"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Information Begins to Trickle In From SWBTS

Dr. Van McClain, chairman of the Board of Trustees at Southwestern Theological Seminary, has sent an email to anyone who inquires about the Dr. Klouda issue. That email contains the following statement about my Klouda post: "the blog is filled with inaccuracies."

Upon reading Van's public statement, I immediately called him. It has not been my privilege to meet Van. Several people to whom I sent the Klouda post prior to making it public offered factual corrections, but Van was not one of them. Paige Patterson himself had not offered any corrections either, though he was on the list of people to whom I sent the post prior to publication. Since Van seemed concerned enough about 'inaccuracies' to speak of them in general terms to a newspaper, I felt it appropriate to contact him by phone to find out more details. His secretary said Van was unable to receive my call, so I emailed him last Friday and asked him the following four questions:

(1). Did you vote for Sheri Klouda to teach Hebrew at Southwestern
Theological Seminary in 2002?

(2). Why do you now believe that she is not qualified to do so? Is it really the 'statement of faith' (please show me where the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 says a woman can't teach a man Hebrew, or theology, or doctrine), or is it the narrow view of President Patterson that now guides you?

(3). Have you had any formal or informal discussions with Dr. Patterson about joining the School of Theology, teaching in the position vacated by Dr. Klouda?

Van, this next one is the big one:

(4). Would you please, in print, tell me where I am wrong in my post?

Van Mclain emailed me back the following day, Friday, January 19, with the following one sentence email, dated Friday, January 19, 2007:

Dear Wade,

I have had neither any formal or informal discussions with Dr. Patterson about joining the School of Theology or teaching in the position vacated by Dr. Klouda. Nor am I seeking any faculty position at Southwestern.

Van McClain

I responded immediately, thanked him for his email, and then closed by saying,

"Van, thank you for your answer to one of my questions. I counted four questions, however, and must have missed your response to the other three."

Today, four days after my last email to Van and five days after his public statement that my blog post on Klouda was filled with inaccuracies, I received this one sentence explanation of the 'inacuracies' in my Klouda post from Van McClain.

"The vote for Klouda was not unanimous."

I assume Van means the vote to hire Dr. Klouda as a full faculty member of the school of theology in 2002. I received my information regarding Sheri's hiring from the Baptist Press articles, and a sitting SWBTS trustee at the time of the vote. I realize that sometimes there are discrepancies regarding vote totals (i.e. 'the vote totals for the new IMB policies'), but if the vote was taken in the plenary session, there should be some record of the total. I have a call into Dean David Allen, who was on the SWBTS Board of Trusteees at the time Sheri was hired, and to Ken Hemphill, the President of SWBTS at the time. Once someone shows me the vote total I will be happy to take out the word unanimous if, indeed, that was not the case.

I am grateful for Van's response, and I look forward to further information forthcoming from him and President Paige Patterson regarding the reasons for the President's refusal to allow Dr. Klouda to come before the board of trustees for tenure review and defense. There may be some uncomfortableness with this issue being addressed in the public arena, but unlike some who believe a closed door policy is best in SBC denominational work, I am of the firm opinion that open doors, transparent communication, and a high degree of accountability is essential for all Christian ministries, especially those in the Southern Baptist Convention. The major questions which still must be answered include these:

(1). Is it an ethical, moral or just action to remove a woman from Southern Baptist service as a professor of Hebrew simply because she is a woman, particularly when the institution who hired her conferred upon her the very degrees necessary to fill the position she held, and in light of her outstanding service and accomplishments in that particular field?

(2). Some may argue that Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary had 'a momentary lapse of parameters' when SWBTS hired a woman to teach Hebrew in 2002, but then the question becomes, 'Were the trustees who hired Dr. Klouda informed of the effort to remove Dr. Kluoda, or did the President take this action by himself, based upon his 'opinion' that women should not teach in the theology department,'?

(3). How can we not challenge those who suggest that Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is a church and Dr. Sheri Klouda is a pastor? Is not SWBTS an institution of higher learning, and is not Sheri Klouda an educator? Are we seriously saying that a woman cannot teach a man Hebrew, cannot teach a man to exegete the Bible for himself, or instruct him in theology? Is this the direction we desire our convention to head? Is our ecclesiology so messed up in the Southern Baptist Convention that we call a seminary a church? (wink: I couldn't resist that last question).

