The Christian Roots of the Fraternity System

Is it true that many of American’s fraternities and sororities were originally founded on the Bible and Christian principles?

  • According to Baird’s Manual of American College Fraternities (1879), fraternity members were to be examples of Christian virtue to their other classmates. Fraternity undergraduates were described in this way: “First of all, believers in their Creator; they may not be agnostics, pagans, or atheists; and they must be loyal students of their college, so long as their college is itself loyal to the Creator.”
  • John Robson’s The College Fraternity and Its Modern Role (1966) states that the fraternity was originally established as “a foe of atheism.” to assure a level of moral and spiritual excellence on university campuses.
  • The Delta Upsilon Quarterly states this in regards to its original founding principles: “Fraternalism is not for the few. It is a way of life that embraces religion, teaches morals, and inspires dedication. With all of these it transpires values which are humanly high and thoroughly on the altar of God … A fraternity is fidelity in one’s heart.”
  • Baird’s Manual goes further to say the biblical principles which serve as the foundation for the fraternity system “follow the principles, traditions, and ideals on which American was established by her founding fathers under God … It is an entity of freedom.”

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