Principia changes policy — Thank you everyone!

Equality at Principia

Announced on Principia’s website November 18, 2014:

November 18, 2014

Over the past several years, the Board of Trustees has been reviewing Principia’s practices regarding homosexuality in terms of admissions, community standards for living within the Principia community, and employment at Principia. We have prayed about, discussed, and considered this topic, especially within the context of the Purpose and Policies of Principia, as well as the writings of Mary Kimball Morgan, the founder of Principia, the works of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and the Bible. We have received input from a broad range of alumni, students, faculty, and staff, as well as parents and other friends of Principia, and we thank everyone for their prayers, as well as their thoughtful and heartfelt contributions.

Through our work on this topic, we have gained a heightened awareness of the broad claims of sensuality presented by today’s world, and we see that the greater challenge, regardless of any beliefs of sexual orientation, is to strive for dominion over all claims of sensuality in order to protect and to express the purity of man as the image and likeness of God.

In recent Board reports, we have encouraged all who were interested to prayerfully join the Board in considering the topic of moral and spiritual purity in all relationships, in challenging all forms of sensuality, and in raising thought to a more spiritual understanding of individual identity and relationships.

Principia continues its commitment to help all students rise above the claims of sensuality and understand themselves as the pure reflection of Spirit. That work is reflected in the commitments that Principia students, faculty, and staff are asked to make. By clicking on these hyperlinks, you can read the current College community commitment and Upper School pledge.

In light of Principia’s primary purpose to serve the Cause of Christian Science, the Board recognizes that sexual orientation does not prevent an individual from healing or making contributions to the growth of Christian Science around the world.

The Board approved the following statement to provide direction to the administration:

Principia demands that all students, faculty, and staff shall strive to rise above sensuality and seek to practice the highest standards of moral and spiritual purity in behavior and relationships. They shall abstain from premarital or extramarital sexual relations. This standard of behavior reflects Principia’s Purpose and Policies.

All students, faculty, and staff shall be perceived, welcomed, loved, and supported as spiritual ideas. They are expected to honor the community standards of moral and spiritual purity in relationships.

In terms of practices at Principia regarding admissions, community standards for living in the Principia community, and employment at Principia, we are directing the administration to establish consistent rules and regulations for students, faculty, and staff, regardless of sexual orientation.

Although not widely acknowledged, Principia’s history reveals that, for many years, homosexuals have been part of our community as students, faculty, and staff. With this direction to the administration, Principia welcomes all students of Christian Science and invites them to uphold our community standards in an atmosphere that establishes the highest standards of moral and spiritual purity in behavior and relationships.

Principia has a responsibility to recognize man as a spiritual idea and to provide an atmosphere conducive to such understanding. It also has a practical responsibility to protect members of the community from all forms of sexual aggression, both heterosexual and homosexual. All community members are entitled to a respectful, caring environment that is supportive of their individual growth. Any aggression, proselytizing, or harassment of a sexual nature is not acceptable at Principia.

To provide further information on what this Board directive to the administration will mean for practices at Principia, we have worked with the administration to prepare a list of relevant questions and answers.

Principia was founded by Mrs. Morgan to provide an unparalleled education for the sons and daughters of Christian Scientists. That work has not changed. We will continue to welcome students of Christian Science into our community; and we will continue to love, encourage, and challenge them to know and to understand their true selfhood.

With much love,

The Board of Trustees

Thank you to everyone who wrote letters, signed petitions and contributed in any way to helping get this policy changed.

There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of related correspondence on this that have been reviewed by Board members over the years, including letters, e-mails, text messages, and blog entries.

More details here: http://www.principia.edu/statement

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