Sigma Phi Lambda
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2012)|
|Sigma Phi Lambda|
|Founded||November 14, 1988
University of Texas
|Vision statement||Sigma Phi Lambda exists for the sole purpose of glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ and making His name great.|
|Headquarters||Austin, TX, United States|
Sigma Phi Lambda (ΣΦΛ), Sisters for the Lord or Phi Lamb, is a sorority founded in 1988 in Austin, Texas.
Phi Lamb itself was also a part of the same movement as it affected men's fraternities. The founding of Sigma Phi Lambda can be linked to the founders' experiences and interactions with their male counterparts, who had, three years earlier, founded the Christian fraternity, Beta Upsilon Chi at Texas.
Sigma Phi Lambda has also spread the idea of Christian Greek Organizations. After the establishment of the Texas Tech University chapter, a group of men founded Kappa Upsilon Chi to serve as a counterpart.
Since the founding, the number of chapters has grown rapidly. The chapters on the campuses of the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Florida have well over 100 sisters, and the sorority continues to actively develop new chapters around the country.
Many local sororities arose during same period as Phi Lamb's founding across the country, but only a handful were successful in national expansion. Phi Lamb's success was accomplished through incorporation, a national board of directors and a national director.
Sigma Phi Lambda was the third National Sorority for Christian women, independent of a Greek council for colleges and universities. Alpha Delta Chi was first in 1925 founded at UCLA. Sigma Alpha Omega was the first sorority to be founded in the 1980s resurgence of Christian Greek Life, founded at East Carolina University in 1987. Phi Lamb seeks spiritual development through their sisterhood. Their traditions develop these standards.
Structure and Traditions
Sigma Phi Lambda is not like most traditional sororities. While most traditional sororities and even some Christian sororities require potential new members to be initiated only into their sorority, Sigma Phi Lambda allows other initiates to be initiated into Phi Lamb and conversely the sorority allows members to hold multiple Greek affiliations.
Sigma Phi Lambda does not offer membership bids. The stance of the organization is that a woman is to choose Phi Lamb. Phi Lamb does not choose their members.
Sigma Phi Lambda has multiple social events each semester to promote external growth and outreach. These are sometimes done with other Christian organizations on campus. Devotionals or testimonies are given at such open parties.
Colors: Red and white, symbolizing the blood and purity of Jesus Christ
Mascot: A lamb named Baasheeba, symbolizes the sisters' relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, the mascot is based on the nickname of "Phi Lamb" and the Psalm 100:3.
During chapter meetings, soft praise and worship music is played to wrap up individual prayer time. Phi Lamb has various prayer nights, prayer groups, and prayer partners within the chapter. Prayer partners are accountability partners that are set up for spending quality time with another sister to pray and get to know one another better. Phi Lamb has engagement circles that are a way of honoring ladies who become engages while members.
Gifts are given to graduating seniors. Officers cook and serve meals at retreat. Phi Lamb has an official dance that is danced to the song "Shackles" by Mary Mary.
Membership is open to any undergraduate or graduate student, another uniqueness considering most sororities close membership to the undergraduate level. Also, married women can become members of Sigma Phi Lambda. Members pledge for one semester where they are the "little sisters" before being initiated into the sorority. Initiation is a formal event. It should be conducted according to a complete script written by the founding mothers. The tradition of initiation is very important to Phi Lamb and should be treated as such. There are several traditions that go along with initiation, such as: going out to dinner afterwords, giving James Avery pins during initiation, big sisters edifying their little sisters, and giving flowers to retiring officers at the closing ceremony for the new officers.
Small groups that operate within chapter meetings, used for discussion, prayer, and various activities.
National Board of Directors
Phi Lamb is governed by Board of Directors. Five alumnae help keep things running smoothly and make policy decisions for the organization.
This is the person you work with if you'd like to start a chapter of Phi Lamb. The "ED" also helps keep things running by assisting the Board with daily tasks and she plans the All-Chapter Officer Retreat.
These women oversee multiple chapters. They work with the Alumnae Council, if one is present at a chapter, to help guide the chapter in planning and decision-making.
After a chapter has been established long enough to have alumnae, an Alumnae Council is formed. These three members can be former officers or founders of that chapter. The Alumnae Council provides guidance to the chapter and assistance to the Regional Director.
Five officers are elected yearly in each chapter. The offices are President, Vice President, Chaplain, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers maintain the daily functions and lead the members of their chapter. Retiring officers write letters to the new officers to include in passed-down notebooks.
All officers must sign and abide by a covenant created by the national board. The covenant reads, as such:
"As an elected officer of Sigma Phi Lambda, I...
