Guidelines for Religious Expression

Guidelines for Religious Expression at University Sponsored Events

The University should avoid creating an atmosphere which suggests it promotes religion or favors the establishment of a particular religion over another.  

  • The purpose of an Invocation/Benediction is not to inhibit or advance a particular religion, but rather to solemnize an occasion.
  • Invocations/Benedictions should be delivered by students or external clergy/religious leaders.
  • The University should avoid consistently utilizing clergy or religious leaders who represent a particular viewpoint or group.
  • University personnel should not inhibit or advance religion in their representation of the University, but should advance the ceremonial nature of the event using secular or non-denominational references.
  • University personnel may only give an Invocation as a private citizen.
  • Non-denominational references by University personnel are permissible.
  • Invocations/Benedictions should only be used in large group settings; small group settings can lead to an atmosphere of coercion.
  • Invocations/Benedictions should only be used when attendance is completely voluntary.

November 2013

Office of the General Counsel