A regional body of the United Presbyterian Church has boted against admitting graduates of the charismatic-oriented Melodyland School of Theology as candidates for the ministry in its 40 congregations in Orange and Los Angeles counties.
In addition, the presbytery of Los Ranchos "strongely discourages the employment of any student as an intern or program employee on the staff of any of its churches."
The Rev. Ray Heer, executive presbyter, stated that the resolution contained nothing "condemnatory or critical of the charismatic movement." He said that the presbytery "has no desire to be involved in controversy" and that it adopted the resolution to define its own policy rather than to criticize or condemn Melodyland policies.
Under United Presbyterian policy, Heer explained, "every presbytery has the authority to determine the approval of educational institutions that its candidates attend." He said a presbytery theoretically, could decide to bar candidates from a United Presbyterian seminary from ministering in its boundaries.
The Rev. J. Rodman Williams, president of Melodyland and a minister of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, said he regretted the presbytery's action and asserted that it was "not in harmony" with a resolution adopted at the 1970 General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church. He said that resolution recognized the validity of faith healing and speaking in tongues.
Melodyland School of Theology opened in Anaheim, Calif., in 1973 as the first school with a charismatic emphasis to offer a master's degree in theology. It operate a part of the Melodyland Christian Center, founded in1960 by the Rev. Ralph Wilkerson, or Assemblies of God minister.