North Central community responds to Hammond's letter to alumni denouncing UMC
North Central College President Troy Hammond is making clear the school’s definition of marriage and same-sex requirements for clergy members.
“I’m writing to reaffirm North Central College’s core values as 'a diverse, inclusive and global community' in the wake of actions by the multinational United Methodist Church (UMC) General Conference, the denomination’s governing body that will likely limit the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and allies within the church," Hammond wrote in a March 1 letter to alumni.
The letter comes in the midst of growing debate over what the church’s stance should be, which includes the UMC General Conference recently casting their vote in favor of a plan that reinforces the church’s bans on same-gender unions and LGBTQ+ clergy.
“While we have long valued the role of the UMC in the life of the College, its recent decision was unexpected and disappointing,” Hammond added in the letter. “North Central College will continue to be a community that values inclusiveness regardless of sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, religion, race or ethnicity. There will likely be additional developments regarding this topic as the UMC continues its discussions.”
With North Central being a private Christian college with a Methodist affiliation, several NCC alumnus have taken issue with Hammond’s position.
“As someone who came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ between my junior and senior years at North Central, my path into eternity will always be tied to my time at NCC,” wrote Class of 1998 graduate Ryan T. Wolland in a letter responding to Hammond’s words. “I believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God. And from the Bible I believe that it is clear that homosexuality is a sin and not an act or desire that should be celebrated or ignored. I also believe that Christian love should be given to those that struggle with this sin, just as this same love should be extended to all sinners. The church was established to give honor and glory to God. Any church that professes to follow the God of the Bible should not promote acts that celebrate sin, nor should their leadership actively engage in sinful behavior. There are many that believe the church should change to reflect the views of its society. As the church was established to worship the God of the Bible – the God that was, is and will always be and is never-changing – it follows that the foundational beliefs of the church should also not change, especially in a way that defies God's ways.”
Hammond took over as NCC president in 2012 and is only the 10th person to serve in that role in the school's more than 150-year history.