‘Gay on Gods Campus’ author Jonathan Coley says “money talks,” the future tactics of activism for LGBT inclusion at Christian universities

‘Gay on Gods Campus’ author studies “why and how student activists mobilize” and then teaches university students “how social movements win.”

The divide has been made. Christian schools are being forced to take a stance on issues that were once set in stone because according to author Jonathan S. Coley, “money talks.”

Jonathan Coley is currently a Sociology professor at Monmouth College where he teaches courses ranging from ‘The Sociology of Religion’ to ‘Social Movements.’

The young professor first attended Samford University, a conservative Christian school, and then Vanderbilt University for graduate studies. He became an activist early in his college career by creating a gay-straight alliance at Samford.

Now the academic has published ‘Gay on God’s Campus: Mobilizing for LGBT Equality at Christian Colleges and Universities’, a book that delves into the trends that explain why and how student activists mobilize for LGBT rights. Coley has created yet another activist handbook that outlines the tactics he believes will be most successful in requiring LGBT inclusion at Christian schools.

In an interview with Inside Higher Ed, Coley speaks on where he thinks these trends are leading us.


Coley explains the impact that nondiscrimination policies have had saying, “The majority of Christian colleges and universities now have non-discrimination policies inclusive of sexual orientation (55 percent in my 2013 count). So I expect that Christian colleges and universities will see more and more openly LGBT students enrolling at their schools in the coming years.”

Coley says that as society changes, a growing number of churches have started to “embrace their LGBT members.” This is a trend that he says “has affirmed many LGBT students’ beliefs that they can be gay and Christian and thus allowed them to come out at their Christian colleges and universities.”

When speaking on the future of activism for LGBT inclusion at Christian schools, he outlines LGBT student and alumni groups will “work to shame these schools in the media and in some cases pledge to withhold donations until the colleges adopt inclusive nondiscrimination policies.”

“some policymakers and legal commentators have begun raising questions about whether these schools should continue to be entitled to tax-exempt status and federal aid.”

“money talks, and this will force some difficult conversations in the coming years.”

“I think it is only a matter of time before the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities experiences a significant fracture over LGBT issues” Coley concludes.

The cultural warfare is on, and sociologists like Coley are researching the best avenues for success in advancing their movement, and while they research, they take up faculty positions and use them to push their ideology on students.

Coley is teaching his students curriculum that is directly related to the subject matter in his book, essentially raising up young activists by teaching them the avenues to take that would require Christian Universities to change their policies.

The syllabi for the courses he teaches are openly posted on his website, and the subject matter is concerning.

His ‘Social Movements’ class introduces students to social movements such as Black Lives Matter, then moves on to participation, and finally “how movements win.” The class culminates on the subjects of “Leadership, Organization, and Strategy of Social Movements.”

The syllabus for his class ‘Sociology of Religion’ states “This course will focus on religion in the United States, particularly Christianity.”

The class claims to examine the meaning of religion by studying religious societies, organizations, and people. Coley requires students to read ‘Heaven’s Gate: America’s UFO Religion’, a book that describes how,

“In March 1997, thirty-nine people in Rancho Santa Fe, California, ritually terminated their lives. To outsiders, it was a mass suicide. To insiders, it was a graduation. This act was the culmination of over two decades of spiritual and social development for the members of Heaven’s Gate, a religious group focused on transcending humanity and the Earth, and seeking salvation in the literal heavens on board a UFO.”

After the book review, the author of the book Benjamin Zeller speaks to the class as a guest speaker. If the class is concerned about Christianity, then why spend most of it discussing a cult? What parallels is Coley attempting to draw?

The activist then teaches religion, inequality, and social activism providing an evangelical protestant book “Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement” as a case study.

The students are encouraged to “Read all assigned chapters word for word. If you find that your mind wanders off as you read, try engaging with the readings more closely.”

This is the type of curriculum taught in universities that claim to be preparing students for the real world when in reality they are socially engineering them to be liberal activists advancing various social movements.

Works Cited

Scott Jaschik. “Gay on God's Campus.” Inside Higher Ed. . (2018): . . http://bit.ly/2uOOVub

Jonathan Coley , PhD. “Social Movements.” Sociology Syllabus. . (2018): . . http://bit.ly/2q78Qjl

Jonathan Coley , PhD. “Sociology of Religion.” Syllabus. . (2017): . . http://bit.ly/2GCBenW