The education program at Trinity Western University (TWU) in Langley, British Columbia, gave Katrina Spencer two things: a degree and a Christian worldview that she believes will equip her to serve her future students.
Starting in a year, TWU students will have a third benefit: legal permission to finish their five-year course of study at the Christian university, courtesy of the Supreme Court of Canada.
The court's 8-1 decision on May 17 overturned a requirement imposed by the British Columbia College of Teachers (BCCT) that TWU students finish their program at a nearby secular school. This requirement was based on the fear that the 3,000-student evangelical university might produce teachers unsympathetic to homosexual students since the school's policy forbids sexual relations outside heterosexual marriage.
Spencer says that the country's largest private Christian university should have the same rights as other teacher-training institutions in Canada. "Trinity has an outstanding education program," Spencer says. "They push you hard, and they work you hard."
For critics citing TWU's opposition to homosexual behavior, the question was not about academics but indoctrination. The high court ruled that the school does not discriminate against homosexuals when it requires its 325 education students to sign a community-standards agreement that bans homosexual conduct, among other behaviors.
The decision is good news for dozens of other Christian institutions in Canada, making it easier for them to require lifestyle standards of students and staff, says Gary Walsh, president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC). "This will put to rest the fears of other religiously based colleges and ...1
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