InterVarsity Christian Fellowship President Alec Hill has called for A Day of Prayer on Monday, July 14, to focus on campus access challenges that limit the freedom of InterVarsity and other campus ministries to proclaim the Gospel.
In particular, the ministry is concerned about the status of its chapters on California State University campuses, where official recognition of evangelical groups may soon be withdrawn as a result of a new policy.
Two years ago, the former Cal State chancellor issued a policy that requires recognized student groups to accept all students as potential leaders. For religious groups, this means that religious adherence can no longer be used as criteria for selecting leaders.
“While we applaud inclusivity, and welcome all students to our chapter activities, we believe that faith-based communities like ours can only be led by people who clearly affirm the historic doctrines of their faith,” commented Hill.
Last August, the new chancellor, Timothy White, granted religious groups a one-year exemption for the 2013-14 school year.
As that time period is rapidly coming to a close, InterVarsity is praying for a face-to-face conversation between InterVarsity leadership and Cal State decision maker(s), a resolution that allows InterVarsity chapters to remain viable members of Cal State communities, and wisdom and grace as they seek for God’s Kingdom to be expanded on campuses and the world.
“The new policy exempts sororities and fraternities from gender discrimination; we believe there should be a similar provision for creedal communities,” Hill noted.
Earlier this year, InterVarsity Campus Staff Member Liz Thrasher Wheatley shared at InterVarsity’s national staff conference her chapter’s experience with de-recognition at California State University, Chico. Her six-and-a-half-minute presentation is available on the web for listening and download.
For more information on how to pray for this situation, visit InterVarsity’s prayer page: http://intervarsity.org/page/call-prayer-california-state-university-system
The California State University system is the largest four-year public university system in the United States. InterVarsity has chapters on 19 of the 23 Cal State campuses.
Published: July 10, 2014