Thomas Oord’s run in with school and church administrators over religion is rare in U.S. schools, but not unheard of, says Jack Fitzmier, executive director of the American Academy of Religion.
Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at the evangelical Wheaton College in Illinois, found herself in trouble with administrators in December 2014, after a Facebook post in which she said that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
Her statement touched off a controversy and letters of complaint from alumni. University officials planned a hearing on whether Hawkins should stay at the university, the Washington Post reported in January 2015. Hawkins provided Wheaton with a statement of her theology but declined to answer further questions..
A month later, as a faculty council was about to meet and consider the case, Hawkins announced he would leave the school, the Washington Post reported.