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“As a bisexual woman in the Baylor community, I am very much in the closet to everybody that I am not good friends with here, just to minimize backlash,” said a Baylor student named Ariel, who requested that her last name not be used.

These same religious schools also receive considerable federal funding in the form of grants and student loans.“Religious liberty is a bedrock principle of our nation; however, faith should never be used as a guise for discrimination,” said Stephen Peters, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign.

“We have been alarmed by the growing trend of schools quietly seeking the right to discriminate against LGBT students, and not disclosing that information publicly.

Ultimately, this move forced both of them to withdraw from the nation’s most prominent membership organization of evangelical universities.

At other colleges, specific policies regarding LGBT students are unclear.

That’s why we urged the Department of Education to take action and help ensure no student unknowingly enrolls in a school that intends to discriminate against them.”Many of the colleges seeking exemptions from federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual identity are members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, an association of 179 institutions that enroll more than 450,000 students every year, employ 30,000 faculty members, and have 1.8 million alumni.“As is the nature of communities, an essential component is the shared values and expectations of its members,” said David Toney, a legislative assistant for the CCCU, in an emailed statement.

“Students at Christian colleges freely choose to attend and willingly agree to the community covenants which are based on the theological underpinnings of the institution and its understanding of what is best for human flourishing.” Toney said that an institution's policies reflect its view of God and the life to which a Christian is called.They see themselves as living into the God-given freedom that American evangelicalism explicitly condones.”Religious schools with special rules governing LGBT students’ behavior are back under scrutiny in part because of a Human Rights Campaign report published in December.The report drew attention to 56 colleges and universities seeking exemptions from federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual identity.Despite her successful ministry at Wheaton, she resigned in 2015, and wrote an article about her disappointing experience.The president of Wheaton “said he’d heard nothing but positive things about my ministry with students on campus, but they hadn’t anticipated so much criticism from alumni and donors,” Rodgers wrote.In the past, many conservative Christian colleges condemned both same-sex attraction and same-sex intimacy.