(4). Does this action against Sheri Kluoda, without trustee knowledge or approval, violate institutional bylaws or policy, and if it does, will SWBTS face problems with future accreditation or legal action if it is not corrected?

On a good note, we have raised several hundred dollars for Dr. Klouda and her family to help them during their financial hardships. If you would like to contribute to the Dr. Sheri Klouda fund, please contact Emmanuel Baptist Church, Enid or Upland Community Church, 439 W. Berry Ave, Upland, IN 46989 (Sheri's church in Indiana).

God's people should watch out for their own, and Southern Baptists should take care of their own. I personally believe Sheri Klouda should be given her job back, but right now it is one step at a time.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


martyduren said...

First one to comment.

martyduren said...

Trickle is a very generous word. Drop by drop is more like it.

Wade Burleson said...


Wade Burleson said...

At least I didn't misspell trickle.

Wes Kenney said...


I may be wrong (which is why I'm asking), but I seem to remember you writing that Dr. Patterson had given personal assurance to Dr. Klouda that he would take no action to change her status as a tenure-track professor. Is this a true recollection on my part?

Wade Burleson said...

Wes, unless you were present in the room with Dr. Patterson and Dr. Klouda it could not be a true recollection on your part. :)

Why don't you ask Dr. Klouda if it is a true recollection on her part.

She told me it is.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for researching and presenting information about this disturbing issue. I am always puzzled that the boards elected by our state and Southern Baptist onventions become obsessed with secrecy, and like you I think transparency would bring positive results.

When I check out your posts, I find that your research is thorough and your reports trustworthy. (I taught basic research methods at the undergraduate and graduate levels for a quarter of a century.) I also appreciate that you issue retractions if you find that either your facts or your conclusions were erroneous.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...


I have a question concerning the 'slippery slope' that Dr. Patterson's view of women's proper roles:

Can a women who is trained to be a biblical counselor by a Southern Baptist institution counsel couples?

Since a man would be in the room, would the female counselor be permitted to counsel from scripture?

Wade Burleson said...


Call me. Tell me who you are and where you pastor.

I am thrilled for you to post comments on my blog, but from now on it will need to be out from the shadows of anonymity. Periodic comments by anonymous posters are fine. You have commented several hundred times on my bog. It's time you were known by others who read your words.

God loves men, and women, of courage and conviction. I am sure you are one, but until you prove it, there will be no more posts from you allowed.



Wade Burleson said...

Great questions anonymous. I'll ask Volvann to give his opinion once he reveals where he ministers to people.


James Hunt said...


Using your application of the passage you quoted, I guess it's never appropriate for leaders to be called on the carpet for deeds done quietly or publically that shouldn't have been done at all?

Perhaps using your application of this text one might be tempted to scold Christ for His "pesky" discord sown in the Temple courts. The leaders of the Temple thought it okay to have God's house something other than a house of prayer. They had inadvertently turned it into a den of thieves.

Whereas PP should not be compared to to the Pharisees, scribes and other Temple leaders of Jesus' day, there should be still room for accountability for actions that go beyond scriptural and agreed upon (read BF&M,2000)parameters ...don't you think?

Anonymous said...

How about buying Dr. Klouda's house for IMB personnel to use while stateside? Just a thought.....

volfan007 said...


i didnt apply the verses at all. i simply quoted them. the Lord can use His Word to speak to hearts however He sees fit.


That Jeremy Guy said...


I was the one who posted the anonymous questions about female counselors. I asked this issue because might actually has an impact on mine and my wife's future.

We are considering attending either Southern in Louisville or Southeastern in Wake Forest. My wife is feeling called into biblical counseling. If Dr. Patterson's opinion of scripture becomes the standard, then my wife would not be able to counsel couples.


Bob Cleveland said...

We all dance around with theological discussions and other words that I never recognize, but somebody ought to say that what SWBTS appears to have done is ungodly and outrageous and the fact that it was done under the cloak of "theology" is the most egregious part, of all, to me.

In light of Moses' denial of entry into the promised land for striking a rock instead of speaking to it, I cannot help but feel God will swat the SBC and SWBTS with a gigantic cast-iron flyswatter if they don't fix this quick. They surely deserve it, if appearances are correct.

