North Park University pastor suspended for officiating gay wedding

CHICAGO -- The Evangelical Covenant Church has suspended the credentials of the campus pastor at North Park University for officiating at a same-sex wedding.

Reverend Judy Peterson, who has worked with the university for over 11 years, faces a church disciplinary hearing Friday that could make her suspension permanent. Peterson says she knew last year that she could face consequences for defying accepted church practices.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Peterson's credentials were suspended when a picture from the wedding ceremony surfaced on social media.

Thousands signed a petition that was created in the wake of Peterson’s suspension. It reads, in part: "We urge you to create opportunities for our entire denomination to engage in vital, respectful, and thoughtful conversations around human sexuality that includes LGBTQ individuals and their allies without fear of reprisal so we may become the healthy church Christ longs for us to be."

North Park University released a lengthy statement on its website about Peterson's suspension. It says: "We encourage ongoing prayer for Pastor Judy in this time of discernment and all parties seek to remain in dialogue."

You can read the university's full statement here.