Despite some public controversy over the resignation of a Wheaton College professor, several Christian colleges insist that divorce is relevant to employment at such institutions.
English professor Kent Gramm resigned this semester because he did not want to share details of his divorce with school administrators. Walworth County (Wisconsin) divorce records show that Gramm filed for the divorce on February 25, and his wife did not jointly petition.
Wheaton's Community Covenant requires the upholding of "the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman." The college's employee handbook states that the college will consider retaining a divorcing employee "when there is reasonable evidence that the circumstances that led to the final dissolution of the marriage related to desertion or adultery on the part of the other partner."
"I signed a mutually agreed upon separation from Wheaton College rather than go through a long and unpleasant firing process," Gramm told Christianity Today in an e-mail. "The reasons for a divorce thoughtfully undertaken are complex and personal, and therefore I would rather not deal with a policy such as Wheaton's." Gramm declined to comment further.
Stanton Jones said he has dealt with about seven cases of divorce in his 12 years as Wheaton's provost.
"Only rarely have we had negative decisions. We see it as a straight extension of the Community Covenant, which calls us to beyond just the narrow qualifications of our job," Jones said. "Wheaton is attempting to embody what it understands is faithful to biblical teaching."
Jones said the college offered Gramm another year at the college while he searches for another position, but he declined.
Wheaton's student newspaper, The Record, found that students are ...