Persecution: Missouri U. denies Christian student his graduate degree


Michael F. Haverluck reports for OneNewsNow, April 24, 2016, that Andrew Cash is suing Missouri State University (MSU) for dismissing him from its graduate degree program because he expressed reservations about counseling same-sex couples because doing so would compromise his Christian religious convictions.

Cash had begun MSU’s graduate program in counseling in September 2007, and has a consistently excellent academic standing.

In 2011, Cash was nearing completion of his Master’s of Science degree. He was asked by his academic advisor Kristi Perryman, Ph.D., if he would counsel a “gay” couple. Cash replied that he would counsel the couple individually on issues related to depression, anxiety, etc., but not as a couple because doing so would violate his sincerely-held Christian religious beliefs — about which the university knew full well — but that he would refer the couple elsewhere. Cash stated that his approach to counseling is centered on his core beliefs, values and Christian worldview and these would not be congruent with the likely values and needs of a gay couple, who, for these reasons, would be best served by a counselor sharing their core value system and core beliefs.

Perryman called Cash “unethical” and “discriminatory toward gay persons.” She told the student not to return to his internship, which she had approved just three months before. MSU terminated Cash from the counseling internship program that was a necessary prerequisite for his degree. (600 hours of clinical internship are required for the M.S. degree.) In November 2014, the university removed Cash from the graduate program entirely.

Cash is represented in his complaint against the Governors of Missouri State University by the Catholic non-profit legal aid group, Thomas More Society, which filed a civil rights claim with the Western District of Missouri Court this week, stating that the university had violated Cash’s civil rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1871.

The lawsuit claims that MSU cut off Cash’s ability to complete the program and become a counselor, “causing him daily emotional suffering”. The lawsuit asks that the university “reinstate him in his counseling program with safeguards put in place so that he can successfully earn his degree.”

Thomas More Society Executive Director Thomas Olp finds MSU’s treatment of Cash to be hypocritical because the university — like most others across the country — market themselves as “marketplaces of ideas.” Olp says:

Traditionally, universities have been places for free exchange of ideas and values — both religious and secular. Unfortunately, Missouri State University departed from its mission by denying educational opportunity to Mr. Cash simply because he expressed — in an academic setting — sincerely held religious beliefs which his advisor [Dr. Kristi Perryman] deemed hostile to her own and therefore unacceptable. An educator should not permit her own ideology and agenda to ruin the educational opportunities of her students. We feel the responsibility, on Mr. Cash’s behalf, to try to correct this.”

Furthermore, Missouri State University knew full well about Cash’s religious beliefs when his desire to serve as an intern with a Christian organization was brought before them.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are the 10 members of the Board of Governors, President, and 3 faculty members of Missouri State University:

  1. Peter Hofherr, President of Board of Governors (BoG)
  2. Carrie Tergin, member, BoG
  3. Joe Carmichael, member, BoG
  4. Gregory Spears, member, BoG
  5. Kendall Seal, member, BoG
  6. Gabriel Gore, member, BoG
  7. Virginia Fry, member, BoG
  8. Beverly Miller, member, BoG
  9. Stephen Hoven, member, BoG
  10. Tyree Lewis, member, BoG
  11. Dr. Clifton Smart III, President of MSU
  12. Dr. Kristi Perryman, Internship Coordinator of MSU’s Counseling Dept. and Andrew Cash’s academic advisor
  13. Dr. Tamara Arthaud, Head of Department of Counseling
  14. Dr. Angela Anderson, faculty member
Kristi Perryman

Photo by Russell Cothren, U. of Arkansas

On the healthgrades website, Kristi Perryman received a rating of only 2.3 by her counseling patients (a maximum excellent rating would be 5). In August 2014, Perryman left Missouri State University to join the University of Arkansas as assistant professor of counselor education and a “registered play therapist supervisor”.

Missouri State University is a public, taxpayer-supported university. Here’s the contact info. for MSU’s Board of Governors:

Phone: 417-836-8500
Mailing address: Missouri State University
Board of Governors
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897

H/t FOTM‘s MomOfIV


14 responses to “Persecution: Missouri U. denies Christian student his graduate degree

  1. This is only the beginning. Soon, all Christians will be persecuted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kevin J Lankford

    Perhaps he should have suggested he would be happy to counsel “any one” on the evils and perverse nature of same sex lifestyles.

