In 2015, two Mennonite schools in the CCCU, Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College, amended their policies to allow the hiring of LGBTQ faculty and voluntarily gave up their membership in the CCCU.
Though associated with the mainline Presbyterian Church, which welcomes LGBTQ people to serve in leadership positions as ministers, deacons and elders, the majority of Whitworth students are not Presbyterian. The school defines its Christian identity as, “Reformed, evangelical, ecumenical, global, missional and Presbyterian.”
Another Christian school in Washington state has been embroiled in a high-stakes clash between students, faculty and the school’s board of trustees over LGBTQ hiring. Students and faculty at Seattle Pacific University, a 131-year-old school affiliated with the Free Methodist Church, sued the school after it refused to scrap an employment policy barring people in same-sex relationships from full-time jobs. In April, a Washington State Superior Court judge rejected all but one of their claims.
Last month, Seattle Pacific announced it was cutting its budget for academic programs by 40% — mostly through steep faculty layoffs, effective in a year.
Battles over LGBTQ policies continue at other Christian schools. A former Calvin University professor who lost his job after performing a wedding for a transgender former student has sued the Christian Reformed school for retaliation and discrimination. That suit is ongoing.
Whitworth’s Pride Club celebrated the policy change on its Instagram account Thursday.
A message posted by a club member read: “This is a huge step in the right direction and I think it is an amazing way to end Pride Month.”
This article originally appeared here.