THE CONSTITUTION OF INTERDENOMINATIONAL CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
(Updated November 15, 2013)
Article I: Name and Purpose
Section 1. Name
The name of this organization is Interdenominational Christian Fellowship (ICF).
Section 2. Mission
The purpose of the Interdenominational Christian Fellowship is: To be a dynamic, Christ-centered community, which strengthens its members and reaches out to the entire Tufts campus. The Interdenominational Christian Fellowship is a non-denominational (i.e. not affiliated with any religious denomination), evangelical group of Tufts students who are discovering the joy and satisfaction of following Jesus Christ. ICF is founded on traditional evangelical Christian beliefs as stated in our Basis of Faith (see Article I, Section 3). We believe that true life is found in Jesus, and our vision is to live out this faith in the context of the Tufts community, while inviting others to join us.
Section 3. Basis of Faith
ICF believes that the Holy Bible is uniquely God-breathed, trustworthy and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice. We believe Jesus Christ to be the self-revelation of God.
ICF is dedicated to understanding and celebrating the basic Biblical truths of Christianity, as outlined in the Nicene Creed:
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
ICF welcomes individuals of all religious backgrounds. Questions regarding the interpretation and application of the Basis of Faith will be addressed by the Vision and Planning Team (see Article IV).
Section 4. Characteristics of a Leader
ICF desires leaders who:
a. support and advocate for the purpose and mission of the fellowship;
b. affirm the letter and Spirit of the Basis of Faith;
c. desire to grow in relationship with Jesus Christ;
d. and, as a result of this relationship, seek and pray for the fruits of the Spirit in all aspects of their lives (Galatians 5:22-23) and reflect God’s love towards all people.
Article II: Membership
Section 1. Members
Membership is open to all Tufts students. For formal purposes, a “member” of ICF is a Tufts student who attends at least one half of ICF’s weekly small or large group meetings. ICF does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, or an individual’s previous affiliations in criteria for membership, assignment of voting privileges, or rank.
Section 2. Advisors
ICF may choose to seek advisement from chaplains or outside organizations. To initiate affiliation with an outside organization, the VPT must vote unanimously in favor of affiliation with two-thirds support from current membership. Any affiliation with an outside organization must subsequently be renewed at the beginning of each academic year by a two thirds approval vote of the VPT and a majority of the current membership.
Advisors are not members of ICF. Although they may attend ICF meetings and counsel ICF members and/or leaders, they do not have a vote in any ICF decisions and cannot, under any circumstances, officially speak for ICF or enter into binding agreements on behalf of ICF. Advisors’ involvement and interaction with the membership of ICF is subject to supervision and/or termination by the Vision and Planning Team of ICF in consultation with the Chaplaincy. In conformance with Tufts University Policy, ICF pledges to adhere to all University regulations.
Article III: Fellowship Life
Fellowship structures include:
a. Weekly large group gatherings, usually worship, prayer, and Scripture discussions.
b. Weekly small group Bible studies, involving times of focused Scripture study, prayer, and intimate fellowship.
c. Off-campus spiritual retreats.
d. Campus-wide events, intended to serve the wider Tufts community.
Article IV: Leadership
Each year ICF shall select an executive leadership team (the “Vision and Planning Team”). To be eligible for the Vision and Planning Team of ICF, an individual must have been a member of ICF for no less than one full academic year. Any student who meets these requirements is eligible to apply for the Vision and Planning Team (VPT).
It is the duty of the Vision and Planning Team members to demonstrate support for the Purpose of ICF (see Article I) and set the direction of the fellowship in accordance with the Mission of ICF. The VPT members of ICF are the official “voice” of the fellowship, and only the VPT members can enter into binding agreements with Tufts, members of the Tufts community, or outside parties. At the discretion of the VPT, may create subcommittees responsible for various aspects of fellowship life, including small group Bible studies, outreach, and worship. Additionally, the VPT shall select one of the members of ICF to act as the fellowship’s Treasurer. The Treasurer shall work to keep track of all funds used by ICF during the year and to establish a budget for the following year.
Vision and Planning Team members shall be selected to serve for two semesters. The next year’s Vision and Planning Team members are selected by the current Vision and Planning Team of ICF and a Selection Committee (SC) consisting of one freshman, one sophomore, one junior, and one senior. The SC will be selected as follows:
1. All TCF members will be encouraged to nominate someone representing their class: freshmen nominate a freshman, sophomores nominate a sophomore, juniors nominate a junior, and seniors nominate a senior.
2. The person from each class with the most nominations will be asked by the VPT to serve on the SC. If they decline, the person with the next highest number of nominations will be asked, and so on.
3. SC members should demonstrate support for the Purpose of TCF (see Article I).
Once the SC has been nominated, the VPT and SC shall both read over leadership applications and conduct interviews of applicants in pairs (one VPT with one SC member, if possible). The VPT and SC will then convene to discuss applicants and draft a proposal for the next year’s VPT. The next year’s Vision and Planning Team proposal will be put to a vote. A majority of the current VPT and a majority of the SC must agree for the proposed team to move forward. Following this initial selection, the newly proposed VPT shall be placed before the ICF membership for a ratification vote. A majority of the ICF membership must vote to ratify the proposed VPT. If a simple majority is not satisfied, then the initial selection process will be repeated until a majority of the membership ratifies the newly proposed VPT.
Once the next year’s Vision and Planning Team has been selected, the new VPT shall meet and determine whether subcommittees will be required for the following academic year. If the new VPT decides that subcommittees will be required, then the new VPT, in consultation with the outgoing VPT, ICF’s affiliate chaplains, and ICF’s membership, shall select subcommittee members. Prospective subcommittee members may be recommended by ICF members, by the affiliate chaplains, or by the current VPT. While all members of the chapter and the affiliate chaplains may provide counsel and advice during the subcommittee selection process, final decisions shall be made by two-thirds agreement of the new VPT. No student may serve as a subcommittee member without receiving the endorsement of at least two-thirds of the new VPT.
Any student who is a member of ICF is eligible to apply for positions on the subcommittees.
If, during the leadership selection process or during a leader’s term in office, disputes arise regarding the meaning of the Basis of Faith and Purpose of the organization – specifically, disputes regarding the precise meaning of Biblical authority and member eligibility for leadership, and leader adherence to desired Characteristics of a Leader (see Article I, Section 4) – then such disputes shall be resolved by at least two-thirds agreement of the Vision and Planning Team. The Vision and Planning Team’s decision shall be final.
In the event that (a) the incoming Vision and Planning Team consists of fewer than four members, or (b) a selected member of the VPT should resign from his or her leadership role, then a new member of the VPT may be selected by the same process outlined in Section 3.
Leaders (whether Vision and Planning Team members, the Treasurer, or subcommittee members) may be impeached upon at least two-thirds agreement of the VPT. Any member of ICF may make a complaint against any member of the ICF leadership team. Following the complaint, the Vision and Planning Team shall meet (with affiliate chaplains present for advice and counsel) with both the complaining individual and the accused. No leader may be impeached without first receiving a full and fair hearing from the Vision and Planning Team. In the event that a complaint is made against a Vision and Planning Team member, then that Leader may only be impeached by at least two-thirds agreement of the remaining Vision and Planning Team members.
Article V: Amendments
The Constitution may only be amended through the agreement of at least two-thirds of the Vision and Planning Team members and half of current membership. Any member of the ICF and any affiliate chaplain may propose constitutional amendments. The amendment in question will be discussed first by the VPT, and if approved, be voted on by fellowship membership for ratification.