Cal State Reinstates InterVarsity Ministry
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapters are returning to California State University's system.
The Christian group moved off all state university campuses in September of 2014 after being asked to open leadership positions to all students, regardless of beliefs.
Now school officials are inviting the Christian group back.
InterVarsity Vice President Greg Jao said that after a series of meetings with school officials they were able to agree that while every student would be welcome at InterVarsity, it is important for students who hold leadership positions to embody the groups' values.
InterVarsity Vice President Greg Jao told CBN News why the ministry was successful in working with the California State University system and how Christian groups in similar situations can learn from their experience. Click play to watch.
"Environmentalist groups should be able to ask potential leaders about their position on global warming. Democrat and Republican groups want people who agree with their platform," Jao explained in a World Magazine report.
"I want football players that can play football, which is 'able-bodied discrimination,' he continued. "Music groups should be able to choose leaders based on whether they can sustain a pitch."
"Not using religion as a criterion doesn't makes sense for a religious group," Jao wrote.
He went on to say that they view school officials as just as much of a mission field as they do students. He said they kept that in mind while in talks with the administration.
"We tried to listen carefully. We were doing the very thing that we challenge our student to do -- love the person you are talking to; treat him with dignity and respect. You can do that and speak truth at the same time," Jao said.
Returning to campus means InterVarsity will once again be recognized as an official student group, allowing them to reserve rooms for meetings, publicize events and have tables at student involvement fairs.
Despite being off-campus last year, InterVarsity has continued to thrive among the Cal State community. This last year the group recorded its largest number of new believers.
While this agreement covers chapters at California State University, the largest public university system in the United States, InterVarsity continues to face challenges to student chapters on campuses at other locations in California, New York, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Maine, Iowa, and Florida.