Specific Religious Groups Denied Funding by Western Kentucky University
A Kentucky based university is marking some religious organizations ineligible for their annual $15,000 scholarship.
According to CBN News, Western Kentucky University awards the $15,000 “Citizenship & Social Justice” scholarship to several student organizations each year for their “ability to demonstrate a well-articulated vision, detailed plan, and high level of commitment to a substantial applied learning experience.”
Applicants are charged with pitching a service-oriented idea to the school that they will be expected to work on locally, domestically or abroad.
Not all organizations who demonstrate this ability are eligible for the award, however. According to Campus Reform, WKU's Center for Citizenship & Social Justice Director Leah Ashwill said “faith-based projects that include proselytizing or evangelizing as part of the service experience” cannot receive this award.
This would mean any religious group, including Christian groups, who work to share their religious beliefs, would be disqualified from eligibility.
Other groups that are ineligible include “projects which promote or advocate for a political candidate or party and internships that are required by a student's degree program.”
According to Campus Reform, any religious group that does not practice evangelism is allowed to apply for the scholarship. This means that in order for Christian groups to get the award, they would have to eliminate their core value of spreading the good news.
Ashwill insists, however, that the requirements for the award in no way translate into religious discrimination. She told Campus Reform, “We have students from all walks of life accessing these funds...for a wide variety of applied learning experiences. To suggest that there are bias issues...would be completely false."
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