Fuller Theological Seminary students want a sanctuary campus

Payton Hall on the campus of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.

(RNS) Fuller Theological Seminary has joined a growing list of schools where administrators are being pressed by students, alumni and faculty for designation as a sanctuary campus.

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election as president, some campuses are considering the moniker “sanctuary campus,” which generally means that the university will not willingly give the government information about their students, staff or faculty who are undocumented immigrants.

During his campaign, Trump vowed to deport an estimated 11 million foreigners. Since his election victory, he has said he would immediately deport 2 million to 3 million undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of crimes.

Should the leadership of Fuller Theological Seminary adopt the policy changes that the petition requests, it would be one of the first religious institutions to become a sanctuary campus.

Administrators at Fuller couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

The evangelical Fuller is the largest seminary in the country, with 1,542 full-time enrolled students during the 2015-16 academic year, according to the Association of Theological Schools.

The Pasadena, Calif., school has produced famous evangelical leaders, including the founder of Mars Hill Church in Michigan, Rob Bell; author and theologian John Piper; and the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, Bill Bright.

In a letter to the president, students, faculty and alumni petitioned on Monday (Nov. 21) for the school to refuse to comply with immigration officials if they come to deport undocumented members of their community. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 680 students, faculty and alumni had signed the petition.

In addition, they requested that the seminary publicly declare “Fuller’s support for and protection of undocumented students, staff, and their families.”

Other campuses, such as Wesleyan University in Connecticut and Cal Tech, have adopted the term “sanctuary campus.” Still others are circulating similar petitions and have held demonstrations, trying to get their administrations to identify their institutions as sanctuary campuses. Harvard, Yale and Columbia are among such colleges where that status is being sought.

Even if a school does not comply with immigration officials, the chancellor of Cal Tech suggested in an article in the Los Angeles Times that the government may be able to force the school to cooperate. In addition, a Trump administration, with backing from Congress, could threaten to withhold federal funding for colleges.

The Fuller petition states, “Jesus Christ commanded us to love God and neighbor — thus as Christians we are called to seek the wellbeing of all people, particularly those who are poor, marginalized, discriminated against, and mistreated.”

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Kirkland An


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  • Perhaps they would be better using their time to teach the students how to immigrate into a country legally?

  • Better yet…………… about teaching them to make their own Country a place where they would like to live instead of leaching off hard working Americans.

  • All these liberals forget this immigration fiasco cost money! Imagine if I were allowed to pull a few bucks out of their wallet to help feed my family. How would they feel…….like they were being robbed! I’d like to see anyone of these bleeding heart liberals pay for refugee resettlement with their OWN HARD EARNED MONEY!

  • The balkanization of the American “Christian” community continues apace. As putative Christians continue to war among themselves over “policy” we do a grave disservice to the faith and our Lord. It only causes the skeptics and ungodly to laugh themselves into a fit of mad hilarity. The faculty, alumni, and students of Fuller, might consider the admonition to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Immigration law and enforcement is the province of the Federal government, and as in the case of the U.S. it does not entail torture, or deprivation of legitimate rights, then the church need not enter into it, except to the degree that it might make proposals for immigration reform in our legislative process, that is the proper methodology for addressing the question.

  • You realize, I hope, we are talking about Christian ministers and missionaries in training. Are we working to promote the Kingdom of God or share the Light of Christ with these kind of attitudes and statements? I am so continually disappointed in how politically partisan these comments are from the very beginning of every article. Is there no meditating or reflecting on that which is righteous, just, merciful, and holy in these forums? Please, people, try to reflect Christ in these discussions!

  • Perhaps Nathan, the kinds of comments you describe are subtle attempts to “open the eyes” of the deceived. Fuller Seminary is on the broad road which leads to destruction. They preach a “different gospel”. Your “Kingdom of Christ” looks very different from mine. Who has the right gospel? Read J.C. Ryle’s “The Narrow Road”. It woke me up.

  • I would like to see one of the pro-sanctuary posters respond to Bill’s point.

    If Fuller Seminary were to succeed in becoming a “sanctuary” campus, refusing to give the government vital information, only to get some innocent woman brutally murdered down the road (such as the Kate Steinle case in San Francisco), then the usual PR “Damage Control” platitudes simply won’t cut it. Nor will superficial appeals to Jesus do any good.

    The seminary would likely wind up paying a heavy price for its liberal mess. Really heavy.

