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Missions Trip for Study Abroad Credit

volsohard54

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I am a college student at a large public university. I wanted to do a missions-type international internship instead of a more traditional study abroad program. I was recently told I cannot do this for 3 reasons:

1. I would not be able to receive internship or study abroad credit because I am with a religiously-affiliated organization.
2. Most people on scholarship like I am get to use their scholarship money towards the study abroad instead of here at school. I won't be able to.
3. I will be missing a required Sophomore class. I was told early on this would not be a problem (I could take it as a Junior) but since it is a religious trip I cannot.

The internship program I am looking at is here: Internships | We Are Envision

If this decision holds, I will not be able to have this study abroad experience because it is Christian. I did not pursue this because I wanted to steal state money for my own religion, and I would not be opposed to a student of another religion receiving the same support, but maybe some people would. I would like to fight this because I really want to go on this trip but I want to see if there is any legal support first.

Opinions and views on both sides are appreciated, especially with legal/constitutional details and support.
 

Carjosse

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Well you would be using public finds for a religious program which will try to spread religion. My recommendation is go on a secular trip there are many out there for good causes without the religious indoctrination of locals aspect, or use it as a chance to go to someplace you would like to visit.
 
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Ray410

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You wanted to "steal state money?" You're not a Christian.
 
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volsohard54

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You wanted to "steal state money?" You're not a Christian.

I'm saying that I do NOT want to steal state money i.e. that is not at all a motivation for going on this trip
 

Carjosse

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I'm saying that I do NOT want to steal state money i.e. that is not at all a motivation for going on this trip

It's not your intentions that are the issue it's the organization's intentions which primarily to spread religion.
 

Ray410

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I'm saying that I do NOT want to steal state money i.e. that is not at all a motivation for going on this trip

I mis-read the sentence. I apologize. Good luck with your trip.
 

davidtaylorjr

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I am a college student at a large public university. I wanted to do a missions-type international internship instead of a more traditional study abroad program. I was recently told I cannot do this for 3 reasons:

1. I would not be able to receive internship or study abroad credit because I am with a religiously-affiliated organization.
2. Most people on scholarship like I am get to use their scholarship money towards the study abroad instead of here at school. I won't be able to.
3. I will be missing a required Sophomore class. I was told early on this would not be a problem (I could take it as a Junior) but since it is a religious trip I cannot.

The internship program I am looking at is here: Internships | We Are Envision

If this decision holds, I will not be able to have this study abroad experience because it is Christian. I did not pursue this because I wanted to steal state money for my own religion, and I would not be opposed to a student of another religion receiving the same support, but maybe some people would. I would like to fight this because I really want to go on this trip but I want to see if there is any legal support first.

Opinions and views on both sides are appreciated, especially with legal/constitutional details and support.

It's discrimination. It's wrong. You are providing a great humanitarian service and it should be recognized.
 

RabidAlpaca

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It's discrimination. It's wrong. You are providing a great humanitarian service and it should be recognized.

I've never understood why anyone would think a missions trip is a good idea. According to most christians, if you've never heard the word of god, ie: never been given the choice, you won't be going to hell. So if you enter a village of 100 people, you've damned most of them to hell because you won't be able to convert all of them, while prior they wouldn't have been held accountable.
 

davidtaylorjr

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I've never understood why anyone would think a missions trip is a good idea. According to most christians, if you've never heard the word of god, ie: never been given the choice, you won't be going to hell. So if you enter a village of 100 people, you've damned most of them to hell because you won't be able to convert all of them, while prior they wouldn't have been held accountable.

According to most Christians? Wow, that's just false actually.
 

volsohard54

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According to most Christians? Wow, that's just false actually.

While I agree that is false, I'm just focused on the legal aspects of the trip. I do feel that if everything was the exact same about this trip (including some form of "indoctrination" which I don't think is a true description) except for the Christian element then there would be no problem. Also, while I don't agree with it, I can understand the financial argument. I am surprised though that this is still not considered a "valid" study abroad (reasons 1 and 2). I really want to know if there are any parallel circumstances that have gone one way or another?
 

davidtaylorjr

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While I agree that is false, I'm just focused on the legal aspects of the trip. I do feel that if everything was the exact same about this trip (including some form of "indoctrination" which I don't think is a true description) except for the Christian element then there would be no problem. Also, while I don't agree with it, I can understand the financial argument. I am surprised though that this is still not considered a "valid" study abroad (reasons 1 and 2). I really want to know if there are any parallel circumstances that have gone one way or another?

I'm curious too.
 

RabidAlpaca

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According to most Christians? Wow, that's just false actually.
Unless you're a calvanist, then yes you have to believe that. Otherwise you're believing that god put people on an isolated island to live and die without the opportunity to hear about christ, then condemns them to hell for it.You'd have to believe that he creates people specifically for hell.
 

davidtaylorjr

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Unless you're a calvanist, then yes you have to believe that. Otherwise you're believing that god put people on an isolated island to live and die without the opportunity to hear about christ, then condemns them to hell for it.You'd have to believe that he creates people specifically for hell.

