Staff of Christian University Resign in Droves After Refusing to Sign ‘Personal Lifestyle Statement’

A historic Christian university in Rome, Georgia has received record resignation letters from staffers after mandating that its employees sign a “personal lifestyle statement.”

Reports indicate that nearly sixty out of the two hundred employees at Shorter University have decided to leave the educational institution rather than sign the statement, which outlines a moral code that staff are required to live by.

The statement reads, “I reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality.” It also prohibits the promotion of alcohol and states that employees “are expected to be active members of a local church.”

Professors and students alike have become so enraged about the requirement that they have launched a website called “Save our Shorter.” The website outlines that since the university has come under “fundamentalist” leadership, it has made changes that the members of Shorter University are unhappy with.

“Students sunbathing on the lawn, as Shorter students had done for many, many years, were told that their behavior was no longer acceptable, [and] the opera, Elixir of Love, a repertoire standard, was banned because alcohol was a part of the plot. The Harry Potter novels were [also] no longer allowed to be used for courses,” the website explained.

Save Our Shorter also features commentary from students and staff who explain why they are leaving the university.

“How can a self-proclaimed Christian university come out with a document that is not Christ-like at all?,” McKinley Starks, an openly homosexual student stated, referring to the required lifestyle statement. “I feel that Shorter, the GBC, the Board of Trustees, and/or whoever can do what they want to the school. It’s their school, but I cannot personally attend a school so full of hate.”

  • Connect with Christian News

“Surely a kind and loving God wouldn’t condemn to eternal damnation those who didn’t interpret the Bible in an ‘approved’ fashion,” wrote Dr. Sherri Weiler, former Associate Professor of Music at Shorter University. “I am grateful for teachers who caused me to question my faith; my own Baptist mother taught me that unless faith was questioned and tested, it really had no value,” she added. “Where is today’s American Taliban? At Shorter University. Religious fundamentalism in any form (Muslim or Christian) is sheer lunacy in today’s divided, fractured, and tormented world. True peace is only to be found in opening the doors, not closing the gates,” Weiler wrote.

The website also claims that the changes to the university, including the lifestyle statement, are “slowly destroying the reputation of our beloved school and causing irreparable damage to the cause of Christ.”

Michael Wilson, a librarian at Shorter University, is also a homosexual. He recently explained that he signed the “personal lifestyle statement,” but sent it back with a line crossing out the sentence that reads, “I reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality.” Wilson is aware that he could be terminated from his position for his involvement in the homosexual lifestyle.

Shorter University first opened in 1873 as the Cherokee Baptist Female Seminary, but after switching leadership, grew into the multidimensional facility that it is today. Since the 1950’s, the university has been a part of the Georgia Baptist Convention, but according to reports, many of the faculty were not approving of a number of the beliefs of the Convention.

In 2005, Shorter University sued the Georgia Baptist Convention in an effort to break free from its control, but lost its lawsuit.

In 2008, the university joined the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, a group which largely limits their hiring practices to only evangelical Christians. The leadership of the university also changed hands.

Last October, the school decided that it needed to take measures to ensure that its staff members were abiding by Biblical, moral standards, and issued the “personal lifestyle statement” to employees.

The president of Shorter University states that he is not surprised that some staffers are upset with the school’s requirements, but is not backing down.

“We have a right to hire only Christians,” President Don Dowless stated. “I think that anybody who adheres to a lifestyle that is outside of what the biblical mandate is and of what the board has passed, including the president, would not be allowed to continue here.”

“While we hate to lose members of our community, we wish them well,” he added.

Protests have taken place at the university against Dowless for his stand since the policy went into effect. Students and faculty have held signs such as “Dowless is a born again bigot,” and “Jesus loves me; why can’t you?” One student stated at one of the protests, “I don’t think they should care about what you do in your personal life as long as it doesn’t affect your work.”

