Hundreds of students will "rush" next week and join their fellow fraternity brothers and sorority sisters at one of the biggest parties this year – alcohol free.
Greek InterVarsity, a ministry of the Christian campus fellowship InterVarsity, is hosting its annual Greek Conference in Indianapolis, Ind. and Charlotte, N.C.
Bid cards or invitations to the conference will be passed out by fraternity and sorority members themselves to other members of their houses, which according to Eric Holmer, the associate director of Communications at IV, is a much more effective way to reach students.
The three-day conference caters to both believers and unbelievers alike. Those strong in their faith will be encouraged and further trained to be a spiritual resource in their houses, while those with little to no faith have the opportunity to investigate Christianity further.
Guest speakers will tell of their own personal experiences with the Greek system in large groups and share with their brothers and sisters what it looks like to follow Jesus both in college and after graduation.
Attendees can choose to join breakout "concentration" groups focusing on different spiritual issues ranging from topics like "lead" and "thrive" to "influence," "encounter," and "connect."
But it's not all work and no play.
When hundreds of Greeks are gathered together, there's bound to be some kind of party.
"Picture more of a wedding party, where the whole family is together," Holmer described. "It's just great music and it's without any of the bad things people associate … no one's taking advantage of each other, no one's getting wasted on the dance floor. It's just unbridled happiness, excitement and joy with a bunch of your good friends and people you've never met before."
So what happens when the party's over and the conference comes to an end? How effective really are these conferences when these "Greek Christians" go back to their own campuses and houses with all this newfound faith?
"A lot of people do point back to the conference as a point where they decided to lead a Bible study or decided to start living intentionally in their fraternity or sorority as a Christian and be a resource to their brothers and sisters," Holmer stated.
Being Greek and being Christian is not always an easy dichotomy to juggle. Students will need to get plugged in with a strong Christian community to hold onto the decisions they're making, said Samantha Spencer, an InterVarsity campus staff member, to Mission Network News.
Tensions may even emerge when these brothers and sisters decide to live their lives a different way after they come back, Holmer explained to CP. Friendships can suffer and go through difficult periods as a result.
"But always the hope is that in a loving way ... they're able to take those friendships to a deeper place to explain why they made this decision and grow together as a result."
To remind members they are not alone in their faith, Greek IV holds fellowships across the different campuses, providing a meeting place for these brothers and sisters to encourage each other on how to live out this new lifestyle together.
"It's not just a weekend experience, but a continual community as well," Holmer explained.
"Greek InterVarsity was created to reach out to this place that seemingly has it all together, but on the inside has a lot of needs, a lot of brokenness, and can often times be one of the darkest places on campus," Holmer told MNN.
Proving that you can be fully Greek and fully Christian, InterVarsity affirms that there's nothing on campus that's not capable of being redeemed.
The conferences will take place Feb. 11-13 and Feb. 18-20.