Transgender theology professor reportedly asked to leave Azusa Pacific University
A California Christian college has asked a professor who was once its chair of theology and philosophy to leave the school after he came out as transgender.
Heather Clements taught theology at Azusa Pacific University for 15 years, but in a 40-minute sermon posted on YouTube in August, she talks about becoming Adam Ackley.
In his sermon at La Verne Church of the Brethren, Ackley refers to Pat Robertson’s recent comments on people who are transgender. “Thank you! It’s not a sin,” Ackley said. He notes that the church has three gender inclusive bathrooms.
He said he struggled with depression and anxiety, but that the church has been there for him.
“I tried to be the best Christian woman I could be…but I have to accept something difficult about myself,” he said. “I’ve never been fully myself, I’ve always been living a lie, not exactly on purpose but that was the best truth I knew at the time.”
In his sermon, Ackley argues that mankind was broken apart but in Paul’s letter in Galatians “there is neither male nor female but we are one in Jesus Christ. What was broken has been restored.”
In 2001, he wrote the book “Women, Music, and Faith in Central Appalachia: Studies in Women and Religion” and co-authored “Daughters of the Mountain South.” He was ordained in 1999 in the Mennonite Church but transferred his credentials to the Church of the Brethren in 2009.
Azusa Pacific University is an evangelical university of about 10,000 students and 1,200 faculty located northeast of Los Angeles.
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