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InsideHigherEd: Goshen, Eastern Mennonite allow faculty in SSM

InsideHigherEd: Goshen, Eastern Mennonite allow faculty in SSM

The acceptance of marriage equality continues to spread reports InsideHigherEd:

Two Christian colleges — Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College — announced Monday that they will change their hiring procedures to permit the hiring of faculty members who are in same-sex marriages…. [They] are the first members of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities to adopt such a rule. Some CCCU members (and those two in the past) have said that gay faculty members were welcome as long as they were celibate. Unmarried faculty members at Eastern Mennonite and Goshen will still be expected to be celibate, and that rule applies regardless of sexual orientation.

Students and faculty members have been pushing for years (at Goshen, off and on for 40 years) to change the former policy, arguing that restricting the hiring of gay and lesbian professors to those willing to pledge celibacy effectively made it impossible for many nonstraight scholars to seek positions at the institutions.

The announcement comes just weeks after the Mennonite Church USA rejected a proposal to authorize same-sex marriages, but went on to adopt what is being called the “forbearance resolution,” which calls for tolerance on these issues. ….

A key question going ahead is whether all Christian colleges that are currently in the CCCU will be comfortable with some members taking a different position on employing gay people than has been the norm among members.

CCCU has posted this response:

The CCCU is a voluntary membership association that advances the cause of Christian higher education institutions whose missions are rooted in the historic Christian faith and are informed by deeply held Christian thought, belief, and practice. Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College have made the CCCU aware of the change in their employment policy. The CCCU is grateful for the transparent process engaged by both of these institutions.

The CCCU meets regularly both as a board of directors and as a full membership to discuss association business, and it will discuss these changes at these regular meetings.  The CCCU has a 40-year history of being fully committed to Christ-centered higher education. We remain unwavering in that commitment.

CCCU issued this statement shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality.

Whether the court’s decision will affect religious colleges remains an open question: see this reporting by InsiderHigherEd.


Posted by John B. Chilton

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