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BRIEF: Whitworth affirms, expands Presbyterian partnerships

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The Whitworth University Board of Trustees this month adopted a statement that affirms and expands Whitworth’s relationship with the Presbyterian Church and elevates the university’s theological identities, according to a press release.

The statement is the culmination of a yearlong inquiry a board-appointed Task Force on Denominational Relationships conducted in anticipation of the June 2013 expiration of the university’s current covenant agreement with the Synod of Alaska-Northwest and the concurrent cessation of the synod’s functions. The synod is a regional governing body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The task force’s charge was to assist the board in studying the range of possible relationships between Whitworth and its covenantal partner, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and to examine whether that relationship should be broadened to include other expressions of Christ’s Church.

After deliberating over the comprehensive work of the task force, the board of trustees adopted the following actions:

  • Whitworth will continue in a mutual but nonexclusive partnership with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.);
  • The university will explore and establish other Presbyterian partnerships; and
  • The university will emphasize its Reformed, evangelical and ecumenical identities.

“This is an important day in the life of Whitworth University,” said Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor in a press release. “The board of trustees once again affirmed the importance of Whitworth’s church relatedness, and it communicated unequivocally Whitworth’s Christ-centered mission. I know the board looks forward to working closely with the university’s administration, students, faculty and staff to better clarify how these decisions will be lived out.”

To read the full background and summary of the board’s statement, please visit the Board of Trustees Statement on Denominational Relationships

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons, who teaches journalism at Gonzaga University, is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 13 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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