Evil Protestants – Georgetown U. Ejects Private Ministry Groups

Guess what, Georgetown University is a Jesuit Catholic School

Protestant groups that have been ministering to Georgetown University students on campus for years say they are stunned that the Catholic university has decided to eject outside ministries from campus, a decision that affects only Protestant organizations.
Georgetown’s Protestant chaplaincy, part of the office of Campus Ministry, told the six outside Protestant groups Aug. 17 that they would no longer be allowed to reserve rooms for weekly meetings, use Georgetown’s name or organize on campus without an invitation from a student. Between 100 and 300 students are active in the groups, which include Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, national organizations.

Um, what part of a Catholic school do you not understand? I hope for equal opportunity they have likewise banned Moslem religious groups. And Anamist, and Zorastian. And guess what, most of the students are Catholic

Protestant students make up about a fifth of the student body at Georgetown

[OK, they could be Zorastarian, Jewish, etc, but the reality check says over half are Catholic]

Seriously there are not enough details here, but I expect that won’t stop some from denouncing the Jesuit Institution of Georgetown University for being Catholic. Really, if this wan’t in DC, it would not be a story.

Disclaimer: I was brought up in the Presbyterian (USA) tradition. I’m a Calvinist, sort of/certainly not a Catholic, nor a Baptist. A college roommate is now a Jesuit, and I respect that decision.

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Richard Gardner
About Richard Gardner
Richard Gardner is a “retired” Navy Submarine Officer with military policy, arms control, and budgeting experience. He contributed over 100 pieces to OTB between January 2004 and August 2008, covering special events. He has a BS in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.


  1. Triumph says:

    Um, what part of a Catholic school do you not understand?

    Um, Georgetown is a private institution. They can do what they want.

    Since you didn’t provide a link to the source of this information it is hard to assess it, but since it seems that there are no students involved in these groups, why should they be able to freeload off a PRIVATE university?

    Can you walk into Microsoft and demand that you be given a space for a weekly meeting and then use their copyrighted name in sponsoring your group?

    Why in the world should the University subsidize these groups? If there really are “100 to 300” students “active” in these groups, your excerpt clearly states that these allegedly “banned” groups can still organize on campus if a student requests it. So what’s the big deal?

  2. Richard Gardner says:

    Tiumpmh is correct, I didn’t link the original WaPo article, now corrected. I totally agree that Georgetown University can do anything that want as a private university. And I think Federal government money should go to them the same as any other university, because to imply that only “public” universities are worthy is discrimination.

  3. just me says:

    A private University can set whatever standards it wants to for approved campus groups.

    Although from the link it doesn’t really sound like it is a “Catholic University” thing, but that the protestant campus chaplains are trying to excersize more oversight as to what groups are meeting and what their goals are.

    It doesn’t even look like the situation is permanent, because it appears the students can sponser the groups, and reserve the rooms, and the groups can meet.

    So, I guess from my impression this is an internal protestant thing more than a Catholic thing.

  4. fiona says:

    GU Alumna here. the article says “only Protestant” organizations are affected. I do hope that this is not at the request of the Islamic study center for which GU recently received about $7 million dollars from a Saudi prince (an equal or larger amount going to Harvard, as I recall). Georgetown’s casual acceptance of this donation is yet another reason they will never receive a dime from me again.

  5. Fre says:

    I wonder how many Catholic (or Moslem) groups there are at Bob Jones and Liberty Universities?

  6. John Burgess says:

    Sorry Fiona couldn’t make better use of her GU education. Mine’s working just fine.

    The $20 million to Georgetown (Harvard got an equal amount) is in the hands of the Unversity administration, not some cult or band or terrorists. (That totals $40 million. What would Quigley say about this innumeracy?!)

    And I certainly think there’s room for enhanced Christian/Muslim, Western/Arab, American/Saudi understanding, again as Fiona demonstrates.

  7. legion says:

    It’s more interesting (and surprising) to me that such groups were allowed for what is implied in the articles to be a rather long time. I’m deeply curious as to what exactly triggered this change in policy… any of you GU alum types have any contacts in administration?

  8. Anderson says:

    Triumph: If there really are “100 to 300— students “active” in these groups, your excerpt clearly states that these allegedly “banned” groups can still organize on campus if a student requests it.

    Yeah, that’s as non-story as you can get. The only groups not allowed are those that can’t get *one lousy student* to invite them. Those are exactly the groups that don’t need to be there.

  9. Stephanie Brown says:

    As a current student at Georgetown and a leader in one of the groups removed from campus (specifically the undergrad InterVarsity group), allow me to try and clear up a few misconceptions.

    First, I do not believe this was ever a matter of the Catholics kicking off the Evangelicals. It was a decision by the Protestant Campus Ministry, which the University appears to be supporting. Beyond that, understand that InterVarsity (at least at GU) is not a Protestant organization, but one where we have active members and leaders from both Catholic and Protestant traditions.

    Second, none of these affiliated ministries were subsidized by the University. Unlike other clubs under the Student Activities Committee, we received no university money, but instead relied on independent donations from alumni and students.

    Third, InterVarsity (and Chi Alpha, etc) WAS invited on to campus, by students, a great many years ago. It is not an outside group coming and telling students thing, but instead a student-initiated, student-led group which has ties to a national organization. We do have three staff workers who are funded through IV donations, but two of those are recent alumni, and by no means from outside the community.

    As to what triggered the change, I have a genuinely hard time answering this question. The reasons we have been given are that Protestant Ministries (under which the university placed IV) is undergoing a restructuring and is headed in a ‘new direction’ with the goal of strengthening and uniting the Protestant students, and so there is no longer a place for us. We are no longer allowed to organize or advertise on campus, nor to link with Georgetown or InterVarsity, nor are we allowed to request rooms in which to meet, and we have been strongly dissuaded from making contacts with freshmen.