Jewish Journal


April 28, 2008

Wheaton professor resigns over divorce


Wheaton College is an evangelical school outside of Chicago. Like many colleges cut from conservative Protestant cloth, its students and faculty must uphold a stricter standard of conduct than they would at, say, Florida State. One of those rules for married faculty is remaining so. Divorce is grounds for dismissal unless your circumstances fit the biblical exemption, which generally is limited to an unfaithful spouse.

The problem for Kent Gramm is he doesn’t want to talk with Wheaton administrators about why he and his wife are separating. So they’re letting him go.

For him, he says, it didn�(tm)t seem appropriate “to subject your personal life to the judgment of the college administrators.” However, he told his students of his reasons for leaving �” first reported in Wheaton�(tm)s student newspaper, The Wheaton Record �” to offer them an alternative model of Christian living. Gramm, who teaches literature, fiction and nonfiction writing, has his master of divinity degree in addition to his M.A. and Ph.D.

“I think the students can be given a false picture of what the proper Christian life should be,” Gramm says. “Whereas many of these students come from households that have been broken by divorce, and if they conform to the overall population, half of them themselves will be going through divorce. And if they are shown that God doesn�(tm)t abandon you if you are divorced and they�(tm)re shown that this is a part of life and that sometimes it can possibly be the right thing or the best thing, not necessarily the desirable thing, to do, then I think that might help them in their future lives.”

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