Dinesh D'Souza has resigned as the president of The King's College (TKC), the Manhattan school's board of trustees announced Thursday.
The decision comes after World magazine reported Tuesday that D'Souza was engaged to Denise Odie Joseph II while still legally married to his wife of 20 years, Dixie, and that the couple had allegedly checked into a hotel room together during a Christian conference last month.
"I am grateful for the past two years that I have spent as president of The King's College," he said on his website this afternoon. "But now it is time to move on. My resignation will enable The King's College to go forward without distraction. And it will also enable me to address personal matters in my life as well as to pursue new opportunities made possible by success of my recent book and film."
D'Souza's statement made no reference to the controversy over his relationship, but an earlier post on his site called World's report "a clear attempt to destroy my career and my ministry. This is viciousness masquerading as righteousness. And this is the behavior that is truly worthy of Christian condemnation."
Board chairman Andy Mills will serve as interim president of the Manhattan school.
"After careful consultation with the Board and with Dinesh, we have accepted his resignation to allow him to attend to his personal and family needs," Mills said in a press release. "We thank him for his service and significant contribution to the College over the last two years."*
The college's student newspaper posted quotes on Twitter from the school-wide meeting this afternoon.
"God has a mighty future for Dinesh, but there are some things he has to go through first," Mills told students, according to the paper. "The success or failure of an institution is not based on a man. It's based on what God does. ... I have to admit, I got a little over-enamored with [D'Souza]."
According to the student newspaper, Mills also suggested that the college may move away from its efforts to brand itself as emphasizing both Christianity and political conservatism. "The King's College is a Christian college. Period," the paper reported Mills saying. "We want to find someone who shares our vision."
David Dockery, president of Union University in Tennessee, says the incident is a warning sign for administrators at other Christian colleges.
"We have to be reminded that our calling is to serve the Kingdom of God and the church through Christian higher education, first and foremost," he said. "Secondly, trust that we have opportunities to engage the wider culture. When the focus is only in the cultural sphere, we run the risk of missing our calling."
Stan Guthrie, who previously served as editor for D'Souza's work, said the author and creator of the political documentary 2016 was a man of high integrity—"not only engaged in the intellectual defense of the faith but also lived it out in his personal life"—and that is why the news is so disappointing.
"We want to see congruence with our intellectual professions of faith and also our personal confessions of faith," he said. "We don't want to see a huge dichotomy there."
Carl Trueman, professor of historical theology and church history at Westminster Theological Seminary, says he was initially "perplexed" at D'Souza's appointment at an evangelical school because of D'Souza's identification as Roman Catholic.