Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Some Very Brief Reflections on EMU and Goshen Leaving the CCCU

As you may have heard, Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College have left the Council on Christian Colleges and Universities. This means that the CCCU presidents did not have to make a decision yesterday about the fate of these two schools after they changed their policies to allow faculty members to be in same-sex marriages.

This is a sad day for the CCCU. Eastern Mennonite was a charter member of the council.  With both Eastern Mennonite and Goshen gone, the CCCU has lost much of its Mennonite voice--a brand of Christianity committed to social justice, peacemaking, and a cautious approach to nationalism. (Bluffton University, Fresno Pacific University, and Tabor College are Mennonite schools that remain in the CCCU).

The bottom line is that the CCCU has always maintained, in writing, a traditional view of Christian marriage. (Or at least that is how I understand this statement).  By resigning, EMU and Goshen did the CCCU a big favor.  The CCCU dodged a bullet this time, but I don't think this issue is going away anytime soon. In the meantime, its membership will continue to embrace traditional marriage as a mark of fellowship.

If they did not resign, EMU and Goshen would have most likely been moved from full membership to "affiliate" status and as a result several more conservative members might have left.  It would have been a much bigger story and raised a lot more unwanted publicity for the CCCU.

Addendum: After reading my blog post on this yesterday, Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed contacted me for a comment.  His piece appears here.