Dr. Paige Patterson Is Completely Out From SWBTS
I reported on Dr. Patterson’s removal as President. I said then that Dr. Patterson was out from SWBTS. The situation has since escalated. From the latest report of the SWBTS Board of Trustees Executive Committee:
The “handling of an allegation of sexual abuse against a student” happened while Dr. Patterson was president of “another institution.” That institution would be Southeastern.
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.
As Christianity Today notes:
The executive committee stated today that it had confirmed information regarding reports that Patterson mishandled a rape allegation in 2003 while he served as president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).
Wade Burleson has more details about that allegation.
The “resulting issues connected with statements to the Board of Trustees” probably includes statements that were made during that 13-hour session before Patterson was removed as President and promoted to President Emeritus. Apparently, it included statements to cover up allegations of sexual abuse at Southwestern. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on this.
Southwestern did the right thing here. However, Dr. Paige Patterson is still scheduled to speak at the SBC Annual Meeting in Dallas in June.