Fellowship banned for requiring voting members be Christians

March 3, 2009

A Christian fellowship group that has been on the Wright State University campus for over 30 years was denied registration as a student group this year for its faith-based policies.

Representatives of Campus Bible Fellowship, which ministers to students at secular colleges, reported that they were turned down by school officials earlier this year when they tried to re-register the group.

The Office of Student Activities at the Ohio-based university named two reasons for the denial, according to CBF representatives.

First, CBF refused to adopt university-mandated nondiscrimination language in its membership requirements that would have forced the group to nix a requirement that voting members maintain religious and behavioral standards.

Second, Wright State objected to the requirement in CBF's constitution that voting members "accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior" and subscribe to the group's articles of faith.

The group, which primarily emphasizes Bible study, has not been able to meet on the campus since and has turned to a civil liberties group for help.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which defends First Amendment rights - including religious liberty - on college campuses, has written a letter to university's president, calling for an immediate reversal of the ban on the Wright State CBF chapter...

Schools: Wright State University Cases: Wright State University: Christian Group Banned from Campus