San Jose State University in California has intimated Ratio Christi, a grassroots campus student ministry, of its decision to "de-recognized" the campus chapter as punishment for the ministry's "discriminatory" policy for leadership positions.
School officials wrote to Ratio Christi, explaining their action is as per a new California State University Executive Order on how an organization selects its officers, the ministry revealed on its website this week.
The ministry requires its chapter officers to be Christian and holding biblical beliefs, and the State of California now deems that as "discriminatory."
"De-recognition" means the school chapter of the ministry is no longer eligible for student funding and financial services, and nor can it participate in student organization fairs, ceremonies or training, the school officials said in a letter in October.
"Colleges and universities should be encouraging student leadership, not stifling it," says Ratio Christi President Rick Schenker in response.
"All college students, including religious students, should have the right to form groups around shared beliefs and choose leaders who reflect those beliefs without being shut down and kicked off campus," Schenker adds. "Imagine the College Democrats being required to have a Republican student leader, or the local chapter of PETA being required to have a meat-eating leader. The results of the Cal State policy are simply ridiculous."
Anyone is free to join the Ratio Christi chapter at San Jose State University, Schenker points out. "These students should be able to independently choose leaders that embody the purpose of the club, not the ideology of a few college officials. The message the school officials are sending is a deeply disturbing one, and paints a grim outlook for the future of true education in this country."
The ministry is weighing legal options it has to respond to the school's action.
Ration Christi describes itself as "a global movement that equips university students and faculty to give historical, philosophical, and scientific reasons for following Jesus Christ."
The ministry adds, "Bringing together faith and reason to establish the intellectual voice of Christ in the University, Ratio Christi is planting student led apologetics clubs at universities around the world. Students, engaged in the battle for the mind, learn to defend God's existence, the reliability of the Bible, and the fact of Christ's resurrection. We seek a Renaissance of Christian Thinking in the University."
The Ration Christi's San Jose University chapter remains active on Facebook.