Terms of Use

CHARIS Terms of Use




By using this char.is website (the “CHARIS Site” or “Site” or “CHARIS”), you signify your knowledge of and agreement to all terms set forth in these Terms of Use and CHARIS’s Privacy Policy, which is incorporated into these Terms of Use and together constitute the “Agreement”. If you do not agree to the terms of the Agreement, please do not use the CHARIS Site.


Abilene Christian University, acting by and through its Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality,  or “CHARIS,” (also referred to below as “us,” “we,” “our”) reserves the right, in our discretion, at any time and without prior notice to change the Agreement or any part of it. Please check the Agreement regularly when you enter the Site for any changes to this Agreement. The changes to the Agreement shall be effective immediately upon our posting a revised Agreement on the Site. Your use of the Site following the posting of any revised Agreement constitutes your agreement to be bound by those changes.




All materials contained in the CHARIS Site including, but not limited to, all images, text, software, illustrations, designs, logos, icons, video and audio content, and other materials and items on the Site, as well as the Site as a whole (collectively the “Content,” which does not include any Participant Content, discussed below), are owned, controlled and/or licensed by CHARIS and/or contracted bloggers. The Content is protected by trademark, trade dress, copyright, and/or other intellectual property rights of CHARIS, contracted bloggers for CHARIS, or third-party licensors against any unauthorized uses not expressly permitted by this Agreement. All worldwide rights, title and interest in and to the Content are owned by CHARIS, contracted bloggers, or third-party licensors.


The CHARIS Site and Content are intended solely for your personal informational and entertainment use. CHARIS grants you a limited, non-exclusive, revocable, non-sublicensable license to print from your computer a single copy of the Content provided that you (i) use the Content for your personal, non-commercial use only, (ii) do not modify, remove or obscure any copyright and other proprietary notices, (iii) do not change the Content in any way, (iv) do not use any Content in a manner that suggests an association with CHARIS, or any CHARIS event, product, service, or brand, (v) do not copy, reproduce, republish, upload, download, post, transmit, distribute, modify, create derivative works from, sell or participate in any sale of, or exploit the Content in any way, and (vi) comply in all respects with the terms and conditions of this Agreement. Unless you have satisfied all of the foregoing requirements, you may not print, download, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, distribute, modify, create derivative works from, sell or participate in any sale of, or exploit in any way, in whole or in part, any of the Content or the CHARIS Site without CHARIS’ prior written consent.  Social media links (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) to CHARIS content are permitted, so long as it does not violate any of the above provisions.. Any use of the Content on any website other than the CHARIS Site is strictly prohibited. We do not transfer to you title or any other rights in or to the Site or Content or any other materials on the CHARIS Site not specifically set forth in this Agreement. All rights not expressly granted herein are reserved.



CHARIS does not claim any ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, graphics, sound, video, works of authorship or any other materials that you post on forums, reviews, or elsewhere on the Site. (individually and collectively, “Participant Content”). Participant Content is commentary and other materials posted by members of the public audience of CHARIS, and is not inclusive of content posted by bloggers and other authors who have contracted with CHARIS for publication of their content.  By posting your Participant Content to the Site, you retain all ownership rights in your Participant Content. By posting, submitting or otherwise exchanging Participant Content on or through the Site, you acknowledge, agree and understand that (i) Participant Content will not be considered or treated as confidential, (ii) others may see, read, use or re-transmit your Participant Content, (iii) you explicitly represent and warrant that you are the sole owner of such Participant Content or have all rights and licenses necessary regarding such Participant Content and the grant of the License granted in the following paragraph iv, and (iv) that CHARIS and the other participants in the Site are thereby granted a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, unrestricted, world-wide, nonexclusive license to use, reproduce, create derivative works from, modify, publish, edit, translate, adapt, transform, distribute, transmit, broadcast, perform and display such Participant Content in any media or medium, or any form, format, or forum now known or hereafter developed for no compensation whatsoever (the “License”). This License includes a grant to CHARIS and the Site and all other persons or entities involved in the operation of the Site of the right to transmit, monitor, retrieve, store, and use your Participant Content. CHARIS may sublicense its rights through multiple tiers of sublicenses. You may seek removal of your Participant Content from the Site, but such removal or termination does not terminate the License to the extent that such Participant Content may still be located on CHARIS’ or other participants’ computers, or located in other places not readily viewable on the current Site but accessible through archived files or bookmarked or undeleted text. CHARIS does not assumes any responsibility or liability for any Participant Content you provide, or any third parties’ use or misuse of your Participant Content.



