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A Teacher Was Not Barred from Suing a Christian College for Discrimination

The school could not use the “ministerial exception” as a defense against the suit, says Massachusetts court.

Last Reviewed: March 3, 2022

Editor’s note: In March of 2022, the US Supreme Court declined Gordon College’s appeal to dismiss this lawsuit under the “ministerial exception” doctrine. This means the case can continue to proceed at the trial court level. Four justices released a public statement indicating the Court eventually will need to rule on whether the doctrine applies to professors at religious colleges and universities, either through a later appeal made in this case or through a different case in the future.

Key Point 8-10.02. Some courts have not recognized the ministerial exception, usually because the complainant was not a minister in either status or function, or was employed by a secular organization.

A Massachusetts court ruled that the ministerial exception did not bar a teacher at a religious college from litigating a discrimination claim.


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  • August 17, 2021
  • Last Reviewed: March 3, 2022

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