Southwestern Christian University Expels Lesbian Student Who ‘Married’ Partner

RNS-STUDENT-EXPELLEDOKLAHOMA CITY (RNS) A lesbian student who “married” her partner was recently expelled from an Oklahoma university one semester shy of her sports management degree.

Christian Minard, 22, attended Southwestern Christian University, a school affiliated with the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Bethany, Okla. As part of her admission requirements, she signed a lifestyle covenant that prohibits “homosexual behavior.”

Minard, belongs to an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregation in Oklahoma City, but her decision to marry her partner, Kadyn Parks, put her at odds with the school’s lifestyle covenant.

The two were married in Albuquerque, N.M., on March 17. On Wednesday (July 9), a letter addressed to Minard from Brad Davis, the school’s vice president of student life, arrived at her parents’ home, telling her she was being expelled.

“I was informed that you recently married someone of the same sex and saw a few pictures from Facebook,” Davis wrote. “Of course, this is opposing to our view as an International Pentecostal Holiness denominational university as well as the Lifestyle Covenant that all students must agree and sign.”

The International Pentecostal Holiness Church is headquartered in Bethany, and the school sits adjacent to the world headquarters building. The denomination has consistently opposed homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

The lifestyle covenant states that students may be required to withdraw for violating certain provisions of the covenant, including prohibitions on homosexual behavior, harassment, sexual misconduct, pornography, alcohol, tobacco and other sins.

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Minard said she is aware that her relationship violates the covenant, but claims that the rules are not being applied consistently, as she believes she was singled out for being a married lesbian.

“Students violate parts of that covenant all the time, but they don’t get expelled,” she said. “I didn’t even get a hearing, just a letter to my parents.”

“There isn’t a similar program at an area university, so I’d have to change my program of study,” Minard said of the road ahead. “And, being one semester from graduation means I have taken all my electives. I’ll lose all those credits if I transfer.”

Connie Sjoberg, provost at the university, declined to comment on specifics of the situation, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, a federal law that prohibits colleges from disclosing information about students, even to parents.

Christian News Network contributed to this report.


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  • patrick

    The GLBT movement is out to try and destroy all Christian institutions and its all well planned and orchetrated , they try to play victims and look for sympathy. Christians its time we stand up for what we believe.

  • Ann

    You are free to choose. You are not free from the results of your choices. Knowing the consequences, if you chose to marry your partner anyway, you shouldn’t be surprised. Anyway, why would you want to attend a college that is opposed to your lifestyle? Go to school online, or find a non-sectarian college in some other place.

  • WorldGoneCrazy

    Sunny, I love your attitude and your ability to love the sinner, but you are little off on proper Biblical hermeneutics. We are not to judge other people hypocritically, but we are most certainly supposed to discern sin. (In fact, we couldn’t make it through the day otherwise.) Please see this post, because the “you shouldn’t judge” motto making its way through our culture is both self-refuting and demonstrably un-Biblical: http://www.str.org/articles/the-judgment-on-judging#.U8CCb8JOVol
    It will just take you a few minutes to read, I promise.

    Also, you say: “They are just trying to be happy, and isn’t that what it’s all about?” Now, actually, that is NOT what it’s all about, within the Christian worldview anyway. (It IS what it’s all about for most atheists, however.) It is about following God (once you have surrendered of course) and His Way, not our way – even when, especially when, it is more difficult and makes us unhappy to do so. We are to love God and our neighbor – yes, you got that part right, but not our neighbor’s sin.

    God is not a cosmic vending machine Who exists to make us happy. In fact, we are here to serve Him, not the other way around. He will make us more like His Son, and did you notice something about Jesus: He never was afraid to call sin what it was, was He? He loved the sinner – yes – but not the sin. I prayerfully hope that you consider whether or not you might be loving the sin also.

    God’s blessings to you, Sunny!

