After a Yearlong Battle, This Christian Group Gets Back on Campus

A Chi Alpha worship service
A Chi Alpha worship service (Courtesy/Becket Fund)

After over a year of being kept off campus for its Christian beliefs, the student group Chi Alpha has finally been reinstated at the California State University Stanislaus campus. Chi Alpha, a Christian organization for college students, was kicked off campus at Stanislaus and ordered to change its policies at three other California State campuses after the California State University system adopted a new policy banning students in religious clubs from requiring their leaders to share their faith. As of Thursday, all four Chi Alpha chapters are back on campus.

"For religious students, groups like Chi Alpha are a place of refuge. It's just common sense—and basic liberty—for religious groups to be led by students who share their faith," said Adèle Auxier Keim, legal counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Chi Alpha was founded in 1953 as a place where college students could gather to worship God, study Scripture and pray together. Its members give back to the community through programs like feedONE, which provides food for over 140,000 hungry children worldwide.

Chi Alpha has been serving Cal State Stanislaus for almost 40 years. Chi Alpha's students have always asked their leaders to believe and live what Chi Alpha teaches. But in August 2014, the Chancellor of the Cal State University system banned policies like Chi Alpha's. Under California State's new policy, fraternities and sororities can require their leaders to be men or women, the environmental club can require its leaders to believe in climate change, but religious groups can't require their leaders to believe what they teach.

In September 2014, Cal State Stanislaus administrators derecognized the Chi Alpha chapter and locked Chi Alpha's students out of the meeting space they had reserved for their fall kickoff meeting.

In 2015, after months of negotiations, the Cal State Chancellor's Office agreed that while religious student groups couldn't require all leadership candidates to share their faith, students were free to select leaders whose lives and beliefs reflected their group's message. As of last Thursday all four Chi Alpha chapters—at Cal State Stanislaus, Cal State Sacramento, San Diego State and Cal State Fresno—are back on campus as recognized student groups.

Chi Alpha still has fewer rights than fraternities and faces an unfair burden on its ministry, but its students can once again take their place as a recognized part of campus.

"Cal State has adopted a halfway solution that still gives fraternities more rights than campus religious groups. But they've acknowledged that students can vote for a candidate who shares their beliefs, and that's a step in the right direction," said Keim.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective