We've become a group with membership. Read on for an explanation or, if you have an account and are logged in, click here to go straight to the Membership and Census Form. Otherwise, create an account here.
Our mailing list is growing, but a mailing list doesn’t make a community. Our national conferences are picking up steam, but a small fraction meeting a few days once a year is a strategy for extremely slow growth!
We’re already ‘here’, but we need better ways of connecting. Simply put, we want to increase the ease, frequency, efficiency, and productivity of node-to-node communication in the network, so that our natural affinities can flourish and be put to work to the glory of God.
Our dream is to foster a community of Christians in academia exhorting and equipping one another to bring Christ to the university and through the university to the world. In pursuing this vision, we sit under the particular mission of The Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (AFES) to proclaim Jesus Christ at university to present everyone mature in Him.
How to achieve the dream
In order to achieve our dream, we need to:
1. The Doctrinal Basis.
The gospel of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus must always be the basis on which Christians gather and have fellowship. Every human institution will have its own cultural and historical expression of that gospel. As idiosyncratic as it usually is, if it is true and keeps the central things in the centre, we embrace it for the sake of being able to know on what it is we agree and in what we have common cause. The Simeon Network, as a ministry of AFES, has adopted the AFES Doctrinal Basis as the expression of our common cause. Please read it here and consider carefully how you stand in relation to those nine statements.
Membership application process
1. Click the 'Apply for membership' button in the sidebar
2. Login* (A) or create a new account (B)
3. Branch A - login to existing account
Once logged in, click the box at the top of the home page that reads "Select membership category/Complete census form".
Branch B - create a new account
On submitting your new account details, you will be redirected to the Membership Form
4. Fill in as much information as you can stomach
Please make sure you complete everything down through the 'Fields for web profile' and 'Social Media' sections.
The visibility of different fields is outlined in the form itself. Information between the thick orange lines is visible to Members and Affiliates, and, if you select a public profile, also to the public. Other information is never visible to anyone other than administrators.
5. Submit form
*We have three suggestions regarding logins:
2. Framing the network
Because the dream is a community gathered around our common cause in Christ, we are introducing to the network a new membership concept. We want to be able to discuss wide-ranging and challenging issues with each other in the knowledge that our Christian worldview shares the same central truths. This is not about closing ourselves off from the world. It is about giving ourselves a place to push and test and fly kites among friends knowing that our unformed thoughts are not going to be broadcast to the waiting world. It is also about a place to organise our efforts in mission to the world.
There are three categories: Members, Affiliates, and Friends. Members are people who work at a university or research institution (including professional and support staff of all stripes) or are research students (including Honours). Those at theological institutions are certainly also included in this category. Affiliates are less obvious, but we think useful. They are people who have been involved in the network, but are no longer at a research institution, people who are overseas, never been connected locally, but want to have the fellowship of the network, etc. It is a bit of a catch-all category, and we want to encourage even those people to consider whether Member still works for them as that will provide slightly more access to resources (as detailed in the table below). Friends are people who are prayer or financial supporters, curious about network events, interested in getting a feel for who we are before signing up, etc.
This mailing list is probably about evenly divided between Members and Friends with a smattering of Affiliates and you will likely know which category makes the most sense for you. In the census form, linked below, we’ve given you the option to choose your membership category. Think Member. If that really doesn’t work, think Affiliate. Friends know who you are.
For new Members and Affiliates, beyond the current mailing list, the signup process will be (something like):
The process is not meant to be rigid, on the one hand, or foolproof, on the other. It is mostly meant to indicate to the applicant that they are joining an actual human community, not a web forum, and to get them to reflect on whether that is what they are looking for and what that might mean for them practically.
We are also implementing a membership fee of $20/year. There are two reasons for this. The primary reason is that we want everyone who joins to have to pause and consider whether membership is right for them. We want our folks to have made a conscious decision to join the network, rather than default into it because a friend linked them to our site. We think a small fee will have that effect without being prohibitive for students. Secondarily, we can see the benefit of creating a pool of national funds to be used for the upkeep and development of the website, seed funding for new staff, packaging of resources, speakers for national tours, and many other worthy ideas.
For everyone on the mailing list, membership is free until the end of 2016!
(c) The census.
We have only very sketchy information about people who are already on our mailing list. As you have received this message, we, at least, have a working email address! We want to help other network members get in touch with you and we want to help them know why they might want to as well, so we are collecting more information, e.g. working phone numbers, postal addresses, research discipline, church, etc.
There will be no contact information visible to the public, unless you choose a public profile, and even then, the public information will be limited to an email address and your physical location on campus, building, room, etc. You can decide to make more information available to other Members and Affiliates, but that will be up to you later.
In order to identify ourselves to each other, we will have profiles on simeonnetwork.org. Members and Affiliates will have profiles that are visible to one another. Note: your profile will be visible internally to other Members and Affiliates. Friends will have entirely private profiles.
You can choose whether to make that profile public or only internal, and you can change that status at your own discretion. More on profiles at Point 5.
We will adopt Slack as our internal communications platform (http//:slack.com). It is simple to use, can be integrated with other platforms, and will encourage node-to-node communication by allowing us to create affinity groups for discipline areas, projects, small groups, etc. Members and Affiliates will be given a login to slack upon approval of their membership.
5. Public profiles.
To serve the wider community, both at university and beyond, we want to identify ourselves to the public as those with particular gifts who are keen to be useful for interested parties, e.g. undergrad groups, churches, media, government. A simple beginning to that journey is to make our profiles public.
We encourage all Members and Affiliates to make their profiles public. That means they will be visible to anyone viewing the website, not just other Members and Affiliates. As mentioned, you will be able to switch your profile between public and internal at your own discretion. Members and Affiliates will not have ‘private’ profiles, except for safety or security reasons.
6. Develop our platforms.
Our personal platforms grow as we publish in our discipline, give talks at conferences, lead workshops for churches, train undergrad Christians in apologetics, etc. All of this information is helpful to the network in figuring out who is in a related field, who might be able to answer that curly question, and who can speak at a group event you’re having. Beyond the network, the media are interested in angles on current events, so a Christian biologist who could comment on stem-cell research might be just what they need or a Christian political theorist to comment on the fate of Christians in the current unrest throughout the Middle East. We can help those who are looking by curating our profiles to reflect our expertise from research through to theology. Have an article on The Conversation? Link to it from your profile. Have something linked through academia.edu or SSRN? Link to it from your profile. Gave an apologetics seminar at your church? Link to the audio and slides from your profile.