Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

THE Scholarly Web: People

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

THE Scholarly Web: People

Article excerpt

Weekly transmissions from the blogosphere.

Last month, reports emerged that a Christian university in California had asked one of its professors, who had served the institution for 15 years, to leave his post after coming out as transgender.

Theology lecturer Heath Adam Ackley had been known as Heather Clements throughout his time at Azusa Pacific University. "This year has been a transition from being a mentally ill woman to being a sane, transgendered man," he says in an article on the Huffington Post website (

The article explains that Professor Ackley was in the third year of his current five-year contract at APU, and states that although the university had agreed to pay him for this academic year, other academics would take over his current classes.

"I did not get a sense directly from the individuals with whom I was speaking that they had a theological problem with transgender identity," Ackley says. "I did get the message that it has to do with their concern (about) other people, such as donors, parents and churches connected to the university."

On her Christian Feminism Today blog (, "writer, musician (and) photographer" Marg Herder offers to "translate" this quote.

"'We don't have a problem with you, it's those other people we're worried about. You know, the ones with the money'," she writes. "Apparently in the view of the administration, allowing Ackley to stay on at Azusa Pacific would be a terrible business move." She continues: "As is usual, capitalistic considerations trumped all others. …

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