At the last biennial Presbyterian General Assembly, many gay-rights supporters along with many conservatives weary of decades-old fights approved a delicate compromise that kept the ordination standards of “chastity and fidelity” but allowed presbyteries to approve otherwise qualified gay and lesbian clergy candidates who morally objected to the rules.
Researchers at Oxford University have been given nearly $4 million to investigate the origins of belief in God. The money comes from the John Templeton Foundation, a U.S. nonprofit long interested in scientific investigations of religion.
Serene Jones of Yale University has been selected to be the first woman president of Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She will assume the presidency of the 172-year-old nondenominational seminary on July 1, succeeding Joseph Hough, who is retiring after serving since 1999.
The World Council of Churches, suddenly faced with criticisms of its general secretary, Samuel Kobia, who decided not to seek another five-year term, is searching for a new executive to take over the world’s largest ecumenical body next year.