Two schools, Goshen College and Eastern Mennonite University, resigned from the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) on Sept. 15, relieving the CCCU of the decision of whether or not to reassign the two universities to an “affiliate school” status for changing their hiring practices to allow hiring individuals in same-sex marriages.
The CCCU, a national organization that contains 120 institutions in North America, and of which Wheaton College is a member, subsequently appointed President Philip Ryken and President Barry Corey from Biola University to co-chair a new task force that will explore the definition of an “affiliate school” in the CCCU.
Corey told The Record in a phone interview that affiliate schools in the past have consisted of schools that are international affiliates, candidate affiliates, theological affiliates and institutions that do not meet the criteria of having “every faculty member and every senior administrator is a devout follower of Christ.”
Corey said that the motivation to clear up these categories because it seemed to many “that all schools that are very different from each other are lumped in as affiliates.” It became, to some people, “an illogical catch-all,” he said.
When asked why he was chosen to co-chair the board, Ryken told The Record in an interview that “Wheaton College is very influential within the CCCU. One of the reasons that I’ve been asked to be on the board is not because of who I am but because of what Wheaton is.”
Ryken said that Wheaton does not “claim a leadership role” in the CCCU. In a previous article, Ryken admitted that “this is definitely a year that the CCCU is being tested.”
Both Ryken and Corey are members of the CCCU’s board of directors, and were appointed by president of the CCCU Shirley Hoogstra during a meeting with the board of directors.
The task force’s first official meeting is on Nov. 2, according to Corey, and its early tasks, according to Corey, are to “get feedback from the affiliates” about the benefits of being affiliates with the CCCU and to understand the historical precedence for affiliation with the Council.