Religious Freedom, the Law, and Higher Education

with J. Cody Nielsen, John Wesley Lowery

About This Course

Higher education for decades has struggled with the juxtaposition of the first amendment and religious protections on campus.  Case after case has changed the ways in which universities, especially public universities, have precedent in supporting or not supporting the needs of students from various religious backgrounds.

When higher education professionals begin discussions around religion on campus, most of the time the response is defensiveness, withdrawal, and fear.  Expressions like “I’m not comfortable with this” or “Separation of Church and State” are all too normal.  But the real story of how higher education legally can and should be addressing the concerns for religiously affiliated students is far more complex.  And it requires a legal expert to pave the way.

Join Expert in Residence Cody Nielsen alongside Dr. John Wesley Lowery, one of the experts in the field of the law and higher education, as we explore the many cases that have created space and requirement in many ways of higher education to include religious identities of students in their diversity work.  Case by case Dr. Lowery and Cody will attempt to decode some of the most important legal areas for higher education administrators to consider in their work.

Participants should expect to gain knowledge of the essential legal cases in this area of work and will be able to articulate to other professionals the limits and capacities of work in this area based on current legal precedent.  All participants will also gain insightful knowledge related to future cases moving their way through the court and potential areas of conflict and growth in legal work related to this area in the coming years.

Accessing the Presentation

Once you complete your registration, you will be able to access the course by clicking on the "Login" button at the top of this page (or any page on

  • You will be asked to login with your NASPA user name and password. Once you have done so, you will hit continue and be redirected to your dashboard in the Online Learning Community.

  • You will find the session listed under "Enrolled."

  • This session is recorded. By clicking into, "Contents," you will find the session recording, resources, and PowerPoint slides. You may view the materials as many times as you'd like, at whatever pace you would like.

  • If you have any difficulty accessing the materials, please contact Jace Kirschner (

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