Anderson University president, Dr. James L. Edwards, along with AU students, community pastors and alumni participated in a discussion forum last evening entitled, “Homosexuality and the Church.” The discussion forum convened and organized by students was an event scheduled several weeks ago for the benefit of the university campus. A range of viewpoints on the subject were expressed by the student-invited panelists.
“Living in community with one another in a context of faith can be uncertain at times,” said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. “Anderson University is a Christian university with a deep and longstanding connection to the Church of God. Our mission is to create and maintain a Christ-honoring learning community of the highest order. At the same time it is important for the university to understand the perspectives that our students bring to the campus. It is through this exchange that we can be a better university and our students can grow in their own personal development.”
In addition to President Edwards, perspectives and thoughts were shared by the Rev. Jim Lyon, senior Pastor of Madison Park Church of God; the Rev. Bill Soetenga, retired minister in the Church of God; Matt Conner, teaching pastor of The Mercy House in Anderson; and Ruth Hawkins, an alumna of Anderson University and a staff member at Choices, Inc. in Indianapolis.
During the discussion, President Edwards indicated that Anderson University sexual misconduct policy — in which homosexuality is included — was approved by the Board of Trustees. It is this group that is the governing body of the university regarding matters of policy. He further indicated that Anderson University is in covenant relationship with the Church of God which outlines that homosexuality may be discussed in the classroom (i.e., educational) but not expressed as an acceptable Christian lifestyle.
“One of the many distinctions of Anderson University is that we are an institution where there is room to talk about real things, even uncomfortable topics,” added Edwards. “We are a caring campus and we want to continue to build a community that fosters and promotes mutual respect and sensitivity for one another.”
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.