How do I figure out which of the many Christian groups might be the one for me?

If you are looking for a Christian group, we hope this helps you with your initial selection of possibilities.  Christian life at USC is amazing!  We have very many Christian clubs, so choosing one can be confusing.  If you’d like some guidance about which one might be right for you, contact Rev. Jim Burklo, Senior Associate Dean of Religious Life.

In addition to doctrinal differences among these clubs, there are differences in the programs and events that they offer.  Each club has a unique mix that may include Bible study, community service, worship/prayer, fellowship/fun, and evangelism/proselytizing.  What “mix” is right for you?  Odds are, you’ll find the club that matches!

A cautionary:  Many Christian groups on campus engage in discipling, in which staff or student leaders meet one-on-one with students to teach and guide them.  Discipling sessions can range from occasional, non-intrusive encounters to intense conversations about highly personal issues multiple times weekly.  It’s good to ask group leaders up-front about the type and frequency of discipling they practice.  Set your own boundaries about the level of engagement you want to have with any campus group and its members or staff.  (Look HERE for more information about problematic high-pressure practices.)

Evangelical or “non-denominational” Protestant Christian

The majority of our Christian clubs are in this category. Some evangelical clubs represent particular Protestant denominations, and others do not. “Evangelicals” include “fundamentalist” Christians who interpret the Bible in a very literalistic way, and are on a continuum with other evangelicals who interpret it literally in some cases and symbolically in others. The term “non-denominational” is often used by evangelical or fundamentalist churches which are not affiliated with larger organizations, or which are affiliated with larger organizations that do not consider themselves to be distinct “denominations”. This category includes all Christian clubs not otherwise listed on this page.


Pentecostals are evangelical Protestant Christians who put a special emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit as described in the second chapter of the book of Acts in the New Testament.

  • Chi Alpha (Assemblies of God)
  • ReJOYce in Jesus Campus Fellowship

Seventh Day Adventist

SDA is a Protestant evangelical Christian denomination with a distinctive theology that includes observing the Sabbath on Saturdays.

  • Seventh Day Adventist Student Community
  • Seventh Day Adventist Chinese Student Community

Progressive (Liberal Protestant)

Progressive Christians are mostly Protestant Christians who “take the Bible seriously because they don’t have to take it literally”, do not have a fixed doctrine, are especially focused on peacemaking and social justice, and are affirming of LGBTQ sexuality. More about progressive Christians at USC HERE

  • Academic Bible Study
  • Lutheran Campus Ministry
  • United University Church
  • St John’s Episcopal Cathedral
  • Canterbury Episcopal Campus Ministry

Catholic Christian (Roman)

Catholics are Christians who follow the historic rites of the Roman Catholic Church, with the Pope as the head of the Church. The “apostolic succession” of priests and bishops is the primary source of authority for Catholics.

  • Caruso Catholic Center/Catholic Student Association
  • Catholic Graduate Student Association


Orthodox Christianity has the same roots and basic traditions as the Catholic (Roman) Church, but with a distinctive set of doctrines and liturgical practices.

  • Orthodox Christian Fellowship
  • Armenian Student Association
  • Coptic Orthodox Christian Club at USC


The Episcopal or Anglican Church is an offshoot of the Roman Catholic Church, practicing a worship liturgy very similar to it and an organizational structure much like the Catholic and Orthodox, but with priests who can marry, and with a wide range of individual interpretations of its doctrines.

  • Canterbury USC Foundation/Episcopal Campus Ministry
  • St John’s Episcopal Cathedral Campus Ministry

Christian Science

Founded by Mary Baker Eddy in Massachusetts in the late 19th century, Christian Science interprets the Christian Bible using her teachings, focused on the ultimate reality of Spirit and the non-reality of matter.

  • Christian Science Organization

Latter-day Saints

The LDS is a Christian church based on the Bible and on the Book of Mormon, revealed by the Angel Moroni to the prophet Joseph Smith in the early 19th century.

  • Latter-day Saint Student Association
  • LDS – Academy of Dental Students Chapter