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CU Ministry Director Delivers Opening Prayer By Anne Kerhoulas Christian Union Martus Ministry Director Cory Lotspeich had the...
July 20, 2021

Court Rules in Favor of Campus Ministry

When the University of Iowa deregistered a number of campus ministries, citing discrimination for requiring their members to be Christian, the ministries fought back. This past week, a federal appeals court upheld a previous ruling in 2019 stating that the university cannot selectively deregister student organizations. The lawsuit, originally filed by InterVarsity, is an important victory for religious freedom in the university setting.

Another Christian student organization at the University of Iowa, Business Leaders in Christ, faced the same deregistration after they required that leaders in the organization uphold a biblical and traditional sexual ethic. In their case, a student with same-sex attraction who was pursuing a leadership position was barred from leadership due to the organization’s values. 

university of iowa 1808151 1920University of Iowa image by David Mark from Pixabay The court’s ruling cited that the university had engaged in “viewpoint discrimination” by “selectively enforcing” their policies regarding equal opportunity and access to participation based on age, gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion. The university, for example, permits sororities, fraternities, and certain sports groups on campus to exclusively admit men or women. Another group on campus required that members sign a “gay-affirming statement of Christian faith.” While these organizations were never targeted or deregistered based on their requirements for participation or membership, these Christian ministries were. 

Discrimination against Christian organizations and Christian beliefs happens across the country on a regular basis. Though many organizations do not have the resources to file a lawsuit against a university, this victory represents an important stake in the ground for religious freedom in the university setting.

Christian Union has faced push-back from universities in several instances but is committed to pursuing religious freedom for students and faculty. When these challenges have come, the opportunity to teach the word of God, mentor students, and model godly leadership are more important than ever. Christian Union aims to equip young minds to think critically about their faith and engage in the public sphere in every setting so that the gospel might go forth and Christians might be free to worship the living God.

Read the full article here.
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