The Title IX Lives of Christian Colleges
Image: Tyler Olson / Shutterstock

Editor’s note: On February 22, 2017, the Trump administration revoked the Obama administration’s guidance that Title IX required public schools to accommodate transgender students in restrooms and lockerrooms.

What was intended as a “list of shame” for Christian colleges may instead become a badge of honor.

The US Department of Education (DOE) now publicly lists which schools have religious exemptions from portions of Title IX, the civil rights law banning sex discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding. The lengthy list reveals that members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) are split on the strategy for safeguarding religious freedom in Christian higher education.

Since Congress finalized Title IX in 1975, 66 of its 246 exemptions have been given to CCCU members and affiliates. With eight more schools still on the pending list, more than half of the CCCU’s 143 American schools have claimed an exemption.

A disproportionate number of those (49%) have come in just the past three years, after the DOE sent out “Dear Colleague” letters to schools: first to inform them that they could not discriminate against transgender or gay students (2014), then to tell them that they had to treat students according to their gender identity (2016).

Dordt College, an Iowa school affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church, received its exemption this September after waiting nearly a year.

“The boundaries around religion in America are constricting to the point where I was concerned that the likelihood of the government acknowledging [Dordt] as a religious institution—and therefore being covered under the First Amendment—was decreasing,” ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
From Issue:
Read These Next
Also in this IssueThe Most Uncomfortable Christmas Verse
The Most Uncomfortable Christmas Verse
"But women will be saved by childbearing," may not mean what you think it means.
RecommendedFive Things You Should Know About Reinhold Niebuhr
Five Things You Should Know About Reinhold Niebuhr
From Carter to Comey, the legacy of "Washington's Favorite Theologian" endures.
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickThe Church’s Three-Part Harmony
The Church’s Three-Part Harmony
Why evangelical, sacramental, and Pentecostal Christians belong together in one body.
Christianity Today
The Title IX Lives of Christian Colleges
hide thisDecember December

In the Magazine

December 2016

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.