This past July, Goshen College and Eastern Mennonite University, both members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), voted to update their hiring policies, officially allowing employees in same-sex marriages to be included in the hiring practices and benefits of the colleges. The CCCU will be deciding on the membership of GC and EMU on September 21.
Since the decision, both Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OWU) and Union University have dropped their memberships in the CCCU.
“We believe in missional clarity and view the defense of the Biblical definition of marriage as an issue of critical importance to Christian colleges,” said Dr. Everett Piper, President of OWU, in a press release. “CCCU ambivalence…indicates to us that it is time for our university to move in a different direction.”
Union University president, Samuel W. Oliver, wrote in a press release stating that “the reason we are passionate about this is because what we are talking about is not a secondary or tertiary theological issue—marriage is at the heart of the Gospel. To deny the Bible’s concept of marriage is to deny the authority of Scripture.”
One of the possible outcomes of the upcoming decision is that both GC and EMU will be considered affiliates of the CCCU rather than members. Goshen’s communication department in the past has had a strong connection in Los Angeles, CA because of its membership in the CCCU. The program allows film production majors from GC to spend a semester working in Hollywood and getting a real sense of what it is like to work in film production.
Pat Lehman, professor of communication, is optimistic that the “needs of our film production students will be served. Ken Newbold, provost, and President James Brenneman are working to make sure that connections continue however things unfold.”
Newbold confirmed there has not been any new development in the decision process this past week. “I have been working with our campus leadership on this issue,” said Newbold. “We’re in a holding pattern until then.”
A special members-only conference call will be held to make the decision on September 21.