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Psychologists often refer to the period of life known as adolescence as one of the most difficult

stages of development that an individual will endure. It has been stated that adolescence is the time

when an individual forms his/her own sense of identity. A sense of identity is defined as "an organized

sense of how our own personality traits, values, and beliefs fit together in defining who we are."

Therefor, the development of a sense of identity is, in fact, the basis for a stable adult personality.

Certain responsibilities accompany this development of an identity, such as the commitments "to

oneself, to one's family, to significant others, and to the various subgroups in society of which one is a

member." One's sense of identity is chronically jeopardized by the difficulty in holding to these

commitments; one important attribute in the retention of these commitments involves a belief and faith in

a given religion. This religion yields a basis for all decisions that must be made in adolescent life; it

forms the moral and ethical skeleton of an individual, and affects all choices that are made and all

actions that are taken. The students here at Texas Christian University are faced with difficult choices

each and every day, and are in dire need of a source of higher direction. It is my opinion that a belief in

the religion known as "Kadelphianism" serves as a firm basis for self commitment, peer commitment, and

social commitment, and provides an excellent example of the correct way to lead one's life.

The religion known as Kadelphianism differs from many conventional religions due to the fact

that it does not actually affect a student until he/she makes the decision to attend Texas Christian

University. Upon making this decision, each student will immediately begin his transition into the

Kadelphian way. The mythology behind Kadelphianism is quite simple; it is this simplicity and basic

severity of its ideals that makes the religion so successful. From it's earliest origination in the nineteenth

century, Kadelphianism has exemplified human kindness, friendship, and peer unity. The earliest

Kadelphians formed the religion as a means of uniting the students at T.C.U. The founding fathers,

Robert Tucker Fitzgerald and Edward Pierce Turner, began the organization based on the belief that

Kadelphianism is more than a ritual or a symbol; they believed it was a way of life. The basic principle

formed by the founders was that of friendship and unity of the students; through this friendship and unity,

an individual is able to develop his/her own sense of identity and responsibility. The founders believed

in unselfish service to mankind, and they felt that personal leadership requires confidence tempered with

humility and tolerance.

The rituals of Kadelphianism are also quite simple and pure in nature. With Frog Fountain

serving as a center for all activity, the Kadelphian students meet on a bi-weekly basis; during these

meetings there is an opening prayer session, a candle lighting ceremony, and an open discussion or

forum involving all of the students present. The members discuss private and public issues which they

attempt to resolve through peer support and interaction. After the forum is complete, the candles are

blown out simultaneously, and a closing prayer is recited. During the ritual ceremony, all Kadelphians

wear a small pin bearing the symbol of Kadelphianism: a diamond shaped badge with the inscribed

letters TCU and a pair of hands clasped in friendship.

The hierarchy of the Kadelphians is based on the leadership and dedication set forth by its

members. The Grand Kadelphian, or leader of the students, is chosen by majority opinion; the other

leading Kadelphians are chosen by the Grand Kadelphian based on merit, scholarship, and service to

fellow students. It is considered an honor to be chosen by one's peers for any of the above-mentioned

leadership roles, however, every Kadelphian is believed to be equal and comparable in the religion. The

main text, or manual of the Kadelphians is a small book bearing the diamond shaped symbol of

Kadlephianism, and is known as the Sorgan. It contains the basic beliefs and teachings of

Kadelphianism, and provides the students with the true way to lead their daily life; the Sorgan also

highlights the way all students can support each other and forms a basis for the development of

friendship and unity so important to the Kadelphian way.

The most representational figures known to the Kadelphians do not come in the form of gods and

goddesses so common to other religions. They are, instead, mere human beings who, upon the

founding of Kadelphianism, exemplified the beliefs and values set forth by the founding fathers. The

first, known only as Andrew, proved to be the finest example of courage and honesty; today he is viewed

as a superior example of the way a Kadelphian should behave. Secondly, the woman known only as

Sophronia, serves as an example of the patient and accepting manner that is synonymous with

Kadelphianism. Finally, the woman known as Octavia, provides a model of the qualities of loyalty and

friendship that radiate from every Kadelphian. The figures do not serve as gods or goddesses to be

worshipped; they instead serve as role models by which the Kadelphians look to for an example on how

to fashion their own lives.

It is painfully obvious that the basic principles set forth in Kadelphianism are rare, or in some

cases, completely non-existent throughout the universities of this nation. Crime rates are at an all time

high, drop out rates are extraordinary, and there is an overall absence of direction and identity in the

students across the world. Perhaps, with the examples set forth here at Texas Christian University by

the Kadelphians, we truly can make a difference in the moral and ethical beliefs of the young people of

the world. Adolescence is an extremely troubling period of life; without the development of a true sense

of identity, adulthood will prove to be no easier. It is absolutely necessary to have a firm religious belief

that will aid an adolescent in the choices he/she makes, and the actions he/she takes; I believe that

Kadelphianism is the first step in this pursuit of friendship, unity, and responsibility that inevitably leads

to success here at TCU and in the world beyond.

Source: Essay UK -

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