How do I start a CSO?

Let the CSO Support Team know if you would like to start or are starting a CSO; we can help you think through the process and connect you with others. CSOsupport@christianscience.com.

What is a CSO?

Christian Science Organizations (CSO) are found at universities all over the world. Mary Baker Eddy’s provision for CSOs is on page 73 of the Manual of The Mother Church:

“Privilege of Members. Sect. 8. Members in good standing with The Mother Church, who are members of the faculty, instructors, or students in any university or college, can form and conduct a Christian Science organization at such university or college, provided its rules so permit. Also members in good standing with The Mother Church, who are graduates of said university or college, may become members of the organization by application to, and by the unanimous vote of, the active members present, if the rules of the university or college so permit. When called for, a member of the Board of Lectureship may lecture for said university or college organization.”

What are CSOs today? And why would you want to start or join one? Check out our videos to hear other students answer this question, and then keep exploring more on these pages!

To start a CSO and be listed in The Christian Science Journal Directory or The Herald of Christian Science Directory, just meet the two requirements Mrs. Eddy wrote for CSOs in the Manual:

  • Have at least one member who is a student or faculty member and a Mother Church member

  • Operate under the rules of the university or college

If you do not yet meet the requirements above, it might be possible to list your group as a Forming CSO on christianscience.com. Reach out to us at CSOSupport@christianscience.com; we’d love to hear what you’re up to!

Some schools require that you register as a recognized student organization in order to hold events and lectures, and participate in student fairs. Check with your campus Chaplain or Student Activities office to find out their requirements for official recognition. There may be exceptions to the written requirements. It can be worth clarifying that you are not looking for funding. Some schools require:

  • Officers — President, Vice President, Treasurer, etc.

  • Faculty/Staff Advisor — If you don’t know a Christian Scientist, try other professors! CSOs have often found support in the religion and philosophy departments.

  • Bylaws — View a sample CSO constitution.

  • Minimum number of members — If you are looking for other Christian Scientists at your school, try reaching out to local branch churches and the CSO Support Team at The Mother Church. Even with a small number of members, you can still make a big impact!

If this seems a little daunting, know that we are here to help at CSOSupport@christianscience.com.


What happens when a CSO is no longer active?

If your CSO is no longer active, please reach out to us at CSOSupport@christianscience.com so we can remove you from The Christian Science Journal Directory.

A CSO is also considered inactive and will be taken out of the Directory if one of the following is met:

  1. There are no longer Christian Science faculty or students involved with the university.

  2. The contact person for the CSO is unreachable for a year.


Where can I go for more inspiration and guidance?

  • Check out this page with examples of what other CSOs are doing in their communities, or contact us directly at CSOsupport@christianscience.com

  • You can meet other CSO members, as well as other Christian Scientists at university by searching this online directory.

  • The Mother Church periodically hosts opportunities (online or in person) for CSO members to connect with each other and share ideas. Reach out to us and we’ll add you to the list!


Looking for more?

  • Hear how this student was introduced to Christian Science through his school’s CSO, and then was healed of food poisoning.

  • Meet a student who grew up in Christian Science but felt unsure about it. Hear how she grew in her understanding and had a healing of depression by attending her school’s CSO meetings.