No Romans refutes that theory actually.
 

volsohard54

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The person who told me this decision also told me I need to learn to "compartmentalize" my religion. That only came up in discussion and is not the official reason for denying anything, but I still found it a little offensive. I am also curious to any possible solutions while still doing that specific internship. (Ex. carrying out a study abroad course separate from the internship. This would be the flipside of joining a church or religious organization while on a study abroad, which is surely allowed.)
 

tech30528

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I am a college student at a large public university. I wanted to do a missions-type international internship instead of a more traditional study abroad program. I was recently told I cannot do this for 3 reasons:

1. I would not be able to receive internship or study abroad credit because I am with a religiously-affiliated organization.
2. Most people on scholarship like I am get to use their scholarship money towards the study abroad instead of here at school. I won't be able to.
3. I will be missing a required Sophomore class. I was told early on this would not be a problem (I could take it as a Junior) but since it is a religious trip I cannot.

The internship program I am looking at is here: Internships | We Are Envision

If this decision holds, I will not be able to have this study abroad experience because it is Christian. I did not pursue this because I wanted to steal state money for my own religion, and I would not be opposed to a student of another religion receiving the same support, but maybe some people would. I would like to fight this because I really want to go on this trip but I want to see if there is any legal support first.

Opinions and views on both sides are appreciated, especially with legal/constitutional details and support.

Don't know what state you are in, but there are programs that would allow you to do this. Our college program at our church here in Georgia features an apartment building that the church owns where the students live. They do a lot of volunteer work from clenup after recnet tornados in neighboring states to overseas programs and they get a full scholarship at Truett McConnell Baptist college. I'll PM you a link. BTW be careful of those paid missions trips. A lot of them are scams. People have been going to Haiti and doing mission work for years, it's still a **** hole. The Dominican Republic right next door? Not so much. International missions programs are a boon for corrupt governments. If you want to go do it for personal growth, not out of the notion that you will somehow be helping these people.
 

RabidAlpaca

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No Romans refutes that theory actually.
While I agree that is false, I'm just focused on the legal aspects of the trip. I do feel that if everything was the exact same about this trip (including some form of "indoctrination" which I don't think is a true description) except for the Christian element then there would be no problem. Also, while I don't agree with it, I can understand the financial argument. I am surprised though that this is still not considered a "valid" study abroad (reasons 1 and 2). I really want to know if there are any parallel circumstances that have gone one way or another?

It's not false. Take an isolated island of 100 natives. Do you believe they go to hell for never having the opportunity to hear the word of god or not? You're either a sadistic calvinist that believes they go to hell regardless, or you believe that they only will when they are given a choice. Most christians fall in the latter, so why give them the choice?
 

volsohard54

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It's not false. Take an isolated island of 100 natives. Do you believe they go to hell for never having the opportunity to hear the word of god or not? You're either a sadistic calvinist that believes they go to hell regardless, or you believe that they only will when they are given a choice. Most christians fall in the latter, so why give them the choice?

"13Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” - Romans 10:13-15

I would love to get into this theological discussion with you, but am more concerned with the strictly legal question. I found this Supreme Court Case on wikipedia (not 100% trustworthy I know). The case is Zelman v Simmons-Harris. It is about a school voucher program, which is different than a scholarship program but maybe similar. Here is a quote from the majority opinion: "The incidental advancement of a religious mission, or the perceived endorsement of a religious message, is reasonably attributable to the individual aid recipients not the government, whose role ends with the disbursement of benefits."
 

RabidAlpaca

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"13Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” - Romans 10:13-15

I would love to get into this theological discussion with you, but am more concerned with the strictly legal question. I found this Supreme Court Case on wikipedia (not 100% trustworthy I know). The case is Zelman v Simmons-Harris. It is about a school voucher program, which is different than a scholarship program but maybe similar. Here is a quote from the majority opinion: "The incidental advancement of a religious mission, or the perceived endorsement of a religious message, is reasonably attributable to the individual aid recipients not the government, whose role ends with the disbursement of benefits."

Then just ignore it. Fact is, you either are a calvinist or you're not. Does god put people in isolated societies so that they are born doomed to hell?
 

douglas

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I am a college student at a large public university. I wanted to do a missions-type international internship instead of a more traditional study abroad program. I was recently told I cannot do this for 3 reasons:

1. I would not be able to receive internship or study abroad credit because I am with a religiously-affiliated organization.
2. Most people on scholarship like I am get to use their scholarship money towards the study abroad instead of here at school. I won't be able to.
3. I will be missing a required Sophomore class. I was told early on this would not be a problem (I could take it as a Junior) but since it is a religious trip I cannot.

The internship program I am looking at is here: Internships | We Are Envision

If this decision holds, I will not be able to have this study abroad experience because it is Christian. I did not pursue this because I wanted to steal state money for my own religion, and I would not be opposed to a student of another religion receiving the same support, but maybe some people would. I would like to fight this because I really want to go on this trip but I want to see if there is any legal support first.

Opinions and views on both sides are appreciated, especially with legal/constitutional details and support.

The only legal issues are whether or not the money is coming from taxes. For the money part, you could ask fellow Christians or Christian organizations to sponsor you; they did that for a couple of missionaries at a local church my Grandmother goes to. But, there's really two issues here, and getting the money is the least of your problems; If it's a public university, there could be legal issues if they even just accept religious internships, regardless to how it's paid for. It could be seen as them using tax money to sponsor a religious school, if they're awarding credits for religious studies; it would go against the separation of church and state when it comes to federal funding even if the money isn't directly going to the religious programs. It also might cause problems with the accreditation board, since religious studies are against most accreditation guidelines. In the end, it'd be a whole lot easier to just do a regular internship, and then do missionary work on your own.
 
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