PASADENA – Thirty years after an influential Christian seminary in California specifically labeled homosexuality a ‘concern,’ the school has officially accepted its first on-campus homosexual student group.
Since its founding in 1947, Fuller Theological Seminary (FTS) has grown into a leading Christian school, with the Los Angeles Times recently describing it as “arguably the most influential” seminary in America. One of the school’s stated purposes is to equip “men and women for the manifold ministries of Christ and his Church.”
“Under the authority of Scripture,” the seminary’s website states, “we seek to fulfill our commitment to ministry through graduate education, professional development, and spiritual formation. In all of our activities, including instruction, nurture, worship, service, research, and publication, Fuller Theological Seminary strives for excellence in the service of Jesus Christ, under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of the Father.”
In 1983, FTS leaders published a document titled “Mission Beyond the Mission,” which outlines several of the school’s key priorities and beliefs. While the document does not express unequivocal opposition to homosexuality, it does mention several “concerns that rightly evoke the attention of many Christians,” including alcoholism, drug abuse, abortion, pornography, and—notably—“the promotion of homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.”
Furthermore, the school in 1983 articulated that marriage should be viewed as a “divinely ordained covenant. However, FTS administrators admitted that “[t]emptation to compromise, whether knowingly or unknowingly, with the world, the flesh, and the devil is a constant reality.”
Additional articles can be found at http://www.fuller.edu/About-Fuller/News-and-Events/News/2013/Mark-Labberton-s-Response-to-Recent-AP-Article.aspx and http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/13/lgbt-group-finds-acceptance-at-evangelical-college/2514629/