Overview

HOLDINGS: [1]-A breach of contract claim by the dean of a theological seminary against the university that terminated her employment was not barred by the First Amendment ministerial exception, even though for purposes of the exception she was a minister and the university was a religious group because the claim would not require the court to wade into doctrinal waters. The university claimed that the dean was terminated for insubordination, not for religious reasons, and there were triable issues as to whether she received the protocols that formed the basis of the insubordination allegation; [2]-The dean’s tort claims were barred by the ministerial exception because the statements that were alleged to have been defamatory, the invasions of privacy, and the actions causing distress were all part and parcel of the reasons for and process of terminating the employment.

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Outcome

Reversed in part and affirmed in part.