    • Sunny Reffett

      I love all sinners, and I include myself. Jesus came to serve us, that’s why He washed Peter’s feet. I know my bible, I know my God, and I know that He loves ALL of us. All of us come short of the glory of God. ALL. Yet He loves us!!!!! Keep that in mind….and I will fight the good fight against discrimination.

      • Daniel

        Sunny,

        Matthew 18:15-17 NASB “15“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16“But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17“If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” – Jesus.

        The message here from Jesus is that as Christians we are to help each other acknowledge our sin(s), to turn away our brothers and sisters in Christ from their sin(s). Not to turn a blind eye to it! The “judge not lest ye be judged” passage is intended to prevent the carrying out of the condemnation, which in Biblical time was instant! If you were found in the act of sexual sin, you were taken outside the gate and stoned to death then and there. It was this kind of instant judgment that Jesus did not want to continue, and if we were to perform this type of judgment then we could expect God to deal with us in the same way come judgment day. Instead of tasting in the wonder of Heaven, we would be confined to death, instantly!

        So as long as we are not dragging homosexuals out into the streets to stone them, we are not guilty of the judgment spoken of by Jesus to the scribes and Pharisees.

        God does not desire that the sinner be sacrificed (killed to appease God’s wrath), He desires mercy and forgiveness from us, and repentance from the sinner.

    • david

      Worldgonecrazy. I agree with what you said. Our freedom of religion allow us to hold our belief. If you believe homosexuality is a sin, that’s your view and you are truly entitled to that. I’m a Christian and I think Sunny is too. And what we, and a lot of other fellow Christian has problem with, is not the private views (judging).. we are all sinners anyways. What I have a problem with, are people “going out of the way to oppress others because of their belief” kind of judging. People who actively campaign to ban civil same sex marriages so that ordinary citizens (gay or straight) can be protected from the law, People like Westboro Baptist “church” who pickets at soldiers funerals, and in this case, this school who expels someone when she is almost done with her studies. It’s just a dick move.

      • Daniel

        David,

        I understand what you are trying to say. I feel compelled to ask you a few questions though.
        1. When you vote, do you cast your vote based upon what you believe, or based upon what everyone else believes?
        2. Do you believe that as Christians we should endeavor to turn our fellow Christians caught in sin back to the truth of the Bible? (in other words, to teach them according to God’s word concerning sin)
        3. Do you believe that what the school did was illegal?

        Now, given that, I do believe in what the Bible has to say about the difference between an unbeliever and a Christian when it comes to addressing sin in their lives. For the unbeliever we are to share the Gospel with them so that they can come to know Christ, first. For those who are Christians, we are to confront them in love and gentleness and in private concerning their sin, in the hopes that they will repent and be right with God again, then there is the two or three witnesses, then the bring them before the Church part, and if after all of that they do not turn, they are to be expelled from within the Church and to be treated as the Gentile(unbeliever) and the tax collector ( Why does the tax collector gets singled out?).

        • david

          Hi daniel
          to answer your questions:
          1. i vote what I believe. To extend my answer a bit, I don’t think public policy decisions should be based on one religion, it should benefit the society as a whole and improve its citizens’ lives in general.
          2. yes. that’s what we should do, with compassion
          3. I do not know what the contract states. I’ll guess the contract is not specific (like, it doesn’t say “if you get marry to persons of the same sex, you will be expelled immediately). It probably says something along the line like (if you don’t live in the principles that the school believes, you may get disciplined, or even expeled”. So I think the school has the right legally to expel her. But I seriously don’t think they SHOULD do it because it’s just horrible ruining someone’s life that way. They could have discipline her some other way if they want.