As a participant on the CHARIS site, you will be participating in a dialogue about some of the most important topics in the world. And that dialogue is:


  1. Respectful and Elevated. Here we seek to better understand each other. That requires us to engage courteously and respectfully, even when we are engaging with someone with whom we fundamentally disagree.
  2. Open, yet Safe. Anyone who desires to be part of the conversation can engage, but abuse will not be tolerated. Remember though: when you truly engage with someone from another perspective, you often find that their world-view and yours are in conflict.
  3. Honest and Real. At CHARIS, we will often honestly express differences. Some of those differences, when it comes to different perspectives, will seem false or even dangerous to you.


By using the Site in any way, you agree to the following:

  1.  You understand that all Participant Content, whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such Participant Content originated. This means that you, and not CHARIS, are entirely responsible for all Participant Content that you upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available via CHARIS.
  2. CHARIS does not control the Participant Content posted via CHARIS and, as such, does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity or quality of such Participant Content. You understand that by using CHARIS, you may be exposed to Participant Content that is offensive, indecent or objectionable. Under no circumstances will CHARIS be liable in any way for any Participant Content, including, but not limited to, any errors or omissions in any Participant Content, or any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any Participant Content posted, emailed, transmitted or otherwise made available via CHARIS.
  3. You agree not to use any part of the CHARIS Site to:
  4. to ask for money for yourself, for another individual, or for any for-profit cause;
  5. promote online or off-line sites, products or services that are directly relevant to the content being commented upon. Participants may share self-promoting links/info/products as long as it pertains to the immediate context and content. Suitability will be determined solely at CHARIS’ discretion.

iii. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Participant Content that is unlawful, misleading, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invades another person’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable (as determined by CHARIS in its sole discretion); violates or infringes in any way upon the rights of others;

  1. interfere with any other party’s use and enjoyment of the CHARIS Site;
  2. encourage conduct that would violate this Agreement or any law or give rise to civil or criminal liability.
  3. harm minors in any way;

vii. impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, a CHARIS official, forum leader, guide or host, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity;

viii. forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any Participant Content transmitted through CHARIS;

  1. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Participant Content that you do not have a right to make available under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements);
  2. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Participant Content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights of any party;
  3. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation, except in those areas (such as shopping) that are designated for such purpose (please read our complete Spam Policy);

xii. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;

xiii. interfere with or disrupt CHARIS or servers or networks connected to CHARIS, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to CHARIS or use the CHARIS Site in a manner that damages, disables, overburdens or impairs the CHARIS Site;

xiv. obtain or attempt to obtain any materials or information through any means not authorized by this Agreement;

  1. intentionally or unintentionally violates this Agreement or any applicable local, state, national or international law and any regulations having the force of law;

xvi. provide material support or resources (or conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, or ownership of material support or resources) to any organization(s) designated by the United States government as a foreign terrorist organization pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act;

xvii. “stalk” or otherwise harass any other person or entity; and/or

xviii. collect or store personal data about other participants in connection with the prohibited conduct and activities set forth in paragraphs above.

  1. These Rules of Conduct apply to your activity and content anywhere on the CHARIS Site, including but not limited to:
  2. forum, discussion and post titles;
  3. content of posts;

iii. participant’s screen names, photos or profiles; and

  1. uploaded photos, images, and videos.