However, Dowless believes differently. “It’s really unreasonable not to expect a Christian university to promote Christian values,” he said.

Become a Christian News Network Supporter...

Dear Reader, has been of benefit and a blessing to you? For many years now, the Lord has seen fit to use this small news outlet as a strong influential resource in keeping Christians informed on current events from a Biblical worldview. Despite Facebook's recent algorithm changes, which has limited our readership, and, as a result, has affected operational revenue, we continue to strive to bring you the news without compromise and to keep Christ in focus. If you have benefited from our news coverage, would you please prayerfully consider becoming a Christian News supporter by clicking here to make a one-time or monthly donation to help keep the truth widely and freely published and distributed? May Christ continue to be exalted through this work!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Artehenis

    PLT At least one school is heading in the right direction to bring us to God’s word and exaltation!

  • Robert Griffin

    Freedom of choice. If Bible-based rules and lifestyle are unacceptable to faculty and/or students, they have the choice. Lots of colleges and universities without such.

    Moral compass pointing to the Bible is always going to go against the grain of the man-centered heathen who masquerade as Christian. I will gladly send my resume and willingness to help this school if staff walk off. God and America needs school with purpose and direction and convictions.

  • Caleb

    Its really good to see the Christian commuity clearing out all the goats from amoung the sheep. Praise God! The world will hate them though because they are not of this world. If they were of this world the world would love them, but Jesus has taken them out of the world so the world hates them. Thumbs up to the school.

  • Amy

    Praise the Lord someone is willing to take a stand for the Bible, not against it! I was amazed at home many are willing to say God loves us, why not you??? And seem to forget the Bible… Sodom and Gomorrah ring any bells???? Thank God there are still people willing to stand for what is right, and prepare themselves for when there is a reaction to it, and not bow down to others who want to call themselves Christians, yet don’t live by the book! Praying that this man (Dowless) doesn’t back down, regardless of what trials may be ahead for him! This world needs a light on a hill, not under a bushel!!!

  • Dave

    There is a difference–a huge difference–between challenging peoples faith and redefining it. The Bible does draw a line about what is moral; what is right and wrong. If people don’t want to follow the plain teaching of the Bible there are many places where they can work where that seems perfectly acceptable, like in government (especially elected office) and the public schools.

  • Ross Richard Blankert

    Look for the dictator Obama to send in the troops and enforce liberal policies on a Christian university in order to protect the rights of queers and atheists. Believe it.

  • Bumbershoot

    We would sign this. We are both teachers, and we need jobs. I would love to work with like-minded Christians, instead of listening to the ranting of liberals protected by the establishment. I don’t agree alcohol is evil, but you do what your employer requires of you, if it is not illegal or goes against the word of God. Where can we send our resumes?

  • Lucy Tooley

    When I read this I think of Amos 8:11 where God says that in the end times there would be a famine–not for food, but for the word of God. All the owners of this school are doing is getting the Scriptures to be proclaimed instead of man’s “way,” the broad way that leads to death if not turned from.

  • Doug Briggman

    Hey its not God that condends those outside of church. God longs that the decisions we make should be in harmony with acceptable biblical views. But face it it is those people who cannot live within good acceptable Christian valves and standards that have put themselves outside of Gods grace. Remember God save us from our sin, He does not save us IN our sin. Remember what Jesus Himself said to the woman caught in the sin of adultry, He told her to go and sin NO MORE! Sin regardless of the type is none the less sin. There are sins that effect no one and God will hold us accountable for committing (unless we repent) but the sin regarding sex or perversions thereof hurt so many other people. A Christian College or University has not only the right but the obligation to ask their teachers/professors not to practice sin while associated with a “Christian” College or University. But I think we loose sight of the simple. God does not save us in our sin but from it and after He does save us, all He asks is that we do not wallow like pigs in the mire of our sin but understanding who we are as reborn in Christ, we are a NEW Creation He will carry us though even when the temptations are strong.