          • Daniel

            David,

            Thank you for answering my questions, it helps me to understand you the person a little better. It also prevents me from making off the wall assumptions about you. I will give my answers to my own questions, to be fair.
            1. I too vote what I believe. I believe that I should vote in line with my faith. To clarify though, I do not concern myself if the outcome is in conflict with my faith, as the politics of this world will not be a part of heaven.
            2. Basically, Matthew 18.
            3. Correct, the contract is a legally binding document that when signed by the two, or more, parties can, with limited restrictions, actually supersede state and federal law. Was what the college did right? That’s like asking if what the policeman did when he arrested the thief, was right. Everyone has been so focused on what the school did, that they have forgotten that it was the student that violated/broke the rules of the school listed in the signed contract. Not that you forgot, not what I am saying. Just more in general. We need to return to the point where we hold the perpetrator of the violation accountable for their actions, instead of blaming the institution for following and enforcing the rules. In this case it was the rules of the school, not saying that she violated the law of the state. Then again, she didn’t sign a contract with the state, where she did sign one with the school.

    • Thomas

      The Biblical Mandate for the discerning of sin is purely, and explicitly an individual one. It is the responsibility of each Christian to moderate their own actions in regards to this, however, it is reserved for the Creator himself to pass the judgement of such upon others. When one does in fact, go beyond the individual mandate, and ventures into the realm of passing judgement upon others, one has, at that point, chosen to abandon one’s individual responsibility to avoid sin, as, it is explicitly taught that to pass judgement upon others is, in itself a sin. If, as a Christian, you fear for another Christians choices, your mandate, according to the Bible is to attempt to educate them and show them the proper path. Failing this, you bless them, and pray that they eventually realize their sin, and ask forgiveness of the only One capable of judging them. Going beyond this, and causing hardship to them is as to turn your back on your brother, or sister, and as such, as taught by his only Son, to turn your back on God.

      • Daniel

        Thomas,
        You area quite correct, we are to “educate” those Christians that have turned to sin in an outright about face from the teachings of God. We are to “educate” them in love and with gentleness. The way that you are to educate is by showing them, not what we say is right or wrong, but what the Bible says it right or wrong. If what the Bible says makes them ‘uncomfortable’, does that mean we stop? Remember, this is pursued through love and gentleness.
        For within the Church, we are to first approach the brother/sister ourselves, if they do not turn away and repent then we are to approach them with at least two more persons. And if they still do not turn and repent, we are to bring the matter before the Church with the testimonies of the two witnesses. At this time, if they still do not turn away and repent, they are to be expelled from the Church.
        What the LGBT community, that claims to be Christian, has done, is to point fingers at those of us who love them enough to educate them in love and gentleness, and call us bigots, and haters, or worse. And in fear of these accusations many Churches have stopped from holding these ‘supposed’ Christians accountable for their sin. They turn a blind eye to the practice and allow it to continue within the Church. This goes directly against the teachings of the Bible, and these Churches need to be held accountable for their failure to stand strong in the word of God. And as we, the Christians, are the Church we need to hold each other accountable if we fail to stand with the word of God, and allow homosexuality to persist in the Church.

  • BONNIE

    This student clearly knew that she was violating a university policy, which she had agreed to follow. This is obviously a deliberate attempt to bring a public outcry by the rainbow community and a subsequent lawsuit. She could have waited one semester to marry. She flouted the regulation. She deserves no hearing. She knew what the punishment would be. Why else would she have waited until the semester was finished? She wanted to make sure that she got completion credits for her classes. She cannot change God’s law. She should go to a college that embraces her lifestyle.

  • Linde

    Psalm 5:5, psalm 11:5, Hosea 9:15, God not only hates the sin, but the sinner. Just say’n.

  • kathleen neely

    It is clearly illustrated in the schools bylaws that her behavior was not compatable with the school moral code. This young woman is trying to start trouble for this Christian school. We are to Judge those within the Church if they are living a sinful lifestyle , we are advised to get them out of the Church. Not even to eat lunch with anyone who calls themselves a Christian and lives an immoral lifestyle. This young lady is pushing boundaries to try to make the Christian School look bad or maybe to lose fafsa funding. She is a tool.