Why CSOs are important

Every student is looking for ideas that will help them. Every campus has needs.  

A CSO starts with your own experience in Christian Science and your desire to serve others, and then provides the opportunity to make a difference right where you are.  It engages you in the spiritual thinking and living that is expansive and inclusive.  The CSO, because it is valuing and embracing the universal laws of God, is the most radical agent of change on campus.  You are at the cutting edge of what offers the ultimate comfort and healing to all humanity.  Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Mary Baker Eddy had a clear vision of the importance of Christian Science in academia and the role of CSOs. You can check out the By-law for CSOs in the Manual of The Mother Church here. Also, in No and Yes, she comments:

“If the Bible and Science and Health had the place in schools of learning that physiology occupies, they would revolutionize and reform the world, through the power of Christ. It is true that it requires more study to understand and demonstrate what these works teach, than to learn theology, physiology, or physics; because they teach divine Science, with fixed Principle, given rule, and unmistakable proof.” (p. 11)  

In a nutshell, these ideas should have a place in institutions of higher learning because of the good they extend to all humanity. 

So how are CSOs revolutionizing and reforming thought on their campuses today? To answer this, we asked some current and former CSO members to share their thoughts. Here are their responses:

CSOs are an organization unlike any other on college campuses.The CSO is an all-in-one spiritual service and healing organization. It’s the ultimate one-stop shopping experience, and it serves the whole community.         

Inevitably, CSO work blesses the Christian Scientists on campus, too. For me, it’s been an opportunity to reach out beyond myself and include the whole community in my prayers. In answering hard questions from others, I’ve become more confident in what I’ve learned in Christian Science. It’s prepared me for serving in my branch church—preparing readings for meetings, organizing lectures, responding to false information about Christian Science, and most importantly, metaphysically supporting the healing impact of Christian Science on the community.  

Inge Schmidt, C.S., Yale University Alum, USA 

I can’t over-emphasize the importance of what’s happening in the university classrooms regarding their teaching of Christian Science. Look at it this way: think of all the things happening on university classrooms around the world. Ideas are shared, textbooks studied, and knowledge gained. People are taught how to think about and analyze the world.

In many classrooms, students are taught that Christian Science is a cult that undermines true Christianity. Or that Christian Science is a mind-game that promises to make you comfortable and wealthy. Or that it isn’t Christian at all. These incorrect teachings about Christian Science are taking place on almost every campus at least in the United States. Check out the religion textbooks on your campus, and you’ll see this is no exaggeration. Put yourself in those students’ shoes—you may well carry very negative concepts of Christian Science—until maybe you bumped into a real Christian Scientist on campus, or you went to a class where a lecturer explained it correctly. 

CSOs have the ability to sponsor a Christian Science lecture for those classrooms. These lectures are urgent right now, as the predominant teaching about Christian Science is incorrect. When you realize, as you do, what an extraordinary blessing Christian Science is to the whole world, then you are eager to rise to the occasion and bring an end to this incorrect teaching in universities. Your willingness to bring a lecture to the classroom is of great importance for everyone’s sake. Even if you don’t have any idea how to start, you can contact a lecturer or TMC Youth for help. We’re there for you! As Mary Baker Eddy says, this is a privilege!

Shirley Paulson, C.S., Principia College Alum, USA

If you’ve felt the call to do something on your campus, but aren’t entirely sure where to start, The Mother Church’s CSO support team is here for you! This resource guide has been prepared with your needs and questions in mind, but if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for in the other sections, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email.

The CSO support team is happy to help. Feel free to contact us at: CSOsupport@csps.com (617) 450-3700.

Download the CSO Resource Guide