InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is a national, non-denominational "student-led ministry which for more than 70 years has been involved in establishing witnessing communities on U.S. college and university campuses." However, according to one former employee in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the organization wasn't being very Christianly when it fired her for getting divorced from her husband in 2011, which was much different than what her male co-workers had to deal with.
That is the basis of a lawsuit Alyce Conolon filed against InterVarsity, alleging wrongful termination from her job as a spiritual director at InterVarsity's Grand Rapids office. Initially, Conolon was placed on paid leave after she told her supervisors of her impending divorce and, according to the suit filed by her attorney Katherine Smith Kennedy, "followed each and every requirement of the Separation and Divorcing Staff Policy including counseling sessions and continuing communication with her supervisors as to her progress."
Regardless, she was soon terminated, even after InterVarsity contacted Conolon's husband about reconciliation. This is much different than specific male colleagues at the root of the argument against InterVarsity. The suit alleges that two male colleagues, who went through separation, divorce and remarriage and were allowed to stay on staff.
InterVarsity has decided, in its defense, has decided to use the First Amendment's religious freedom to defend its decision.
"A vital element of the First Amendment's guarantee of religious liberty is the freedom of religious employers to make hiring decisions through the use of faith-based criteria," a spokesperson from InterVarsity said via released statement.
"As a Christian organization, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's credibility and witness depends on its ability to hire and retain personnel who share and abide by InterVarsity's faith commitments. It is deeply regrettable that a former employee has chosen to challenge this key constitutional liberty."
Woman sues InterVarsity over firing after her divorce (RNS)