-Believe the Apostles' Creed and trust in Christ as Lord. Jesus is the foundation in the life of a believer and, as a community of believers, Jesus should serve as the foundation for that we do in Phi Lamb. As leaders of this community, we need to be in relationship with Christ, allowing Him to lead and guide all that we do in Phi Lamb. I commit to being a woman of prayer, trusting Him first and foremost with my whole life, and I will faithfully pray for and trust Him with all I do in my chapter. Proverbs 3:5-6
-Will lead a humble servant. In the kingdom of God, being a leader is really about being a servant of Christ and of others. All believers should follow the model of Christ and serve others in humility. I commit to set aside my own agenda and look to what is best for others. Philippians 2:1-7
-Will submit to God and the authorities He has placed over me. Within the structure of Phi Lamb, each chapter has authorities serving above them to help provide wise counsel and guide the chapter and its officers. I understand although the officers will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the chapter, these leaders (alumnae council, regional director, board of directors, executive director) have ultimate authority over decisions about the chapter. Romans 13:1
-Will live above reproach in all areas of my life and be aware of the influence I have as a leader in Phi Lamb. Serving as a Phi Lamb officer is a unique opportunity to encourage and lead other women in their relationship with Christ. We are called to model a whole commitment to Christ and live the life we are inviting others to live. As in any other leadership role, others will be more aware of our words and actions and hold us to a higher standard. Serving as leaders challenges us to set aside what we may want to do and instead choose what is best for others in our chapter. This often involves personal sacrifice. I commit to live in such a way that I help others draw closer to Christ and am not a hindrance to any of my sisters. Practically, this has implications in dealing with alcohol and drug use. Since the majority of the chapter is under age and alcohol and drug use is so prevalent on college campuses, elected officers will abstain from alcohol and illegal drug use during their time of service. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with drinking alcohol in moderation for those who are of age, I need to be mindful of the weaker sisters among us and not create a stumbling block for those who are under age or may struggle with drug or alcohol-related issues. In addition, elected officers will strive for sexual purity in their relationships. Sex is beautiful gift that God has given us, but it is only intended to be enjoyed in the context of marriage. As a leader, I will model sexual abstinence before marriage. Believers are also called to avoid evil and the appearance of evil. Leaders will not spend the night with or live with their significant other, even if they are not having sex, as it provides unhealthy temptations and sends a confusing message to others. 1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Corinthians 8:9, Galatians 5:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:22-24, Hebrews 13:4
-Will promote peace and unity by honoring and valuing all members. Our God is a God of order, and by the very nature of His Spirit, He empowers us to live in peace and unity with one another. Although we know that conflict and disagreements will arise within the officer group and in the chapter, it is critically important that each officer strives to deal with conflict in healthy ways and pursues peace and unity. Healthy conflict resolution involves really listening to one another and prayerfully considering what is best in each situation. I commit to pursuing peach and unity. Romans 12:18, Romans 14:19, Romans 15:5-6, James 1:19, John 17:20-23
-Will engage in honest and timely communication with fellow officers, the chapter, and those in authority. Honest and timely communication with one another is important for a healthy officer group. Prompt and respectful communication with the chapter and with those in authority over the officer group is also important for a healthy chapter and officer group. I commit to honest and timely communication with all involved in and associated with Phi Lamb.
-Will be committed to striving for excellence in my role and encouraging others to do the same. Each officer has a unique role to play, and each role is valuable to the health of the organization. We each have unique gifts, and we will seek to use our gifts responsibly and recognize the gifts in others. I commit to function as fully and humbly as possible in my role, while encouraging and empowering others to do the same. In doing so, we can truly be the body of Christ. Colossians 3:23, 1 Corinthians 12:12; 18-20; 27, 1 Thessalonians 5:11"
These members of Phi Lamb are considered the big sisters of their chapter. They hold voting rights and may hold appointed officers positions that vary from chapter to chapter.
New to Phi Lamb, these members are the little sisters. They are cherished by their big sisters and are a vital part of Phi Lamb. Upon initiation into the sorority, they are able to vote and become Actives.
Sigma Phi Lambda Sorority Verse
Romans 15:5-6 ~ "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and one mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
- Alpha- University of Texas at Austin
- Beta- Texas A&M University
- Gamma- Texas Tech University
- Delta- Stephen F. Austin State University
- Epsilon- Texas State University
- Zeta- Southwestern University
- Eta- Houston Baptist University
- Theta- Baylor University
- Iota- Angelo State University
- Kappa- Sam Houston State University inactive
- Lambda- Oklahoma Baptist University inactive
- Mu- University of Oklahoma
- Nu- University of Florida
- Omicron- Tarleton State University
- Pi- Lamar University inactive
- Tau- University of Arkansas
- Upsilon- University of North Texas
- Phi-Oklahoma State University
- Chi - University of Missouri
- Psi- Mississippi State University
- Omega - University of Central Oklahoma
- Alpha Alpha - University of Mississippi
- Alpha Beta - University of Central Florida
- Alpha Gamma - Vanderbilt University
- Alpha Delta - Midwestern State University
- Alpha Epsilon - Wayland Baptist University
- Alpha Zeta - University of Tennessee at Knoxville
- Alpha Eta - University of Central Arkansas
- Alpha Theta - Louisiana State University
- Alpha Iota - Southern Arkansas University
- Alpha Kappa Longwood University
- Alpha Lambda University of Tampa
- Alpha Mu Auburn University
- Alpha Nu University of Tulsa