posted May 7, 2010

Hope College Board of Trustees Statement (5/7/10)

The following statement is from the Hope College Board of Trustees following their May 6-7, 2010 meeting.

The statement speaks to actions to four petitions from a Hope College alumni group and other groups identifying themselves as Hope is Ready, Holland is Ready, and Room for All.

  1. The Board of Trustees denied the request to remove the 1995 Institutional Statement on Homosexuality.
  2. In regard to a second request from the alumni group to form an advisory committee to assist the college in speaker approval, the Board of Trustees likewise denied the request believing there was in place an appropriate amount of freedom and oversight for a private Christian liberal arts college.
  3. The Board of Trustees appointed a Trustee committee to expand the college's 1995 position statement in the larger context of all human sexuality in such a way that the Hope community is called to a renewed encounter with the clear, demanding, and healing biblical witness regarding human sexuality.

Along with the above Board actions, the Trustees endorsed the following statement in the college's communication with its various constituencies:

The college's current position on homosexuality is based on its interpretation of scripture.  It is recognized that well-intentioned Christians may disagree on scriptural interpretation.  Still, humbly and respectfully, the college aligns itself in its interpretation with its founding denomination, the Reformed Church in America, the orthodox Christian Church throughout the ages, and other Christian colleges and universities.

 

HOPE COLLEGE INSTITUTIONAL
STATEMENT ON HOMOSEXUALITY

Written by then President John H. Jacobson, August 16, 1995
Approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees
as the official position and policy of Hope College March 23, 2001

"Hope College, like its founding denomination, the Reformed Church in America, distinguishes between homosexual orientation and homosexual behavior or practice.   Not all people who have a homosexual orientation engage in homosexual practices and not all people who engage in homosexual practices have a homosexual orientation.  The witness of Scripture is firm in rejecting the moral acceptability of homosexual behavior while affirming the responsibility of Christians to be fair to and accepting of persons with a homosexual orientation.

"The College does not condone the commission of homosexual acts.  Neither does it condone organizations or activities that aim to vindicate the moral acceptability of homosexual acts, or that suggest by their manner of presenting themselves that they have that aim in view.  Specifically, the College will not provide recognition or financial or logistical support for organizations or groups whose purposes include the advocacy or moral legitimation of homosexual behavior. 

"The College does support fair and kind treatment for people with a homosexual orientation.  It likewise supports the scholarly examination and discussion of all the issues surrounding the phenomenon of homosexuality.  The College affirms the right of students and faculty to propound and defend ideas that may be at variance with the institutional position of the College.  Persons expressing such views are expected to take care not to attribute those views to the College either by direct statement or by intimation."