Elite universities criticize Atlanta school for hiring only Christian teachers.
A leading private preparatory school in Atlanta, Georgia, may jettison its commitment to Christian education under pressure from several college recruiters.
Since its founding in 1951, Westminster Schools, a Christian preparatory academy in Atlanta, has filled teaching positions only with professed Christians. However, deans of admission from several top universities—which regularly accept Westminster graduates—discovered the policy only last year. And they have launched an aggressive campaign of protest.
“We’re not going to support the graduation activities of Westminster Schools as long as they have an open statement that discriminates against anyone,” Harold Wingood, dean of undergraduate admissions at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.), told CHRISTIANITY TODAY. Washington joined Georgetown and Tufts universities in boycotting Westminster’s October recruiting day. They, along with Duke, Harvard, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have issued letters of protest.
The controversy has helped fuel a re-examination of the school’s mission by its trustees. Westminster president William Clarkson said the school’s religious and academic goals and procedures, including its hiring policy, are all on the table for re-evaluation.
“We are trying to understand as deeply as we can,” Clarkson said, “what it means to be a Christian institution, with a diverse student body, and how you do that with integrity.”
Other educators, however, say Clarkson and several trustees hold a “somewhat more liberal view” about Christian commitment than the more conservative trustees, and they fear the struggle to preserve the school’s hiring policy may already be ...1
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