Statement from the Iliff School of Theology Regarding the Special Session of General Conference of The United Methodist Church in St. Louis, February 23-26, 2019.
At their founding in the nineteenth century, Methodist schools were tasked with preserving academic freedom and inclusiveness. In keeping with this lineage and The Iliff School of Theology’s mission of cultivating leaders with courageous theological imagination, and in keeping with Iliff’s long-standing commitment to social justice and inclusiveness, it is incumbent upon the School to repudiate any instance of religious intolerance which inhibits the full empowerment and flourishing of those called to service. Iliff unequivocally affirms the sacred worth and full suitability for spiritual leadership of all people including, but not limited to, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals.
In light of this firm and unambiguous support, Iliff expresses its deep concern and sorrow that all of the proposed courses of action to be considered at the United Methodist Special General Conference scheduled for February 2019 allow this unconscionable discrimination to remain within our beloved denomination. Such exclusion is unworthy of our heritage and irreconcilable with the Kingdom of God that we as United Methodists purport to seek and work for. Therefore, we urge the General Conference to include full participation of LGBTQ people and hold sacred God’s created human diversity for leadership in the church.
This Statement has been unanimously approved by the Iliff School of Theology Board of Trustees on January 31, 2019.