To attract more members, Chi Alpha, a non-denominational religious ministry, has changed its name.
It is now the University Christian Fellowship at the University of Miami. The name change took effect at the beginning of the spring semester.
Chi Alpha is a national organization that has ministries on campuses throughout the United States.
This changed occurred because the fellowship wanted to be more inclusive. Therefore, it adopted a name intended to indicate that the ministry is for everyone, not just students.
“There was confusion with so many sororities and fraternities on campus and we would have to explain that we are a Christian organization,” said Kimberly Reichel, a senior and the Chi Alpha president.
Joe Lortie, the full-time chaplain for University Christian Fellowship at UM, said that many Chi Alpha chapters do not use the Chi Alpha name and that the UM affiliate has not distanced itself from the national organization.
The idea for changing the name has been in the process for the last year and a half.
“This is not new for people already in the organization,” Lortie said. “There has been very little confusion about the name change because most students understand the rationale behind it.”
To extend its reach even further, the organization goes to South Beach every other week to look for people who need help. It has also started a group called Ladies United Victoriously to help with women’s issues.
Although it does many things, the organization’s main goal is to help facilitate the connection to God, according to Reichel.
The organization meets every Sunday in the Eaton dormitory, where many students, faculty and professors attend the fellowship.