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Union University cuts ties with two colleges over marriage equality

Union University cuts ties with two colleges over marriage equality
Dr. Samuel
Dr. Samuel “Dub” Oliver AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Right Wing Watch reports that Dr. Dub Oliver, president of Tennessee’s Union University, has renounced its membership in the 100+ member Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

The reason? The organization hasn’t expelled two Christian colleges, both of which announced that they’ll accept married same-sex couples as members.

This decision by Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College doesn’t actually affect Union University at all. It’s just that, in the words of Right Wing Watch’s Jean Ann Esselink, the CCCU “is no longer pure enough for Union.”

In an “open letter” to The Daily Caller, Dr. Oliver writes:

“The fact that this (banning married gay faculty) is not unanimous damages our witness. The reason we are passionate about this is because what we are talking about is not a secondary or tertiary theological issue – marriage is at the heart of the Gospel. To deny the Bible’s concept of marriage is to deny the authority of Scripture.”

“We hope we have contributed much to the Council during these years. The Union community has certainly benefited from the student programs, professional development, and advocacy offered by the Council, as well as our fellowship together.

“Even still, our faithfulness to the authority of Scripture takes precedence. While there are other associations with whom we affiliate related to our work in higher education, our advocacy for Christ-centered higher education means that we must stand with institutions that share our commitments. Regrettably, that is no longer the case with the CCCU.”

“I am grieved that the Board of the CCCU was not ready to deal with this issue. Since October of 2013, members of the CCCU have known of the trajectory of Eastern Mennonite University in regard to same-sex marriage. There have been several gatherings where the Council could have been clear about our expectations of membership. The Council could have even deliberated and voted on such matters. We did not. As a result, we appear unprepared to state our commitments, much less take action.”

“Because the CCCU board was not definitive, the collective voice of CCCU member institutions was weakened.”

Dr. Oliver will be looking for other organizations to align with the University.

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