A Baptist university in Georgia is receiving abundant media attention for a “Personal Lifestyle Statement“ it recently updated, that requires faculty and staff to adhere to a set of biblical standards that include shunning homosexual behavior. Employees have been told that they must either sign the statement as a pledge, or face termination. Shorter University, based in Rome, Georgia, and affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), “expects its staff to help it further its Christ-centered goals,” reported the Christian Post. “The school’s new motto, ‘Transforming Lives Through Christ,’ was also approved during the board of trustees meeting in addition to the lifestyle statement and a number of other related documents.”
The lifestyle statement emphasizes that the university is committed to hiring “committed Bible believing Christians, who are dedicated to integrating biblical faith in their classes and who are in agreement with the University Statement of Faith.” Within that context the statement requires staff to be “loyal to the mission of Shorter University as a Christ-centered institution affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention.”
It then specifies three behavior prohibitions, requiring staff to agree that they will not be involved in the use of illegal drugs; that they will abstain from the public use of alcohol; and, most significantly, that they will “reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality.”
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Shorter University President, Donald Dowless (photo)