I wanted to give those of you interested a brief update on some of the things I have been doing on the legal side. I have been very busy trying to juggle many responsibilities there, while also helping Jeremiah to launch the ministry this year at NAU. One big task has been helping each of our contextualized ministries within the Campus Ministry draft up and finalize model constitutions. We want to ensure that our purposes are clear within all of our Cru ministries, to make sure that all of our Chapters are pursuing the mission we have been called to. Along with that, we are seeking to streamline a more formal Chartering process for all of our Chapters–both staff, volunteer, and student-led–around the country. We require that each Chapter agrees to pursue Cru’s mission and uphold our statement of faith, in order to preserve the integrity of Cru at all levels. It has been exciting to interact with the national leadership in each ministry, and I am so thankful to be part of a ministry where each leader is pursuing the Lord so wholeheartedly and with humility.
I have also been helping many of our Chapters around the country get registered this Fall as student organizations on their campuses. One particular area of concern has been in California, with the California State University system. The following paragraphs are a statement I wrote up on that issue by way of an update:
The California State University system began strictly applying their nondiscrimination policy to leadership selection in the last year or so. This means that they are prohibiting us from using religious criteria in the selection of our student leadership if we want to have registered student clubs on Cal State campuses. Yet we believe it is crucial in order to preserve our message and mission as Cru (which is, of course, religious in nature), that we have students leading our groups who actually believe in that mission and are following Jesus as they encourage others to get to know and follow Him.
We have partnered with InterVarsity in pursuing dialogue with the Chancellor of the Cal State system, seeking understanding and a solution that might address our religious liberty concerns that the policy raises. The Chancellor has granted religious groups such as ours a one year reprieve from the strict application of the policy to give us time to work toward language that might address some of our concerns while still satisfying the university’s desire to create an inclusive environment.
This reprieve allows us to focus on our mission with strongly aligned student leaders, while having an open membership policy, as we have done for decades all over the United States. Nevertheless, it is a temporary reprieve, and the California State Universities continue to assert that no group should use religious criteria in the selection of student leaders. Please pray that we can find a way forward with the Cal State system as we work with the Chancellor, InterVarsity, and several other religious groups.
Thank you for praying, and for being part of this ministry work with us.