  • Andrew Barbieri

    has anyone given any thought to what these 60 teachers were actually teaching ? did they folllow ciriculum or digress onto preaching johnny has 2 daddies, ect… i say good riddence, a lot of public schools have open positions and probably cant wait to bring them on board.

    if you dont like the rules at work, go find another job.

  • Carroll C. Underwood

    What is so disconcerting is to think those who fled were ever brought on as faculty or staff.

  • Godisalive

    It’s about time the Christian Schools stood up to this new Liberal Tyranny forming in this country.
    I was furious when Notre Dame agreed to cover up the cross because of Obama’s visit. Had I been in charge, he would have been told NO! If he then chose not to visit, that would be his right.

  • Tony Jacobs

    Maybe as a Jew I don’t have a right to comment on what happens at a Christian university. But as a comment on society as a whole, I say that President Don Dowless is a man of courage.
    Why is it that the liberal left can tell us people of faith that we cannot follow our conscience and live by our beliefs without being bigots, yet forcing us to live by their standards(or lack of them),is tolerance?
    The problem is that we let them set the agenda and frame the debate.
    A (former) friend once mocked my belief in God, asking how I could believe in something that couldn’t be measured or detected in any way, my belief couldn’t be supported by rational thought he said. My response was that he couldn’t love his child for exactly the same reasons. It’s just occurred to me that I could have made the same point about rational thought itself.

  • Earl

    I,too,praise the Lord for moving as He has to remove from this Christian college those who by word and deed were undermining the practice and reputation of this college. They are following the Biblical command to,”Purge out the old leaven(sin and sinful behaviours)that the lump may be pure.”
    I feel confident that if these who are leaving were to be questioned as to their political beliefs almost all would be found to be political Liberals.You can Google the search terms,”Liberals are clinically nuts.” This is a paraphrase of the title of a book written by a Psychiatrist with many years of practice. It will shed much light on the attitudes of those criticising this College.
    Liberals think Conservatives should allow them to do and say whatever they desire at any time. However,many Conservative scientists and academics have been fired and their careers destroyed when they spoke against evolution. Evolution and it’s Step-child,Humanism, is the religion of the Liberal.If necessary, they will be violent in order to quash any disrespect to their religion. I think it is apparent that Humanism is the true religion of these who are rebelling and leaving, not Christianity.

  • Nick

    At last a Christian institution that will take a stand for what the Bible says and enforce it. Homosexuality is a sin. Yes, Jesus loves the homosexual as he does all people, BUT one who rejects him by opening committing abominations in his sight will choose their destination of Hell. Do they not know anything about a place called Sodom” Do they not know that men lying with men and women lying with women is condemned in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Do they not know that Jesus said it would be like those days at his coming for his bride, the church, the body of all true believers. This world is so blind and deceived. I hope some of them wake up before it is too late.

  • george

    Galatians 6:7 Be not dismayed for G_D will not be mocked,whatsoever a man (woman/child/school/village/city/county/state/country)sows, so shall he(they) also reap.

    It is as simple as that.. Find the truth, change to adhere to the truth and with love share with others what you found. Do NOT try to get them to change. That’s NOT our job. LOL

  • Lanny Nicolet

    In total agreement with the college and its leaders. Thank God for the leaders there who have the courage to stand against the rising flood of corruption and apostasy that is innundating this country. It surely is the a sign of the ‘last times’ and as the Apostle Paul wrote, it the “perilous times” true, Biblical Christianity and Christians are facing. There is terrible persecution against Christians going on in other lands but now we are seeing “Christian persectution” as it is found in Western Lands. Let’s remember too that the Lord Jesus Christ loves sinners, but hates sin and was cruely, brutally treated, nailed to a cross when He, as God manifest in flesh, dealt once and forever with sin.

  • Sparrow`

    Yes, let them all leave, along with ALL government funding! No problem sticking to dogma, as long as State and Federal funding is not involved.