The Ohio Wesleyan University Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution May 17 to “send a clear message” that it opposes current policies of the United Methodist Church that prohibit same-sex weddings from occurring in the church and prevent members of the LGBTQIA+ community from being ordained as UMC clergy.
According to the resolution, the Ohio Wesleyan Board of Trustees “remains unwavering in its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and expresses its full support of the LGBTQIA+ community and all marginalized groups, whose collective impact upon the University has been, and will continue to be, both positive and profound.”
The full resolution reads as follows:
WHEREAS Ohio Wesleyan University has been affiliated with the Methodist Church since the University’s founding in 1842, and has benefited from this historic affiliation by developing a deep commitment to service learning, a strong passion for social justice, and a welcoming environment for all, and
WHEREAS Ohio Wesleyan wishes to respect its heritage, yet send a clear message that the University opposes the February 2019 vote of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church that prohibits same-sex weddings from occurring in the Church and prevents members of the LGBTQIA+ community from being ordained as UMC Clergy, and
WHEREAS Ohio Wesleyan has requested that the University Senate of the United Methodist Church delay its scheduled Fall 2019 campus visit for one year as Ohio Wesleyan monitors the Church’s evolution to determine the desirability of continued affiliation, and
WHEREAS Ohio Wesleyan is hopeful that current conversations within the Church and UMC community will result in a new form of Methodism that is fully inclusive of all peoples
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that: the Ohio Wesleyan Board of Trustees remains unwavering in its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and expresses its full support of the LGBTQIA+ community and all marginalized groups, whose collective impact upon the University has been, and will continue to be, both positive and profound.
Ohio Wesleyan in April requested that a 10-year site visit by the church’s University Senate scheduled for fall be delayed one year in hopes that a new, fully inclusive form of Methodism emerges from current discussions.
Ohio Wesleyan’s ties to the United Methodist Church date back to its founding, when local Methodist Minister Adam Poe spearheaded efforts to raise funds, purchase property, and establish the university. Ohio Wesleyan will continue to be listed as a United Methodist-affiliated school, but the church does not govern, fund, or set policies for Ohio Wesleyan, which enrolls and supports students of all faith traditions.
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