The Constitution of Non-denominational Christian Fellowship
Article I: Name and Purpose
Section 1. Name
The name of this organization is Non-denominational Christian Fellowship (NCF).
Section 2. Purpose
Non-denominational Christian Fellowship is a Christ-centered community of people who support and challenge each other in exploring the life of Jesus Christ and its relevance to the Tufts community and beyond. We are open to all students and committed to pursuing faith, having fun, building community, and enjoying food together. We believe that true life is found in Jesus, and our vision is to express this faith, while inviting others to join us.
NCF 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.
NCF is dedicated to understanding and celebrating the basic Biblical truths of Christianity, as outlined in 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.
NCF welcomes individuals of all religious backgrounds. Questions regarding the interpretation and application of our Purpose will be addressed by the Vision and Planning Team (see Article IV).
Section 3. Non-duplication, division and competition
NCF represents the Non-denominational Christian tradition in a capacity that cannot be fully served by other student organizations. If duplication should be suspected, a clear statement of the necessity of NCF as a distinct entity, not connected with any single parachurch organization, will be outlined and provided to the Tufts University Chaplaincy. NCF commits not to conflict or overlap programming in time or spirit with that of similar organizations or compete with those organizations in outreach. In an event of conflict NCF will allow the University Chaplain to mediate discussion between groups and concedes all requested information, to be provided by the Vision and Planning Team.
Article II: Membership and Advisors
Section 1. Members
Membership is open to all Tufts students. For voting purposes, a “member” of NCF is a Tufts student who attends at least one half of NCF’s weekly small or large group meetings. NCF does not discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, class, sex, gender identity and expression, nationality, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability, or an individual’s previous affiliations in criteria for membership, assignment of voting privileges, or rank.
Section 2. Relationship to the Tufts University Chaplaincy
NCF will remain in relationship and communication with the University Chaplaincy for advice and support. If any other advising is sought, the process for selecting and removing advisors will be explained. NCF acknowledges that proposed advisors of religious and philosophical student organizations at Tufts must be vetted, approved, and supervised by the University Chaplain.
Section 3. Advisors
NCF affirms that the group will remain completely autonomous of non-Tufts organizations and that it will be led by Tufts students without the pressure of external expectations. If in the future NCF chooses advisors they will not be members of NCF. Although they may attend NCF meetings and counsel NCF members and/or leaders, they do not have a vote in any NCF decisions and cannot, under any circumstances, officially speak for NCF or enter into binding agreements on behalf of NCF. Advisors’ involvement and interaction with the membership of NCF is subject to supervision and/or termination by the Vision and Planning Team of NCF in consultation with the Tufts University Chaplaincy. In conformance with Tufts University Policy, NCF pledges to adhere to all University regulations. NCF seeks to serve the Tufts undergraduate student body. Any representation or presence of individuals who are not Tufts students or staff at NCF programming must receive a prior invitation or consent from the VPT. The unexpected presence of individuals who are not Tufts students or staff at NCF events is to be handled on a case by case basis and supervised by the VPT.
Article III: Fellowship Life
Section 1. Fellowship structures
Fellowship structures include but are not limited to:
- Weekly large group gatherings, usually including worship, prayer, and Scripture discussions.
- Weekly small group Bible studies, involving times of focused Scripture study, prayer, and intimate fellowship.
- Off-campus spiritual retreats.
- Campus-wide events, intended to serve the wider Tufts community.
Section 2. Interfaith cooperation and representation
NCF will work in a collegial and collaborative ecumenical and interfaith way with other religious and philosophical student organizations on campus, ensuring that programming is not duplicated and does not conflict/overlap in time or spirit with other similar organizations’ programming and outreach. To this end, NCF will annually appoint one member of VPT to be an Interfaith Student Council Representative who will be invited and expected to attend the ISC’s weekly meetings in order to represent the organization and collaborate with other student groups.
Article IV: Leadership
Each year NCF shall select an executive leadership team (the “Vision and Planning Team”). To be eligible for the Vision and Planning Team of NCF, an individual must have been a member of NCF 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 promote the Purpose of NCF (see Article I) and set the direction of the fellowship in accordance with the Mission of NCF. Only the VPT members can enter into binding agreements with Tufts, members of the Tufts community, or outside parties. The VPT may create subcommittees responsible for various aspects of fellowship life, including small group Bible studies, outreach, and worship. As previously mentioned, the VPT shall select one of the members of NCF to act as the fellowship’s Treasurer and one as a representative to the Interfaith Student Council. The Treasurer shall work to keep track of all funds used by NCF 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 NCF and a Selection Committee (SC) consisting of one freshmen, one sophomore, one junior, and one senior. The SC will be selected as follows:
- Each NCF member will be encouraged to nominate one person who represents her/his/their class: freshmen nominate a freshman, sophomores nominate a sophomore, juniors nominate a junior, and seniors nominate a senior.
- 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.
- SC members should promote the Purpose of NCF (see Article I).
Once the SC has been nominated, the VPT and SC shall both read over leadership application 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 NCF membership for a ratification vote. A majority of the NCF 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, NCF’s advisors (if requested), and NCF’s membership, shall select subcommittee members. Prospective subcommittee members may be recommended by NCF members, by advisors, or by the current VPT. While all members of the chapter and the advisors 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 NCF 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 a leader’s promotion of the purpose of NCF 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 NCF may make a complaint against any member of the NCF leadership team. Following the complaint, the Vision and Planning Team shall meet (with advisors present for advice and counsel if requested) 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 NCF and any advisor 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. Any proposed amendments must also be approved by the University Chaplaincy and the TCUJ.
Article VI: Nondiscrimination and Policy Compliance
Section 1. Nondiscrimination
NCF will follow an all-comers nondiscrimination policy, outlined by the TCU Senate, for both
leaders and members.
Section 2. Policy Compliance
NCF will abide by all Tufts University, TCU Senate, Office for Campus Life, and University
Chaplaincy policies and procedures.