Inside Out 9: Christians on Campus

10.20.10 | Martha Manikas-Foster

It’s not very often that I feel that the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court have the potential to impact me right here and right now. But sometimes I do. A decision by the high court in June of this year got my attention because it seemed that this case---the Christian Legal Society vs. Martinez---could immediately impact the way Christians---and other people of faith---gather and worship on university campuses. As someone concerned about college students and college student ministries, that makes a difference in my life.

To learn more about the court decision---and its possible repercussions---I talked with Dan Soderberg, the Area Director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s campus ministries in western New York. As a staff person for this interdenominational Christian student ministry to college and university students and faculty, I thought Dan would have a good handle on the impact of the June decision.

I invite you to listen to what he has to say---both about the Supreme Court decision, as well as about the health of God’s good news on college campuses. More questions? You can contact Dan directly by e-mailing or by phoning (716) 488-9310.


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 10.20.10 Tony Kiessling commented

I heard your broadcast today and will listen to the full interview later. Thanks for bringing this to my attention as I am a faculty advisor for the Campus Crusade ministry at Mansfield University. My first impression was; "Wow this is going to change everything!" But upon reflection I wonder if it will since our meetings are open to all who want to come. I see how difficulties could come since leadership is limited and if someone wanted to force the issue it would be possible. Funny how the Supreme Court can be friend or foe. I recently came across a decision from the 90's, Rosenberger v. U. of VA, where it was determined that student funds cannot be withheld from Christian student groups. And then I just received a note from a friend in a foreign land who reminded me that where he is people have to put their religion on their ID cards! We have it so easy here while some of our brothers and sisters put their faith literally on the line and their very lives are in danger because they proclaim Christ.

on 10.20.10 Martha commented

What a helpful perspective, Tony, especially in light of the concerns of our brothers and sisters in other countries. The potential for difficulties for campus groups here, as I understand them, could be in direct proportion to the number of people that a campus group asks to sign a statement of doctrine, faith or code of behavior. As I understand the ruling, the fact that the Christian Legal Society at Hastings asked all members to sign such a statement would separate the CLS from most Christian fellowships on college campuses; most, in my experience, ask the leadership---not all of the attendees---to sign such a statement. I do think that this is something to watch, and it serves as a helpful---and welcome!---reminder to pray for people like you and the ministry you serve at Mansfield.




Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.


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