    I could see a victim’s family successfully suing Fuller for eight figures — maybe nine. Maybe some good ole-fashioned JAIL-TIME for one or two seminary admins too.

    Is Fuller REALLY prepared to go all the way on this?

  • Read the entire Bible cover to cover. Take a pencil and underline every passage which implies a “conditional” nature to God’s mercy and judgment. Then when you have finished reading the entire bible and notice that every single page will be filled with underlined passages of scripture…………..then ask the question as to whether today’s Christianity has anything to do with the Bible. Jesus said the road was narrow and only a few will find it. He also said to deny yourself and pick up your own cross and DO NOT SIN.

  • Not only is there “White Guilt”……….we now have “Christian Guilt”. How come China is not being called on to share their Ghost Cities? How come only Western Civilization is being depleted of her resources to help feed, clothe and shelter the world? Asia for Asians………….Africa for Africans………………White Nations for Everyone! Diversity is code word for White genocide.

  • If Fuller becomes a “sanctuary campus” they will be certainly over-run! Outside their gates are hordes of illegals, and certainly some of which have committed crimes either here or in Mexico. They’d better beef up their campus police!

    I’m happy to see that less than half their number has signed the petition being passed around. I guess the others are solid enough in their spirituality to realize that they’re paying tuition to become trained to be Christian leaders, and not easily-forgotten pawns in such an ill-founded political movement!

  • Your legal analysis is highly contingent on whether the letter writers actually are envisioning Fuller breaking the law, as opposed to simply not cooperating willingly. If ICE asked them nicely for records and they say no I don’t think that violates the law. If ICE got a subpoena, it would be very different, and Fuller’s cooperation would not be very voluntary. This also all assumes Fuller owes any duty to the hypothetical victim.

  • “How come only Western Civilization is being depleted of her resources to help feed, clothe and shelter the world?”

    Because it was built by depleting the resources of the rest of the world to get to that point. Plus immigration keeps our country strong with new ideas, expanded markets and stems the inevitable population declines caused by an educated populace in a developed nation.

    “Diversity is code word for White genocide.”

    Because guys like yourself can’t seem to get a date with women of your own pasty complexion and procreate? I am not sure where the genocide part fits in outside of the usual miscegenation narratives bandied about. I have yet to see an elaboration on this point which didn’t point to some kind of sexual frustration of the proponent.

  • Immigration is what keeps this country from shrinking in population like Japan. It keeps markets strong.

    ” Imagine if I were allowed to pull a few bucks out of their wallet to help feed my family.”

    They are working harder than you are. They can’t collect welfare or food stamps. They can’t collect unemployment, workers compensation, or social security disability benefits.

    If you are jealous of people coming here who lack basic skills, education, means of coming here legally and are generally forced by conditions to work at near slave wages, it speaks badly of your education and skills. You had all the advantages of living in a developed nation and can’t compete with those who had none of them.

  • Generally as a rule of thumb conservatives despite being vociferous on the subject of immigration, usually don’t know jack squat as to how our system actually operates. Ignorance of the immigration system seems to be near universal with that crowd.

    Nobody outside of the Federal government has an obligation to report on the immigration status of others unless specifically requested by ICE to do so. As for Floydlee’s nonsense hypothetical, it would be purely an issue for local law enforcement, as would any murder. They may choose to report the immigration status of a subject, but they do not need to. There may be an obligation to report a murder suspect to the police, but not an illegal alien.

  • Taco trucks on every corner!

    The automatic equation of illegal aliens with violent crimes is a load of race-baiting, politically useful bull.

    “the overwhelming majority of
    immigrants are not “criminals” by any commonly accepted definition of
    the term. For this reason, harsh immigration policies are not effective
    in fighting crime. Unfortunately, immigration policy is frequently shaped more by fear and stereotype than by empirical evidence.”

    “Both the Census-data driven studies and macro-level studies find that immigrants are less crime-prone than natives with some small potential exceptions.”

  • There is no condition for those who have been justified by faith in Christ. There is no conditional modifier to the gospel-news that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Paul goes on to say in Romans 8 that we are to mortify the flesh and its sinful passions but not as a condition for justification but the result of it.

  • except for sin. Pick up Malcolm Lavender’s book — “He Offered Himself”. Eternal Security is heresy…………..Penal Atonement is also heresy.

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