Wheaton prof faces termination after ‘same God’ comment

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Dr. Larycia Hawkins wearing a hijab.

Facebook photo

Dr. Larycia Hawkins wearing a hijab.

Dr. Larycia Hawkins wearing a hijab.

Facebook photo

Larycia Hawkins wearing a hijab

(RNS) A Christian professor who wrote on Facebook that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God” may be losing her tenured post at Wheaton College, the Illinois school known as the “evangelical Harvard.”

The college has begun an “employment action” that could cost Larycia Hawkins her job as history professor at the school where she has taught since 2007, a college spokesperson told Christianity Today.

On Monday (Jan. 4), the college provost, Stanton Jones, gave her a  “Notice of Recommendation to Initiate Termination-for-Cause Proceedings,” according to Wheaton’s website.

VIEW:  Wheaton professor’s views triggered online hate storm

The action stems from Hawkins’ December statements on her personal Facebook page. She wrote: “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book.” She offered her “same God” observation on Twitter and posted a photo of herself wearing a Muslim head-covering or hijab. 

It wasn’t the hijab that troubled university officials. She was suspended last month after college officials said her theological statements “seemed inconsistent with Wheaton College’s doctrinal convictions,” the college stated. Wheaton also posted an FAQ detailing its position.

Hawkins is planning a press conference Wednesday in Chicago. A spokesman said she “maintains Christian support for the Muslim community amidst the ongoing anti-Muslim climate.”

VIEW: Video: Suspended Wheaton College prof explains her view on Muslims, Christians and God

Wheaton’s action came after she did not respond to additional questions from Wheaton administrators about whether her views were in accord with the college’s statement of faith.

The matter now moves to a faculty personnel committee, then to Wheaton President Philip Ryken and ultimate to the college’s board of trustees.

(Cathy Lynn Grossman is a senior national correspondent for RNS)