START A ZOE POD
ZOE Pods are student-led groups, in-person, on-campus or online, where students gather for fellowship, worship, contemplative practice, study, and activism. ZOE Pods can be specific to one campus, or can be gatherings of students on two or more campuses. Or ZOE Pods can be organized around particular interests. Wherever you are, you can belong to the ZOE community through a pod!
Jesus was a subversive. He started a revolutionary movement of radical compassion, from within the dominant religion of his place and time.
Do you hear his call to be a catalyst for positive change? Do you want to explore and embody his radical message of agape love, full inclusion, and action for justice?
Maybe you were brought up evangelical and you now need a more open, thoughtful, and socially active approach to Christian living.
Maybe you were raised Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox but are turned off by the right-wing turn many in your traditions are taking. You wish you could find an open-hearted, open-minded Christian fellowship where you could explore the spirituality of great spiritual leaders like St. Francis, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa, and Pope Francis.
You are not alone. Today there is a huge exodus of young people from conservative forms of Christianity. And many who stay in it are struggling.
Maybe you're just starting your spiritual search and would love to find a group of students rooted in progressive Christian faith who will welcome you just as you are -- with your unique questions and doubts, hopes and dreams.
Maybe you're already part of a campus Christian fellowship and you love your fellow students, but you're frustrated with your organization’s harmful dogma and social/political stances. You can start a ZOE pod within or alongside it!
And if there is no progressive Christian group on your campus, you can start a ZOE Pod! We’ll help you. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you started.
High profile campus groups like InterVarsity, Cru (Campus Crusade), Navigators, Christian Challenge (Southern Baptist), Reformed University Fellowship, and similar ministries are funded by right-wing “culture warriors” who will never allow full inclusion and affirmation of LGBTQI+ sexuality or same-sex marriages. These campus ministries follow a narrow, dogmatic, literalistic interpretation of the Bible and the Christian faith, leaving little room for interpretation that could reconcile with social progress, common sense, or science. They are often openly hostile to the intellectual mission of the colleges and universities where they operate.
But Jesus never asked us to believe the unbelievable. He asked us to do something much harder, much more radical. He called us to love unconditionally - even to love our enemies. At ZOE, that's what Christian faith is all about.
Consider forming a student-led ZOE pod to bring together students who share this perspective on our faith. Gather for friendship, prayerful contemplation, worship, study, and action for positive change in the world. You can keep it on the “down-low”, operating quietly within or alongside your evangelical or Catholic fellowship, or you can form your own separate student club. Something to remember: on most campuses, it is the students, not the campus ministers or their organizations, who are the “owners” of their campus Christian fellowships. If your campus fellowship wants to drop its IV or Cru, etc, affiliation, you can do it! (An example: Claremont Christian Fellowship, a thriving campus ministry at the Claremont Colleges in California, disaffiliated from InterVarsity several years ago when its student members and advisors grew frustrated with IV’s refusal to fully affirm LGBTQI+ sexuality and same-sex marriage. CCF is now affiliated with our ZOE network.)
ZOE: Progressive Christians on Campus can help you, every step of the way. Through ZOE, you can connect with other ZOE pods and campus ministries around the world, for mutual support and fellowship. ZOE provides program resources to enliven your gatherings, with courses for Bible study and theological exploration, creative meeting plans, recruiting ideas, and more.
Be a leader in the movement to revolutionize Christian fellowship on campuses worldwide!