A professor at Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute was fired for her egalitarian views on marriage, according to a blog post on her personal website.
In her own words, Janay Garrick describes the term “egalitarian” as follows:
As an egalitarian, I believe in biblical equality — that God created women as the equals of men — or, more aptly, that God created men as the equals of women; I believe that women should not be excluded from any role, function, or office within any sphere — work, church, home.
If that doesn’t sound all that radical… well, you’d be right. But it was controversial in her Christian world because the viewpoint starkly differed from complementarianism, the patriarchal belief that men are called to be the “head” of their families and that women must submit to them in all circumstances. Complementarian theology says that leadership positions are determined by gender, rather than by ability.
Garrick’s egalitarian views are documented as the official reason for her firing, but she claims the unofficial reason is what got her fired after more than two years as the school’s Communications professor:
On paper, my egalitarian position was the official reason given for my termination, but the real reason, the one Moody wants to keep silenced is this: I helped a female student file a Title IX gender discrimination complaint against the school in 2016 which resulted in Moody dropping gender restrictions in the previously male-students-only Pastoral Ministry major, ending (one aspect of) 88 years of gender discrimination on Moody’s campus.
According to Garrick, she was hired in 2014 with full disclosure of her status as an ordained egalitarian woman. Rather than risk losing financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education for violating anti-discrimination laws, Garrick says, Moody officials cited her beliefs — ones they already knew about and disregarded — as the reason for her dismissal.
To date, Moody has received approximately $24 million from the federal government; funds which require “compliance with terms and conditions specified in federal regulations.”
So, when a female student came to me in January 2016 and said that she wanted to change her major to Pastoral Ministry and that she was prohibited from enrolling because she was a woman, I got involved.
At this point, I was done sitting on my hands. At this point, I had become increasingly aware of negative gender-related situations facing females on Moody’s campus. So I looked into it, and it was true — Moody did exclude women from this major. I then helped the student file a Title IX gender discrimination complaint against the school.
And that’s when all hell broke loose.
While the student and I fought hard and eventually “won” — Moody promised to drop gender restrictions in April 2016, then tarried for 15-plus months to do so — when my teaching contract came around for renewal (eight months later), administration launched their termination tactics.
It’s Moody’s loss. They gave up a professor who cared about her students so much that she was willing to put her career on the line for them… and why? Because she was trying to get them to treat women the same way as any public university.
Last week, Garrick sued the school over “discrimination and retaliation.”
While that case works its way through the system, let’s hope Garrick’s skills will be an asset at a different university: one that doesn’t hold the belief that women aren’t worthy enough to be treated as peers of their male classmates.
(Image via Facebook)