Wheaton College Dismisses Chaplain Due to Comments of 'Racial and Sexual Nature'

Michael Foust | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Monday, July 6, 2020
Wheaton College sign, Wheaton College let's campus chaplain go for racial and sexual discrepancies

Wheaton College Dismisses Chaplain Due to Comments of 'Racial and Sexual Nature'

Wheaton College said Friday it had dismissed its chaplain due to “inappropriate comments and actions of a racial and sexual nature.”

Wheaton College President Philip Ryken said in a Friday email to the college community that chaplain Timothy Blackmon had been dismissed following a four-month investigation, the Daily Herald reported. 

Although Blackmon “did not engage in sexually immoral relationships or physical sexual misconduct,” the investigation “revealed conduct inconsistent with Wheaton’s policies and commitments,” Ryken said.

“Following this investigation and adjudication, as well as a trustee review process, Tim Blackmon is no longer employed at Wheaton College,” Ryken said in the email. “Because of the unique role of the Chaplain as one of Wheaton's primary spiritual leaders, we believe it is important to share this information with the campus community. 

“In deference to the confidentiality of multiple parties in a personnel process, though, we do not plan to provide additional information beyond this message and encourage our community to respect the privacy of the individuals involved.”

Ryken said he recognized it was “painful news” for the Wheaton College community.

“As our community experiences brokenness, we also recognize our ongoing need of restoration and reconciliation,” Ryken wrote. “We lament this situation and pray for all who have been affected by these events, as well as for Reverend Blackmon and his family.”

Ryken also wrote: “The senior administrative cabinet remains committed to a campus community that is free from harassment and discrimination, understands our policies, and knows that any concerns brought forward will be heard and addressed.” 

In March, Blackmon penned a letter to the Wheaton College community about the pandemic.

“I don’t know a single person for whom the pandemic has been easy,” Blackmon wrote. “To make matters worse, we do not know the answers to all the human ‘what, when, where, why, how and now what’ questions,” it read. “Considering all our uncertainties, I’ve been taking life and ministry one day at a time. Jesus says in Matthew 6:34, ‘Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’”

Photo courtesy: ©Kenneth C. Zirkel/Creative Commons, image is cropped and resized

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.