InterVarsity makes its case

Since we’ve already had two posts on college ministry legal issues in the past week, I figured I would include one more.

(The two previous posts looked at campus Christmas displays and a lawsuit involving Brothers Under Christ that is being argued today, actually.)

Those familiar with Collegiate Ministry are probably most aware of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship‘s multiple legal fights. For them, the issues have tended to center on IV’s requirement that their student leaders agree with their faith statement.

During my trip, one InterVarsity guy (who has been around for awhile) made an interesting point. These cases have generally been reconciled (in IV’s favor) out of court. While the individual victories are certainly helpful to those InterVarsity chapters involved, he pointed out that the establishment of a precedent (in court) might ultimately be necessary for long-term, widespread resolution of the issues at hand.

As I said yesterday, people may have different takes on the merits of such cases. That’s okay. But it does seem to me that in order to practice (most forms of) Christian college ministry, lines of belief and practice have to be drawn at some point.

Anyway, in case you’re interested, here are some links to various InterVarsity cases:

A lengthy Chronicle of Higher Education article discussing InterVarsity’s problems at Tufts University and Middlebury College. In both cases InterVarsity chapters refused to allow homosexuals into leadership positions. (This was written while both situations were current.)

A year later, the discussion of what happened in the Tufts case, described at Christianity Today with several other good links.

InterVarsity’s summary and links for a recent case (2006) at University of Wisconsin – Superior. InterVarsity’s lawsuit was eventually withdrawn after an agreement with administrators, who actually changed part of the school’s policy as a result.

Christianity Today reports a recent problem (and quick resolution) at Georgetown University, where InterVarsity and five other Protestant groups were “disaffiliated” for a short time.

InterVarsity’s report on its “amicable resolution” with Rutgers over an incident in 2003.

A story on Ralph Thomas, IVCF’s legal counsel from 1993 to earlier this year.

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