud their rush tent was! Smile
It is sad that we lost one of the original 1927 societies.

iCart