Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University derecognized InterVarsity’s Graduate Christian Fellowship chapter as well as several other campus Christian organizations for non-compliance with the University’s nondiscrimination policy. InterVarsity believes Vanderbilt’s nondiscrimination policy infringes on our religious rights by restricting our ability to use scriptural principles to determine the leadership and the character of our organization.

The Christian Legal Society also has a web page of information and links on the Vanderbilt situation.

After the January 31, 2012 Town Hall Meeting, InterVarsity released the following statement:

   InterVarsity is disappointed that Vanderbilt’s administration has not been responsive to the concerns expressed by its students. We remain hopeful that a position change is still possible that will allow InterVarsity’s Graduate Christian Fellowship and other Christian organizations to require their leaders to be practicing Christians. Any organization must have leadership that believes in its goals and purposes in order to remain active and relevant. We believe authentic expressions of Christian faith should be a part of the forum of ideas on the campus of Vanderbilt or any other university.

Please pray for the Vanderbilt administration and Trustees, that they will decide to revise the nondiscrimination policy so that it does not discriminate against campus religious groups.

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 2014 by InterVarsity Regional Director John Criswell:

The de-recognition was hard at first for the chapter, but the students adapted well. They meet at the Black Campus Center just off campus. When I spoke there this past February, the chapter president told me the change had forced them to reconsider their outreach approaches. Rather than rely on tabling, advertising, or formal association with Vanderbilt as they used to do, they had to work within their network of relationships to reach other students. This was the ideal vehicle to do so because relationships are the context in which the Gospel becomes tangible.  They have about 47 core participants and grew by 4% last year (with 4 conversions).