Calvin University Allows Faculty to Dissent from Opposition to Premarital and Same-sex Relationships

Calvin University’s (CU) board of trustees has allowed a group of faculty to remain employed despite dissenting from a clause in a confession of faith that says sex outside of heterosexual marriage is sinful, Religion News Service reported.Calvin University

The Christian school’s board voted Oct. 28 to accept each of the faculty’s statement of confessional difficulties. CU did not make public the names or number of dissenters.

CU is owned by the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), a Dutch Calvinist denomination. The statements of confessional difficulty were needed because the CRC this year had codified opposition to homosexual sex.

But some faculty are against these views.

“It’s a matter of integrity,” said Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez, a CU professor of history in the initial group of faculty who requested permission to dissent. “It seemed necessary to register my dissent so that I could have clarity in terms of whether it was a space where I could continue to work, or whether I no longer fit within the mission of the community.”

The board announced plans to revise professors’ guidelines on how to work while respecting both the denomination’s authority and academic freedom. The guidelines are expected in the coming weeks.

CU has a complicated relationship with LGBTQ+ matters. It allows student group the Sexuality and Gender Alliance on campus but does not allow premarital sex. It also strictly defines marriage as between a man and a woman.