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Denial of Tenure at Seminaries

Can a court resolve a professor's claim that he was improperly denied tenure?

• Can a civil court resolve a seminary professor's claim that he was improperly denied tenure? No, said a New Jersey appeals court. The professor had been hired to teach at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, an educational institution affiliated with the Reformed Church in America (the "Church"). The seminary was founded in 1784. Its purpose remains the preparation of "men and women for educational and faithful leadership in the church." It offers no secular degrees or courses of study. Every president has been an ordained minister of the Reformed Church, and all faculty and administrators are ordained clergy. The seminary is accountable to the Church, and subject to the supervision of the Church's Board of Theological Education. The seminary's policies regarding appointments, tenure, and dismissals, are set forth in a comprehensive faculty personnel manual. A dispute arose at the ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1991

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