Was Wheaton Wrong?

With those provisions made, I am standing up for Wheaton in principle because I think it is important for religious institutions to police their theological boundaries. Most Catholic universities in the US haven’t done so, and the result in many, many cases is this kind of embarrassment, and a radical degradation in what it means to be educated in a Catholic institution of higher learning.

.. If the statement is meant to exclude anyone, that would be liberal Protestants or half-hearted evangelicals. I do not believe there has been any point in Wheaton’s history—until now—when the college’s board of trustees has looked at the Statement of Faith with Catholics in mind.

.. Wheaton is an “umbrella” institution rather than a “systemic” one. Umbrella institutions welcome all sorts of people, with all sorts of beliefs, onto their faculty, as long as those people can support the principles on which the institution is founded. (Thus Notre Dame in no way compromised its mission as a Catholic university when, some years ago, it hired Nathan Hatch—an evangelical Protestant who both graduated from Wheaton and served on its board of trustees—as its provost.) But Wheaton is in fact a systemic institution which asks all of its faculty—and indeed its other employees—to affirm, not merely to support, its core beliefs.

.. The concern is completely reasonable, especially, as Jacobs points out, that compromising on orthodoxy has never worked out well for the orthodox within Christian higher education: