Magazine article The Christian Century

Calvin Professor Leaves over Worship Rules

Magazine article The Christian Century

Calvin Professor Leaves over Worship Rules

Article excerpt

A Calvin College assistant professor who was denied an exemption from school policy that requires faculty to belong to the Christian Reformed Church said she is leaving for a teaching position in California.

Calvin officials said a deal was in the works that would have allowed Denise Isom to stay at the university in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and maintain dual membership in her Baptist church and a CRC congregation.

"I think we made a reasonable proposal that would have worked for both of us," Calvin president Gaylen Byker said. "I wish she had accepted that. If she makes another decision, that's her right."

After being denied an exemption last fall, Isom said she reviewed a draft of the proposal in January but had reservations. While considering it, she accepted an offer from Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo to teach ethnic studies, she said.

"I was very disappointed and in some ways alarmed by what was being suggested I do," said Isom, an African-American assistant professor who specialized in race and education. …

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