Christian counseling student ultimately the victor

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Bob Kellogg (

A Michigan university has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a graduate counseling student who was expelled because her religious beliefs collided with school policy.

More than two years ago, Eastern Michigan University refused to allow Julea Ward to refer a homosexual client to another counselor because of her Christian beliefs. The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower-court decision which sided with the school. Jeremy Tedesco of Alliance Defending Freedom says the court made the right ruling.

Tedesco, Jeremy (ADF)"The university's request essentially was that Julea be willing to violate her religious beliefs as a condition for getting her degree, and the Sixth Circuit said that's not something a university can do -- and that's the right rule."

Rather than going back to trial, EMU decided to settle with Ward for $75,000 and expunge the expulsion from her record.

"You know, she was ripped out of school when she was nearly done with the program in Eastern Michigan and really had to start over. We're really happy for her, obviously, that she's able to defray a lot of those costs that were caused by EMU ousting her from the program."

A university spokesman says the settlement enables the university to keep its policies, programs, and curricular requirements intact.

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