Last updated: July 20, 2015, 10:18 pm
MidAmerica Nazarene University recently relieved Randy Beckum of his role as Vice President, although he retains his position as the school’s chaplain.
The reasons for this move by the school are somewhat unclear. The official announcement from the school suggests that they wanted to allow him to focus more on his chaplaincy, although recent events at the school cast doubts on that assertion. Many have suggested that he was relieved of duty in response to a sermon regarding non-violence that he delivered to the student body about 2 weeks prior to his demotion.
The discussion of Beckum’s seeming-demotion has overwhelmed my Facebook feed and many of my friends seem to be scrambling for more information, so I want to present as many relevant resources as I have been able to find.
- The blog post by Blake Nelson that seems to have sparked the discussion.
- Blake Nelson’s transcription of the official MNU statement.
- MNU’s student newspaper’s story on Beckum’s change of position.
- MNU’s student newspaper’s transcription of Beckum’s controversial sermon.
- An editorial from MNU student Joshua Brisco evaluating the current student climate of the school
- A statement from the MNU President in response to the controversy
- A call for transparency from MNU alumnus Shannon Greene (she’s my wife, by the way)
- An article in the Kansas City Star bringing regional attention to the concerns
- A Change.org petition for Beckum to be reinstated into his VP role at MNU
- Examination of Beckum’s public statement and President Spittal’s response
- An article in the MNU student newspaper written by faculty member Mark Hayse on the politics of chapel
- The complete text of Beckum’s public statement.
- A Facebook group has been set up to promote an endowment fund in Randy Beckum’s honor. The group describes its mission: “to send a powerful message that financial influence and pressure has no place in influencing what “kind” of Gospel message is preached in our churches.” (You can give to this fund directly through the Church of the Nazarene Foundation.)
You can watch the original sermon in its entirety below.
A group of alumni, friends, family, and current students sent in videos from all over the world in a message of encouragement for Randy Beckum. Here is that video:
My goal is that this post serves as a central place for relevant information and productive conversation. If you have information that I’ve missed and you feel should be listed here, please leave a comment. Please note that, since this has become a heated discussion on social media, I will be closely monitoring the comments. I will not tolerate hatefulness or name-calling. Let’s lead with love.