The group of students gathered in a local OCF chapter is the fundamental unit of OCF life. Ideally the group is facilitated and guided by a team which includes student leaders, a spiritual advisor, a lay coordinator and a faculty advisor. All other layers of leadership within OCF are modeled after the structure of the local chapter.
Chapter Student Leader The role of the student leader is to provide inspiration and leadership to fellow students and guide the direction of OCF as a movement through the active participation of their fellow OCF members. The Chapter Student Leader should be the main contact for students on that campus and should direct, with the input of the other chapter members, the decisions made in regards to all aspects of the group’s activities and life. They interact with the other members of the leadership team by:
- Seeking the spiritual direction and input of the Chapter Spiritual Advisor regarding the spiritual life of the chapter.
- Allowing the Chapter Coordinator to be a resource for the planning and execution of the logistics of chapter events.
- Engaging the Chapter Faculty Advisor with hopes of expanding awareness of OCF in the larger campus community and seeking opportunities for Orthodox Christianity to have a voice on campus through seminars, lectures, and participation in panels.
Chapter Spiritual Advisor The role of the Chapter Spiritual Advisor is to guide the spiritual growth of the students, provide sacraments, and connect students to parish life. Therefore, he must be a clergyman of a canonical Orthodox jurisdiction with the endorsement of his hierarch to participate in a particular OCF chapter. He must work to integrate the college experience into the life in Christ through:
- Regular attendance and participation in OCF chapter events (e.g. Bible study, discussion, meals), as well as district/regional events when possible. This does not mean, however, that a clergyman’s presence is necessary at every event.
- Spiritual counseling and sacramental confession.
- Liturgical services (when no local parish is available) and prayer.
- Creating a home in the local parishes for college students (e.g. involving the students in established ministries, recognizing new students and new graduates, hosting OCF events, connecting parishioners/OCF alumni to local students).
The clergy should actively seek the input of the students in the chapter and encourage them, as much as possible, to take responsibility for the planning and execution of OCF chapter events. The clergy should mentor student leaders to become fully responsible for themselves and their peers as grounded Orthodox Christians.
Chapter Coordinator The role of the Chapter Coordinator is primarily to provide administrative assistance to the Chapter Student Leader and Spiritual Advisor. They should be the support person, working to make the chapter’s ideas come to fruition by:
- Assisting in the administrative side of planning and executing events (e.g. transportation, housing, meals).
- Opening up lines of communication between relevant parties (e.g. parishioners, donors, speakers) and the student leader.
- Encouraging participation.
The Chapter Coordinator might also be involved in regular meetings, facilitating discussion, providing requested materials, and/or working as a liaison between the students and the Spiritual Advisor (in situations where spiritual advisors are not regularly present). OCF Alumni recommended.
Chapter Faculty Advisor The role of the Chapter Faculty Advisor is to connect OCF and its students to the greater academic community by helping navigate the organizational institutions and regulations of the specific university and providing opportunities for OCF to engage the campus community in a meaningful way through activities such as:
- Events co-sponsored by the OCF and other student groups and/or academic departments.
- Facilitating presentations on the Orthodox Faith by local Orthodox clergy and theologically-trained laity to symposia, conferences, and/or classes, or any other event which allows the OCF to bring the presence of Orthodoxy into the regular life of the campus community.
- Coordinating the OCF’s efforts to bring an Orthodox Christian viewpoint to the school’s official bodies such as academic departments, Chancellor/Presidents’ offices, faculty groups, etc.
In many cases, the Chapter Coordinator and Chapter Faculty Advisor are the same person, though this is not a requirement of either position. If you have questions or concerns regarding any of these positions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.