Larycia Hawkins, Wheaton College professor, reaches agreement with school

February 8, 2016

Larycia Hawkins, a professor at Wheaton College who faced termination from her tenured post at the evangelical school for publicly saying Christians and Muslims worship the “same God,” has announced in a joint statement with the college that she will leave the school.

The statement said they reached a “confidential agreement under which they will part ways.”

Wheaton president Philip Ryken e-mailed students, faculty, and staff Feb­ruary 6 to announce that the “complex and painful” controversy has now “come to a place of resolution.”

Ryken also wrote that there will be a review by the board of trustees on the issues raised by Hawkins’s case, including “academic freedom, due process, the leaking of confidential information, possible violations of faculty governance, and gender and racial discrimination.”

Hawkins was suspended in Decem­ber when the administration questioned whether a Facebook post about why she was wearing a hijab during Advent violated the school’s statement of faith.

Hawkins wrote: “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And . . . we worship the same God.”

In January, the school moved to fire Hawkins. Faculty leaders asked Wheaton to end the termination process.

Provost Stanton Jones wrote a letter to the faculty February 2 that was published by Christianity Today, saying he had written to Hawkins: “I apologized for my lack of wisdom and collegiality as I initially ap­proached Dr. Hawkins, and for imposing an administrative leave more precipitously than was necessary.” —Religion News Service

This article was edited on February 16, 2016.