A Christian college professor who sparked nationwide debate — and scrutiny from her school — after donning a hijab and saying that Muslims and Christians worship the same God will leave her post.
Wheaton College, outside of Chicago, and political science professor Larycia Hawkins have reached a confidential agreement in which they will “part ways,” the college said in a statement Saturday.
“Wheaton College sincerely appreciates Dr. Hawkins’ contributions to this institution over the last nine years,” the college’s president, Philip Graham Ryken, said in the statement. “We are grateful for her passionate teaching, scholarship, community service and mentorship of our students.”
The controversy began when the tenured professor received attention in Christian media outlets after announcing she would wear a traditional head scarf, known as a hijab, through the Christmas Advent season. She said she started wearing the hijab as part of a personal effort to show solidarity with Muslims, who have faced backlash after last year’s mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.
The college, located in Chicago’s western suburb of Wheaton and one of the most prominent Christian colleges in the country, said it had no position on her decision to wear a head scarf. Administrators raised concerns about subsequent comments she made on her Facebook page, in which paraphrased comments from Pope Francis that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.