Wheaton College political science professor Larycia Hawkins -- who was placed on administrative leave by the college on December 15 for stating that Christians and Muslims worship the same God -- has decided to part ways with the college just five days before a faculty hearing was scheduled to decide her fate at the school, according to an email yesterday from college president Philip Ryken to the campus, the Washington Post website reports today (February 7, 2016).
"The Administration and Dr. Hawkins have come to a place of resolution and reconciliation," Ryken said in his email. "With a mutual desire for God's blessing, we have decided to part ways." Wheaton College is a private evangelical college in Wheaton, Illinois, and is the alma mater of world famous Christian evangelist Billy Graham. Billy's son, Franklin Graham -- also an evangelist -- had called on the college to terminate Hawkins last month. (See "Franklin Graham: College Must Fire Polemic Prof...." in Theology and Society, Jan. 25, 2016.)
Hawkins was placed on administrative leave on December 15 after she published a Facebook post suggesting that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. The statement set off a wave of controversy across the country amid larger debates about the role of Muslims in America.
The college said at the time that her comments raised significant theological questions and requested the professor provide a theological statement. Faculty at Wheaton College are required to sign a statement of faith, which some felt Hawkins could not affirm after making her comments.