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InterVarsity Reiterates Theology of Human Sexuality
October 7, 2016
For Immediate Release
(Madison, WI) -- A report in TIME magazine incorrectly stated that InterVarsity was firing employees who support gay marriage. This is not accurate. No InterVarsity employee will be fired for their views on gay marriage.
The scope of InterVarsity’s reiteration of its position on biblical sexuality is primarily theological in nature. “InterVarsity is concluding a four-year process in which we reiterated our beliefs on human sexuality and invited our staff to study and to reflect on how our beliefs about Scripture and our hermeneutic approaches to Scripture lead us to those conclusions,” said Greg Jao, InterVarsity vice president and director of campus engagement. InterVarsity’s process invited all employees to take 18 months to work through a nine-part curricula, read a variety of resources, and study the relevant biblical texts to conclude whether they were in agreement with InterVarsity’s unchanged position.
InterVarsity’s position on human sexuality has not changed in its 75-year history. “We have always expected employees to reflect the ministry’s theological beliefs, as would be true for any church, synagogue, mosque, or religious organization,” said Jao. “We recognize employees who disagree, or whose beliefs have changed over time, will leave employment because we have reiterated our beliefs.”
InterVarsity believes Christlikeness includes both embracing Scripture’s teachings on human sexuality as well as defending the dignity of all people, including LGBTQI individuals, because they are made in God’s image. “While some will argue this cannot be done, we believe that we must if we are to be faithful followers of Jesus,” Jao said. “As we reiterated our theological position, we also invested significantly in developing resources to serve the LGBTQI community with greater grace and integrity. Within InterVarsity and elsewhere, there are LGBTQI people who agree with this theology, at great personal cost. We are learning together to follow Jesus.”
InterVarsity welcomes all students and faculty—including LGBTQI individuals—in our fellowships. We also continue to employ individuals who have an LGBTQI identity and who affirm our theological beliefs around human sexuality.
“Throughout this process, we are very aware that LGBTQI people have experienced great pain, including much caused by Christians. We also know that we ourselves each need Jesus’ grace daily. So we attempt to walk humbly in this conversation.”
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA is an interdenominational ministry to students and faculty on U.S. college and university campuses, working with more than 41,000 core students and faculty on 667 campuses nationwide. InterVarsity is a founding member of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, advancing Christian student work in 160 countries.
For more information, visit www.intervarsity.org.