This hasn't been a run-of-the-mill academic year for Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Everett Piper.
In December, he made news when he addressed the concerns of a student who told him that a chapel sermon "made him feel bad."
"Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a 'safe place,' but rather, a place to learn," noted Piper, writing online. "This is not a day care. This is a university."
Weeks later, he was a symbolic guest at President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address. Republicans welcomed Piper because his school is part of the U.S. Supreme Court fight about the Health and Human Services mandate requiring many Christian institutions to cooperate with health-insurance plans covering sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives.
Now, in response to press inquiries, Piper has made it perfectly clear -- in a post called "Trumping Morality" -- that there is one thing Oklahoma Wesleyan will not do that would make headlines.
"Anyone who calls women 'pigs,' 'ugly,' 'fat' and 'pieces of a - -' is not on my side," he wrote. "Anyone who mocks the handicapped is not on my side. Anyone who has argued the merits of a government takeover of banks, student loans, the auto industry and healthcare is not on my side. Anyone who has been on the cover of Playboy and proud of it, who brags of his sexual history with multiple women and who owns strip clubs in his casinos is not on my side. … Anyone who ignores the separation of powers and boasts of making the executive branch even more imperial is not on my side."
Piper concluded: "No, Donald Trump will not be speaking at Oklahoma Wesleyan University."
Yes, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., personally endorsed Trump, soon after the billionaire spoke on his campus.
It's becoming increasingly obvious that this White House race is prying open painful evangelical fault lines, said historian Paul Matzko, who is finishing his doctorate at Pennsylvania State University.
"I honestly think many evangelical leaders don't know what to do right now," he said, in a telephone interview. "Some of them seem confused and divided because there are new factors in play in American politics, in our courts and even in our church pews."
At least one trend seems clear, wrote Matzko, in an academic essay entitled, "What Evangelical Support for Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump Suggests About the Future of American Evangelicalism."
Primary exit polls show that Trump is winning "self-described evangelicals" who "join evangelical churches at lower rates, attend church less regularly, and, I suspect, are less likely to adhere to key evangelical doctrines," he wrote. "They are cultural evangelicals. Think of them as you would Catholicism in France, where a majority of people profess to be Catholic (75%) but only a handful attend mass weekly (4.5%), give confession, or even ascribe to key church teachings."
Meanwhile, "white collar" evangelical elites have appeared to favor Rubio while "evangelical workers" may appreciate Cruz's hard-line stance on illegal immigration.
However, Matzko believes a deeper, more complex split is emerging, one rooted in history.
On one side, he wrote, are "18th Century evangelicals -- a "persecuted religious minority" in American culture that yearned for the "liberty to practice their faith free from State interference. To that end, they allied with freethinkers like Thomas Jefferson. … They had little interest in fomenting sweeping social change, in using State power to make America more pious, holy or Christian. They asked only for the freedom to be left alone."
On the other side, Matzko argued, are "19th Century evangelicals" who, by the end of that century, had begun to gain cultural influence and political power. This would eventually lead to talk of a "Moral Majority."
In the current campaign, Cruz seems to have the support of those who believe "holding back the tide of depravity simply requires waking Christian people up to the social changes happening before their eyes." In other words, ballot-box success is certain -- if more true believers vote.
But other evangelicals are convinced that it's time to focus on religious liberty for all religious minorities, in light of a crucial U.S. Supreme Court decision embracing gay marriage and fading support for religious institutions among young Americans.
"So this is the big question," said Matzko. "Do evangelicals still think they are part of the American religious establishment?"