Local private colleges continue to allow Bible study in dorms

November 21, 2005

Two local private colleges have little to worry about when it comes to state intervention in resident assistant-led Bible studies.

A recent ban on private, RA-led Bible studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is under scrutiny by Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager.

UW System President Kevin Reilly asked Lautenschlager to assess the legality of Eau Claire's ban on such activities since similar rules apply at other UW colleges.

Ripon College and Marian College have always allowed RAs to practice their religious beliefs and, school officials say, so far there have been no complaints.

The difference is neither college receives the majority of its funding from the state and federal government, said Ripon's Dean of Students Chris Ogle.

"We have a lot more flexibility being a private school," he said.

The state controversy began in July when an Eau Claire administrator banned RAs from leading private, non-school-sponsored Bible studies in their dorms. The concern was some students might feel RAs were unapproachable because of their religious beliefs...

Schools: University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Cases: University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire: Ban on RAs’ Leading Bible Studies