August 31, 2015 – Bartlesville, OK

Oklahoma Wesleyan University has announced that it will no longer affiliate with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, an association of approximately 120 Christian colleges throughout the United States of which the university has been a longtime member. In terminating its membership with CCCU, Oklahoma Wesleyan joins Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, which announced it was dropping out of the council on August 3, 2015.

Oklahoma Wesleyan President, Dr. Everett Piper, stated, “Oklahoma Wesleyan has determined it is not in the university’s best interest to continue to affiliate with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. CCCU’s ambivalence in deciding the status of two member institutions that have advised CCCU they will permit same-sex couples to be employed as faculty members indicates to us that it is time for our university to move in a different direction. We believe in missional clarity and view the defense of the Biblical definition of marriage as an issue of critical importance to Christian colleges,” Piper said. ”The CCCU’s reluctance to make a swift decision sends a message of confusion rather than conviction.”

In July, Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen University advised CCCU that they were amending their policies to accommodate same-sex couples as faculty and staff members at their institutions. CCCU told its membership that it was then undertaking a “deliberate and consultative process” to inquire of the entire membership the appropriate course of action in response to the two schools’ policy changes.

“The CCCU has known for several months that EMU and Goshen were going to take this course,” Piper said. “CCCU’s strategy of engaging in prolonged discussion indicates an unwillingness to defend the Biblical definition of marriage, and in doing so CCCU has not adequately represented Oklahoma Wesleyan and our legal interests.”

Piper said he would confer with other like-minded colleges that are, or have been, members of CCCU, including Union, to determine the best manner to proceed apart from CCCU.

“We have been affiliated with CCCU for many years and it was a difficult decision to sever that relationship.” Piper said. “But we have the support of our faculty, staff and trustees and we’re confident that this is a step we need to take. Some issues are too important to be ambivalent about.”