University Officials Respond to Request for Club Charter

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
(Dec. 11, 2012) San Diego, Calif. – In response to a recent request that Point Loma Nazarene University charter a club that focuses on the issue of homosexuality, the university has noted that the club system is not the appropriate venue for a social issue that is often contentious and divisive. Dr. Caye Smith, Vice President for Student Development, said, “We recognize it is common for students to struggle with issues of sexual identity. Rather than chartering a club, PLNU provides multiple avenues for students to engage respectfully and safely in discussions regarding sexuality.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to facilitate conversations on significant issues, the Office of Residential Life has offered to host a reading group discussing Andrew Marin's book “Love Is an Orientation,” in response to the students’ interest in the book. Over the past few years, PLNU has provided a variety of other events and discussions on issues of human sexuality in both small and large group settings. Additionally, professional counselors are available to students individually and confidentially regarding a broad range of personal issues including sexual identity.

PLNU remains aligned with the Nazarene church’s position on sexuality and sexual orientation. The Church holds the position that a homosexual lifestyle is contrary to the Scriptures.

Vice President Smith noted that, “The Church of the Nazarene’s ‘A Pastoral Perspective on Homosexuality’ calls for us to treat every person with dignity, grace, and holy love, whatever their sexual orientation. In situations of disagreement with one another or with official university positions on this or other important issues, we must be committed to remaining in respectful, supportive relationships as a community.”

Officials noted that discussion and debate surrounding contentious issues are an important part of a liberal arts education. PLNU has a strong tradition of student, faculty and staff engagement when difficult issues arise. However, the goal is not to change the position of the church, but to have integrity in seeking to understand the varied perspectives around the issues.