    No doubt; they are over stepping their bounds.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This obvious discriminatory action by the Mo. University reminded me of a Right to Life banquet I was invited to attend. I sat at the same table with Julea Ward and her husband. Eastern Michigan University singled her out during her graduate program because of her Christian beliefs and convictions.

    The article (linked below) ends with some Michigan legislation (still) in process to protect students like Ward. (I’m in a hurry now and can’t say if the MI legislation became law).

    I think that the LGBT forces and their allies will not rest until they can molest every Christian for their beliefs. not only disciples of Christ, but the very foundational Book of Christianity. Is there any place in perdition suitable for their damnation punishment in the hereafter?

    [Please excuse me for utilizing a Huffington Post web article]:

    ‘Julea Ward’ Bill Passed In Michigan House Allows Religious Counseling Students To Deny Gay Clients

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonder if they would have treated a Muslim student the same way…I highly doubt it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • DCG . . Of course they would have given a Muslim student a big fat pass on his/her choice of not wishing to council homosexual individuals relative to their lifestyle choices. Is it not better for homosexual individuals to receive counseling from an individual who has bought in 100% to the “gay” lifestyle. I would think it would be more meaningful. I am sick and tired of people (Christians) being crucified due to their making choices relative to their religious beliefs. It would seem that there is less and less freedom in this land of ours!

      Liked by 1 person

    • “PC’s advocates appeal relentlessly to the ideal of equality, but it is only the white Christian world that is attacked for breaching this ideal. Although all identities would appear to be sacred, in practice only those identities that please designated victims or their self-styled advocates need to be accommodated. If, for example, I chose to advocate for a neo-Confederate or secessionist position, neither the state nor its subject institutions would have to honor my choice. A university or employer might even be morally or legally impelled to “discipline” me for being hateful.”


      • Yes, and from what I’ve been reading, Pope Francis is right there with the PC crowd, calling we traditional Catholics “fundamentalists,” “liars,” and the real and worst sort of sinners etc for condemning the LGBT agenda, doubting climate change pseudoscience, or opposing the displacement of Europeans by Muslims, Euro-Americans by Hispanics, or totalitarian globalism in general. His recent proof texting of “new wine skins for new wine” reeks of Teilhard’s moving Christianity to new foundations, meaning that perennial teaching, effectively reduced to superstition and myth, is either reinterpreted to conform to scientism, moral relativism, and political correctness or its gone–in fact, the only sort of “sin” recognized becomes perennial teaching. I hope I’m wrong about the Pope being a Teilhardist, retaining only the trappings of Christianity while destroying it from within, but I’m getting quite uneasy about his supposedly off the cuff remarks and a hierarchy that strikes me as filled with apostates.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Several years ago a family friend was denied his degree from another Missouri college/university because of his Christian beliefs. Now this one. Wonder how many more have been treated this way and they just walked away and decided on another course of action. I have seen a graduate student leave the program and wait until the professor left the institution, then come back and finish his graduate work. This happens pretty often, but I don’t think it was based on religion. But I do not know that for sure. May the Lord have mercy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I find it absolutely repulsive and revolting that activist LGBT forces and their political allies have been successful banning counseling in California for those who do not desire to (anymore) identify sexually with the LGBT lifestyle. Yet, these same malevolent forces insist upon Christians to affirm their non=normative lifestyles, utilizing (extorting) public taxpayer funding to accomplish their blatant discrimination. It’s called “multiculturalism” and “political correctness” — 2 damning (religious) belief systems which are destroying traditional, patriotic, Constitutional and Christian culture! Hypocrisy and hate-mongering to the nth degree!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Missouri State University is obviously run by a left wing hate group!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Keeping it short, since you all have covered it beautifully, I hope he wins and wins big. I am sick of the very small minority making life hell for the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Just sayin’ Madylyn Murray O’Hare (the Supreme Court-supported ATHEIST) and her son/granddaughter ended up GONE…maybe dissolved in a chemical barrel of “stuff” somewhere. They were probably KILLED by the COMPANY they kept….so we can JUST think on this “associative” company thing for a while before we make up our minds about “which side” we are on. That’s just ONE thing to think about……

    Liked by 1 person

    • CalGirl . . . I am sure that Satan was laughing hysterically when O’Hare and Company were offed, after all Satan wants everyone to feel the pain and misery he feels (and will feel for all eternity!)


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