Professor Asked To Leave Christian University After Coming Out As Trans
"I've never fully been myself, I've always been living a lie."
After coming out as transgender, H. Adam Ackley was asked to step down from his teaching position of nearly 15 years at Azusa Pacific University.
Ackley will not stay on staff to finish out the academic year.
Ackley stated that he didn't get the sense the individuals with whom he was speaking had a "theological problem with transgender identity."
Ackley officially came out as transgender earlier this year, following the American Psychiatric Association removing "gender identity disorder" from its list of mental illnesses:
He explained the situation in his own words on a public Facebook account:
Please let me clarify that I was asked to step down and agreed to some extent -- namely I agreed that the university and I may not currently be the best fit for one another and that it makes sense in light of that for me to find employment elsewhere, and that they are being quite gracious to give me through the end of this academic year to do that -- however, the place we are struggling to come to understanding has to do with impact on students I currently serve enrolled in my fall classes. The university prefers that others take over these courses sooner rather than later, with it being early in the term, but I am not sure our students will share that preference and I only wish to serve their best interests. My hope is to be a resource to students and to the faculty who take over these classes to make this transition as smooth as possible or somehow to come to realization that perhaps I could serve by continuing to finish out my teaching term.
The university's policy regarding sexual expression states that "expression of sexuality is to take place within the context of a marriage covenant between a man and a woman."
The school does have a "Human Sexuality" section that references several Bible passages:
1) Humans, being created in the image of God, are inherently relational beings (Genesis 1:26).
2) The inherent relational nature of humankind is expressed in a variety of contexts including family, marriage, work, and for Christians, the body of Christ (Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Corinthians 12:14).
3) Humans were created as gendered beings. They were expressly blessed by God to be fruitful and multiply and to exercise dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28).