You agree to use the CHARIS Site, Content and Participant Content for lawful purposes only. You agree to abide by this Agreement and any additional terms or conditions imposed by CHARIS or any third-party content providers in connection with the Content, any other third-party content, software or services available on or through the CHARIS Site.

CHARIS does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any Content or Participant Content on the Site and is not responsible for, and does not necessarily endorse, any Content or Participant Content contributed by any person other than CHARIS. CHARIS may, but is not obligated to, review or verify Content provided by any third-party or Participant Content or monitor the Site for inappropriate Content, Participant Content or conduct. CHARIS may, but is not obligated to, remove any Content or Participant Content that it, in its sole discretion, determines to violate this Agreement or is otherwise offensive, illegal, harmful, or threatening to any person. You may notify us if you become aware of any unauthorized, inappropriate or illegal Participant Content or conduct on the Site. We have no obligation to remove any Content or Participant Content from the Site and are not responsible for any delay in removing or failure to remove such Content or Participant Content. CHARIS may also terminate the rights of the person who contributed such Content or Participant Content to access the Site and may bring legal action against such person. CHARIS may, but is not obligated to, provide the name of the person posting such Content or Participant Content to any person who reasonably establishes (in the sole judgment of Participant) a need for such identifying information.



You assume all responsibility and risk for any use of the CHARIS site, content and software, which are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis. To the fullest extent allowed by law, CHARIS disclaims all warranties of any kind, express and implied, statutory or otherwise including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, noninfringement, title, security and confidentiality of use or information. CHARIS disclaims any representations or warranties regarding the CHARIS site, content or software, including but not limited to the availability of the CHARIS site, any corrective efforts for any defects or errors on or in the site or the software, the absence of any viruses, bugs or other harmful components, or the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the content. Costs associated with any servicing, repair, or correction associated in any way with any use of the CHARIS site, content or software are your sole responsibility.



Under no circumstances shall CHARIS or its subsidiaries, affiliates, licensors, sponsors, or promotional partners or their respective owners, directors, officers, employees, contractors or agents be liable for any indirect loss, damage (whether incidental, special, consequential, punitive or any other type of damage), injury, claim, liability or other cause of action of any kind resulting from or in any way associated with the CHARIS site, content, software, participant content, any linked site, or any use of any of the foregoing. This limitation applies to the fullest extent permitted by law and whether the alleged liability is based on contract, tort, negligence, strict liability, or any other basis, even if CHARIS has been advised of the possibility of such damage. If for any reason CHARIS shall be found to be liable, our aggregate liability to you or any other party or parties claiming with, under or through you, shall be limited to the amount you paid, if any, to CHARIS for participation in the site, notwithstanding the number of claims and notwithstanding any claim that such remedy fails of its essential purpose. No claim or action arising from or concerning the site, content or software or otherwise hereunder may be brought later than one year from the date the claim or cause of action arose.

Some jurisdictions do not allow the disclaimer of certain types of damages or liability and, although the exclusions, limitations and disclaimers in this agreement shall always be construed to be effective to the fullest extent of the law, you should consult your own legal advisor should you wish to determine the laws and regulations that apply to you.



You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless CHARIS and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, and their respective owners, directors, officers, employees, contractors and agents from any and all liabilities, claims, and expenses of every kind and nature, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, that arise from your violation of this Agreement or your use of the CHARIS Site other than as permitted in this Agreement. CHARIS shall have the right to determine the identity of its legal counsel and you shall hire and pay for such counsel and all costs associated with the defense. CHARIS reserves the right, at its own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter otherwise subject to indemnification by you, in which event you will cooperate with CHARIS in asserting any available defenses.



This Site is intended for use in the United States only. CHARIS makes no representation that the Site or the Content are appropriate or available for use in locations outside the United States. Access may not be legal by certain persons in certain countries. Accessing the Site from or transmitting the Content to territories where the Content is illegal is prohibited. If you use the CHARIS Site or Content from a location other than in the United States, you do so at your own risk and are solely responsible for compliance with all applicable local laws.



