Trans Professor Leaves Christian College After 15 Years
BY Sunnivie Brydum
October 07 2013 3:58 PM ET
A 15-year teaching veteran at a Christian college in Southern California walked off campus for the last time Friday, after the professor and school administrators reached an agreement concerning Adam Ackley's termination in light of his coming out as a transgender man.
Ackley had served as a professor of theology at Azusa Pacific University for more than a decade, when he revealed in September that he's a transgender man planning to undergo a gender transition and seek a divorce from his husband. University administrators immediately asked Ackley to step down, claiming his gender identity was in conflict with the school's evangelical Christian doctrine, his attorney told NBC Los Angeles.
"While we appreciate Dr. Ackley’s past service and pray God’s best for the journey ahead, we have reached a mutual agreement that recognizes it would be best for Dr. Ackley to pursue professional endeavors elsewhere," read a statement issued by the university Friday confirming that would be Ackley's last day on campus.
Earlier statements from APU and Ackley himself indicated that the school might allow him to finish the semester teaching the classes he had already begun this fall.
On Thursday, students in APU's unofficial gay-straight alliance, Haven, rallied in Ackley's support, waving rainbow and transgender pride flags, and wearing shirts and holding banners reading "We Stand With Adam."
While APU contends that Ackley's transgender identity is in violation of its school code, Ackley's attorney disagrees.
"The only code they have is homosexual conduct," attorney Paul Southwick told NBC. "But Adam has not conducted in [sic] homosexual conduct."