MADISON — Drew University’s Board of Trustees said anti-gay policies recently adopted by The United Methodist Church have "severely undermined and compromised" the school's longtime Methodist roots.

The United Methodist Church has upheld a ban on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy following a General Conference in late February.

In a statement posted to the school's website, the trustees said “Drew University has prepared individuals for the ministries of the Church for over 150 years. We have trained bishops, superintendents, general secretaries, and pastors to serve throughout the world."

The campus also houses the United Methodist Archives and History Center.

“The University will not support or enforce Church policies that discriminate against anyone. We will continue to educate and train leaders from all backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities," the trustees said.

New Jersey is home to roughly 540 Methodist churches, while 2% of adults in the state identify themselves as Methodist, as reported by NJ.com.

The Board of Trustees called it a "sad time" for the University, which was established in 1867 as a seminary. Joining Drew Theological School, the College of Liberal Arts began in 1928 as a small college for men. Drew became coeducational during the 1940s and grew significantly in the 1960s.

Drew University now includes the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies. It has an enrollment of more than 2,000 students and 148 full-time faculty members.

 

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