Two Mennonite colleges have announced changes to their employment policies that will allow employment of married homosexuals. Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg, VA and Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana announced the policy changes on Monday (July 20).
Christian News Network reports EMU made the decision to hire married gay people after a undergoing a two-year “listening process.” Opinions of students, faculty and administration were heard before the establishment decided to change the hiring policy.
EMU board chair Kay Brenneman said in a statement, “[EMU] is grounded in Mennonite/Anabaptist values, and we believe people in same-sex covenanted relationships are valued members of our learning community with equal rights to standard benefits. As always, EMU’s hiring processes will continue to focus on hiring individuals who are the best fit for the position for which EMU is recruiting, and who are committed to EMU’s mission and core values.”
EMU President Lauren Swartzendruber added, “In making this decision, the board affirmed EMU’s strong commitment to our relationship with Mennonite Church USA even while the denomination continues its discernment.”
Goshen College President James Brenneman said after the decision, “As an institution rooted in the Anabaptist tradition, we reaffirm our strong relationship to Mennonite Church USA, and recognize the diversity of interpretation of Scripture on this issue within our denomination and the broader Christian church, a diversity reflected within the board of directors and on our campus as well.”
He continued, “We seek forbearance and grace amidst our differences. We deeply affirm the goodness of marriage, singleness, celibacy, sexual intimacy within marriage, and a life of faithfulness before God for all people.”
The Mennonite Church recently struck down a proposal to allow same-sex marriages within the denomination. However, Mennonites have agreed to accept those who believe homosexuality is not a sin.
Publication date: July 23, 2015