We allow advertisers to advertise on our Site under certain conditions, but we try to make sure they are clearly marked as advertisements. Advertisements found on our Site do not express the views or opinions of CHARIS. Please review our Privacy Policy for more information on advertisements. The Site may provide links to third-party websites. CHARIS does not recommend, monitor, control or endorse any third-party advertising or content, nor the content on any third-party websites and is not responsible for their terms of use or privacy policies or how they may treat your information. CHARIS disclaims all warranties and responsibility for the websites of third parties, and for the accuracy, availability, or completeness of any content found on those websites. Your use of third-party websites is at your own risk. Dealings you have with advertisers found on the Site are between you and the advertiser, and you acknowledge and agree that CHARIS is not liable for any loss or claim you may have against an advertiser.

You agree to look only to the manufacturer of any products or services bought through the CHARIS Site, and not to CHARIS, in the event you suffer any damages of any nature related to such products and services. CHARIS makes no representations or warranties as to the security of any information (including without limitation credit card and other personal information) you might be requested to give any third-party, and you hereby irrevocably waive any claim against CHARIS with respect to such third-party sites and content.



It is our policy to remove content of any Participant who repeatedly infringes the copyrights or trademarks if we are given proper notice of the infringement or infringing conduct by the copyright or trademark owner. If you believe any materials (e.g., Participant Content or Content) infringes your copyright or trademark, you may request removal of those materials from our Site by contacting our designated IP agent (identified below) and providing the following information:

  1. Identification of the copyrighted or trademarked work that you believe to be infringed. Please describe the work and where possible include a copy or the location (e.g., URL) of an authorized version.
  2. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material;

iii. Your name, address, telephone number and (if available) e-mail address.

  1. A statement that you have a good faith belief that the use of the materials you notify us about is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent or the law.
  2. A statement that the information that you have supplied is accurate and that “under penalty of perjury” you are the copyright or trademark owner or are authorized to act on the copyright or trademark owner’s behalf.
  3. A signature or the electronic equivalent from the copyright or trademark holder or authorized representative.

Our agent for copyright and trademark issues is:

CHARIS, 221 Brown Library, Abilene, TX 79699-9208; Phone: (325) 674-2344

; Attn: CHARIS Administrative Department or electronically at [email protected]



This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas, USA, excluding its conflicts of law rules. You expressly agree that the exclusive jurisdiction for any dispute, claim or action against CHARIS, its affiliates and subsidiaries and their owners, directors, officers, employees, contractors, agents arising from or relating in any way to this Agreement, the CHARIS Site and Content, or your use thereof shall be filed only in the state or federal courts located in or serving Taylor County in the State of Texas. You also agree and voluntarily submit to the exercise of personal jurisdiction of such Texas courts for the purpose of litigating any such claim or action, and consent to extra-territorial service of process.



Unless otherwise specified herein, this Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between you and CHARIS with respect to the CHARIS Site, the Content and the Participant Content and the use of the foregoing and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous communications and proposals (whether oral, written, or electronic) between you and CHARIS with respect to the CHARIS Site. This Agreement may be modified by you only if CHARIS agrees to such modification in a writing manually signed by the Editorial Board of CHARIS. If any part of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable, that portion shall be construed to be modified so that it is valid and enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by law, and the remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect.



CHARIS reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate your access and license to all or any part of this Site and the Content at any time with or without notice.

Please contact us at: [email protected] with any questions regarding this Agreement.





The CHARIS website hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. In partnership with the ACU Library and the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX), the website is supported and led by the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The Center’s mission is to renew Christian spirituality through engagement of Christian heritage, at Abilene Christian University and beyond. The views expressed on the CHARIS website are those of the various authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Abilene Christian University or CHARIS at ACU. Questions or comments about the CHARIS website can be directed to charis @ acu.edu.

2017-18 CHARIS Editorial Board:
Dr. Carisse Berryhill
Dr. Jason Fikes
Karissa Herchenroeder
Mac Ice
Chai Green
Tammy Marcelain
Molly Scherer
Dr. John Weaver

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