April 5, 2020

A guide to religious organizations, from Catholicism to Islam

There are several religious organizations present on campus, ranging from the practice of Islam to Catholicism.

Catholic Student Organization

Catholic Student Organization (CSO) is a community of students that was formed about three years ago back in the spring of 2017.

The group meets weekly for Bible study Wednesdays at 9 p.m. in the Kerns Religious Life Center.

“Although grounded in Catholic theology, we are open to all students,” Mary Ann Smock, president of the CSO, said.

From left to right: Treasurer Ella Brickman, sophomore, Vice President Cara Dovell, junior, and President Mary Ann Smock, junior. Photo courtesy of Mary Ann Smock.

There are about 18 students total that are members of the association.

“I know there are a lot of Catholic students on campus, but I’m not sure how many of them know we exist,” Smock said.

Smock believes that having a small membership isn’t completely bad though.

“We are small, which gives us the advantage of having a really tight community and really getting to know every member,” Smock said. “I joined CSO my freshman year and that’s where I met some of my closest friends.”

For those who want to get involved or have further questions, reach out to msmock@capital.edu.


Cru is an international organization that strives to acclimate students to Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Bible. Through this, they hope to grow students’ faith.

Cru is currently present on 1,740 campuses in the U.S. alone.

This is Cru, with most active members at Capital. Photo courtesy of Nathan Molby.

Cru was first created back in 1951 at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) by husband and wife Bill and Vonette Bright.

It’s been on Capital’s campus for over 30 years. Currently, the total membership is around 150 members.

The organization meets every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. in the Bridge of Learning.

Nathan Molby, sophomore computer science and mathematics major, is the treasurer of Cru, and he talked about some of the characteristics that make up the organization.

Molby listed faith, growth, and community as the core values of Cru.

“We are a caring community that is passionate about connecting students with Jesus,” Molby said.

Cru members also encounter some challenges in finding time to commit to the organization. 

“Helping students grow in Christ in the midst of schedule, family, and emotional challenges that they are facing [is difficult],” Molby said.

For those interested in getting involved with Cru, Molby urges students to attend the weekly meetings where students can get connected with a spiritual community.

Those with additional questions can reach out to Molby at nmolby@capital.edu.


According to the description present on the university’s Religious and Spiritual Student Organizations’ web page, Embrace Ministries provides opportunities for students to grow spiritually while accepting people from other religious backgrounds.

The organization’s mission statement reads, “Embrace Ministries is a curious, inclusive community, centered in Christ, discerning God’s call, and sent by the Spirit’s Love.”

“Embrace Ministries is a certified Reconciling in Christ community,” Mary Clare Kunkel, president of Embrace, said.

Reconciling in Christ is a program that ministries partake in to welcome members of the LGBT+ community. 

“New members can get involved by sharing in our weekly events, joining a small group, and/or meeting with any member of our community to chat about faith and spirituality,” Kunkel said.

Every week, Embrace holds a dinner and dialogue Tuesdays from 5:30–7 p.m., Capital Worship Wednesdays from 10–10:30 a.m., and Candlelight Worship Thursdays from 9:09–10:10 p.m.

If there are further questions, reach out to Kunkel at mkunkel@capital.edu.

Somali-Muslim Student Association

Somali-Muslim Student Association was just formed this semester, and it focuses on Islam.

Originally, it was called the Muslim Student Association, which had been on campus for six years.

“We are an organization that is looking to provide Capital with a taste of the Somali culture,” Filsan Madar, a senior biology major, said. “We meet at least two times a month!”

This is Filsan Madar, President of the Somali-Muslim Student Association. Photo courtesy of Filsan Madar.

This newly reformed association has encountered some challenges this school year.

“Many of our challenges come from being a relatively small organization on campus,” Madar said. “It is hard to find other organizations that are open to collaborating on an event to engage more people.”

Their current membership is comprised of 30 students, but Madar is hoping to expand this school year.

Events for this year include Tea and Talk, Walk a day in my Hijab, Somali Night, Introduction to Islam. More information is to be released.

For those with additional questions, reach out to Madar at fmadar@capital.edu.

Jewish Student Association and Young Life, a Christian organization, are two other religious organizations with a presence on campus, but they did not respond to interview requests.

  • Robert Cumberlander is a staff reporter for The Chimes and a sophomore at Capital University, majoring in Film and Media Production with a minor in Entrepreneurship.

Leave a Reply