The sun, which has never set on Southwestern Seminary, today began to rise again.
From SWBTS — May 30, 2018
During the May 30, 2018, Executive Committee meeting of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) Board of Trustees, new information confirmed this morning was presented regarding the handling of an allegation of sexual abuse against a student during Dr. Paige Patterson’s presidency at another institution and resulting issues connected with statements to the Board of Trustees that are inconsistent with SWBTS’s biblically informed core values.
Deeming the information demanded immediate action and could not be deferred to a regular meeting of the Board, based on the details presented, the Executive Committee unanimously resolved to terminate Dr. Paige Patterson, effective immediately, removing all the benefits, rights and privileges provided by the May 22-23 board meeting, including the title of President Emeritus, the invitation to reside at the Baptist Heritage Center as theologian-in-residence and ongoing compensation.
Under the leadership of Interim President Dr. Jeffrey Bingham, SWBTS remains committed to its calling to assist the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by biblically educating God-called men and women for ministries that fulfill the Great Commission and glorify God.
Further, the Seminary stands against all forms of abuse and grieves for individuals wounded by abuse. Today, Dr. Bingham made it clear that SWBTS denounces all abusive behavior, any behavior that enables abuse, any failure to protect the abused and any failure to safeguard those who are vulnerable to abuse. Additionally, Dr. Bingham called for the SWBTS community to join the Body of Christ in praying for healing for all individuals affected by abuse.
4 thoughts on “Our long denominational nightmare is over . . .”
Let the healing begin. Currently there many individuals who are wrestling with the hurt that they experienced during their seminary training. Patterson leaves behind a legacy of authoritarianism that is much more toxic than the liberalism he fought in the “Battle for the Bible”. SWBTS is in a state of decline in terms of enrollment that has created a severe financial crises. The leadership of the trustees needs to be evaluated as they have made numerous questionable decisions. In addition, there are concerns for the future direction of the seminary as to where, under new leadership, it will stand with regard to the free will vs. predestination continuum.
Unfinished business: making sure Patterson doesn’t speak at the Dallas convention.
If someone wanted to sabotage SWBTS and leave it in ruins I don’t know if he could have done a better job than Patterson. That guy took a school that is in the fourth largest metro area in the U.S. and decimated it. I’m not sure how long it will take for Bingham to lead SWBTS to recovery. Patterson’s legacy is one of incompetency and the destruction of SWBTS and turning a blind eye to a homosexual child molestor for the sake of a tertiary doctrine and he hates women. Jesus spoke about people like Patterson; he received his earthly rewards and we know what Jesus says about the other part…
Sometimes people are in charge just because they are in charge.
One of the factors that led to the decline in student enrollment at SWBTS had to do with President Patterson’s firm commitment to an “on-campus in-class” education model during a time when remote Internet-based education was changing the face of theological studies. Ben, back in your 2003 paper you even discussed–in other and so many words–the need for seminaries to deliver education to students where they were at rather than demand they move to a bricks-and-mortar campus. Even though SWBTS has had an Internet-based presence for many years (led by passionate and far-sighted overseers), and seems to have made a bigger commitment in recent years, President Patterson never believed in it. The manifestation of his outdated and ineffective educational philosophy was the erection of the MacGorman Chapel, you know, the building with the Islamophilic (is that a word?) prayer tower and all those stained glass windows of living people. Really, there was no practical need for such a huge facility to serve a (declining) student population that failed to fill the existing chapel week in and week out. The millions upon millions of donor dollars spent on this and other unnecessary buildings during the Patterson years were, in my opinion, a waste of time, money, and energy during a period of time when prospective theology students were flocking to on-line education. Maybe SWBTS can find leadership that will be able to articulate and cast a vision for student enrollment that addresses the needs and realities of the 21st century instead of the defunct and wasteful early-to-mid-20th century ideas that governed it over the past 15 years.
Is it over? What will the minions do in Dallas? What will be the revenge factor be?
I was at SWBTS on the day Dr. Dilday was fired. The pain was palatable. The grief was real but Dr. Tolar and the gracious Christian faculty saw us through those dark days. Is there such a support system for Dr. Bingham? Will Patterson be as gracious as Dilday was in the days to come? Will the trustees find a reconciler like Ken Hemphill? Or will they recreate the same mistake they made in 2003?