Four Christian groups at Vanderbilt University soon could be kicked off campus as school administrators quietly adopt a policy that prohibits student organizations from holding members or leaders to any standard of belief or behavior.
Representatives from Christian Legal Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Graduate Christian Fellowship and Beta Upsilon Chi are negotiating with school officials in hopes of persuading them to reverse their decision. But Jim Lundgren, director of collegiate ministries for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, said they are preparing for the likelihood of becoming “third-class citizens” at Vanderbilt: “We all see the handwriting on the wall.”
What’s happening at Vanderbilt is part of a national trend. Last year, only two InterVarsity chapters faced challenges from university administrators over the groups’ right to pick leaders, or remove them, based on their beliefs. This year, 15 chapters have run afoul of school nondiscrimination policies.