This supposedly Christian university is accused of blocking approval of Pro-Life student group

Chris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

When parents send their children off to a Christian college they expect a wholesome, religious-based experience.

But more and more so-called Christian colleges and universities are becoming just as bad as their non-Christian counterparts.

And this supposedly Christian university is even accused of blocking approval of Pro-Life student group.

An Indiana-based Christian university has come under fire for allegations it has stonewalled the approval of a Pro-Life campus student group. 

Meet the deadline or else

While the university, Huntington University claims the group hasn’t completed the approval process, Students for Life of America (SFLA) begs to differ.

SFLA’s legal counsel, Zachary Kester, recently sent a letter to Huntington University President Sherilyn Emberton and Vice President for Student Life Ron Coffey.

Caroline Wharton, the press strategist and a staff writer for SFLA, provided The Christian Post with a copy of the demand letter. 

According to Wharton, June 12 was the deadline for the school to respond to SFLA’s letter. 

“If this deadline is not met, our students and legal counsel will agree upon our next move,” she wrote at the time.

Wharton also confirmed to The Christian Post in a June 13 statement that the school had reached out to SFLA’s legal counsel and agreed to discuss the matter. 

Aligning with the school’s Christian values

Huntington University is a four-year liberal arts school affiliated with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. 

As of October 2022, some 1,200 students were enrolled to take classes at the university’s Huntington campus.

The Church of the Brethren has been known for its strong Pro-Life and anti-war stance. 

Student Ryan Drenovsky, first reached out to the administration at the university in January 2023 to propose the creation of the Huntington University Students for Life Club (HUSFL).

Drenovsky told the administrators in his initial email the HUSFL fully aligned with the university’s Christian values and that it was not intended to cater to one side of the political spectrum. 

As SFLA’s letter stated, “Indeed, Mr. Drenovsky sought to form a club for likeminded Christians to care for women that are struggling with a monumental decision, to help point them towards choosing life, and ultimately to help point them towards Christ.”  

SFLA’s demand letter pointed out HU’s mission statement on its website, which affirms the school’s commitment as a Christian school to preparing students for the “contemporary world” instead of sheltering them from it.

SFLA’s Kester argued the university is simply not abiding by its mission to allow differing viewpoints if it refuses to approve of the Pro-Life group.

“We would call on the University’s administration to live by their own mission and allow the formation of HUSFL so that they may engage in discourse on campus, carry out the University’s goals of fostering critical thinking, and live out Christ’s mission,” Kester’s letter went on. 

In response, an HU spokesperson affirmed to The Christian Post the university’s commitment to their Creator, and emphasized that the university has a long history of encouraging students to pursue their activities and vocations through on-campus organizations.

“The University has a process for approving school-sponsored clubs which involves multiple levels of authorization and communication,” the spokesperson wrote.

“The approval process for the proposed club in question had not been completed as of the end of the spring semester. The University has not denied permission for the proposed club to continue in the process to seek approval.” 

“The University looks forward to engaging with the student in the upcoming fall semester and will assist in navigating the application process for the proposed student-led group,” the HU spokesperson continued. 

But Students for Life explained the “process for approving a university sponsored club at Huntington University is supposed to take no longer than a month and a half,” and Drenovsky was expecting to receive approval sometime in February. 

Yet, the spring semester came and went with no formal approval. 

Drenovsky believes his request was ignored by the administration. 

“Mr. Drenovsky sent several emails requesting the status for approval in that time period, but no action occurred,” SFLA’s legal counsel wrote. “The University has refused to provide a reason for the delay.”

Clearly Huntington University is stonewalling a Pro-Life group even though they’ve jumped through every hoop. 

Pro-Life Press will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.