General Theological Seminary Reinstates Most Terminated Faculty, But Future Remains Unclear

General Theological Seminary From the Highline in New York City. Photo courtesy of Eden, Janine and Jim via Flickr
General Theological Seminary From the Highline in New York City. Photo courtesy of Eden, Janine and Jim via Flickr

The future of the Episcopal Church’s flagship General Theological Seminary remains unclear, even as trustees agreed this week to reinstate most of the faculty who were terminated.

The board of the embattled New York seminary will keep seven of the eight faculty who quit teaching classes and were subsequently terminated, according to Jonathan Roffe, a lawyer representing the faculty. Faculty will teach on a provisional basis until the end of the current academic year.

Roffe said the lone faculty member who will not return, whom he declined to identify, “felt it was the right time to move on.”

“Obviously, it’s not the outcome that everyone may have wanted from the get-go, but in any negotiation, neither party is perfectly happy,” Roffe said. “I’m sure the school is not happy it turned into the public spectacle it did. It was a meeting in the middle.”

In September, the majority of the seminary’s professors quit teaching classes and attending official seminary meetings or chapel services until they could sit down with the seminary board to discuss concerns about the seminary’s dean, the Very Rev. Kurt Dunkle.

Trustees later accepted the resignations of the eight faculty, even as the professors insisted they never offered to resign.

“Reconciliation … will require much of all of us,” Dunkle said in an email to students on Wednesday (Nov. 5).

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Religion News Service
Sarah Pulliam Bailey

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