Could this be another result of the SBC's refusing to deal with the IMB Trustee matter as was requested 7 months ago, about which someone warned them that God might simply remove Himself from the scene and let them all go right along, if they didn't?

It makes sense to me. Sadly.

Wes Kenney said...


My question was whether you had written that this personal assurance had been given; I couldn't remember if you had said that specifically.

Thanks for answering.

Anonymous said...

Reading your post and the comments over the past several days made me think of a story I read about D.L. Moody.

Apparently, he was asked to moderate a debate between R.A. Torrey and George Adam Smith. The issue concerned a disagreement about which Old Testament passages referred to Christ. During the debate, Torrey unleashed a number of personal attacks against Smith. Smith, on the other hand, stuck to the debate and refused to respond to the personal attacks against him.

Although Moody did not have a great deal of formal theological education and could not understand much of the debate, he finally said, "It is plain that the accused knows the Bible better than the accuser. Let's pray." Moody understood the most important issue was not who saw Christ in the Old Testament, but who demonstrated Christ in the present.

Over the years, there have been many, many Texas Baptists who have refused to support the "conservative resurgence", not because they ever doubted the complete truthfulness of Scripture or were not conservative, but because they could not support the way Paige Patterson fails to demonstrate Christ in his actions.

Jesus said, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets." What was done to Dr. Klouda was wrong. Thanks for speaking up about it.

Greg Hicks said...

"the blog is filled with inaccuracies" equates to "the vote for Klouda was not unanimous" ?

The level and frequency of public misinformation distributed over the last year by those who are working to narrow the parameters makes it impossible for me to give credibility to anything they say.

Rob said...


Don't you know that's the M.O. from the ones that hold power?

They expect the statements that come from them to be accepted without question.


Keep up the good job of striving to keep denominational business open and available to all.

Roger Simpson said...


I also believe Volfan should make himself known. He comments on your blog all the time and since he is evidently a pastor in an SBC chruch I believe he should "take a stand" on what he is saying rather than come on here under a pseudoname.

I believe you are doing the right thing to revoke Volfan's comment privledges pending his willingness to come on here under his real name.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Roger. His words were becoming more vitriolic, and I'm not sure he was even aware of it. I think being known may dampen some of his rhetoric. If it does or doesn't, at least we will know who he is.

IMBLITS said...

Sometimes when a vote is taken and all present and voting vote the same way, "unanimous" will be used to describe the decision.But sometimes, when someone challenges that conclusion by pointing out that all eligble voters were not present the term "unanimous" is deemed inappropriate.

Batchaps said...

It's very sad to read this; I know PP did the same to Karen Bullock. And as a SWBTS grad, (I'm glad I can meet Les's criteria) I can say that Dr. Bullock was by far the most influential prof on campus, not because of her knowledge, rather, it was her imitation of Christ through her words and actions. It sounds as though Dr. Klouda and Dr. Bullock were from the same Vine.

Batchaps said...

How do I get my pic to display with my comments?

Wade Burleson said...


Good word. Thanks.

Batchap. I'm not sure how to get your picture up!


Alycelee said...

Bob-I think you just did (say it, thanks)

Wade, I too agree. While I almost never agree with Volfan, I do support his right to speak, but long long post, as an active member of this blog and others, he needs to come on out. No need to hide. Be brave!

I would like to commend you Wade and others, who are committed to exposing political agenda's and actions that are hurting innocent people. No one-no matter what side of the fence you reside should tolerate this.

Question: I'm looking up information about registering for the convention. I've never attended a national convention, only state and I can't wait. However I tried to access information about upcoming resolutions and was shocked to find out that can't be done. How in the world do we find out what we will be addressing?
Is there a place, or can we get one going for people who are submitting resolutions? What can we do to be prepared?

Roger D. Lee said...

It is a good day to be a Midwestern grad!!

Wade Burleson said...


Resolutions for the convention will not be released until the convention itself. They can be submitted (in fact, they now must be submitted) prior to the convention, but the resolutions committee will determine what resolutions we address. This is why that committee is important, and I suspect Frank Page will appoint a good one.


Lee said...

Both posts about Dr. Klouda were excellent, and well said. It also seems, from many of the comments on this blog, that you're gaining a reputation for exposing these kinds of things in Southern Baptist life. After a conversation about yet another similar decision in another SBC agency, made by execs without consulting those who would be affected by it, I heard the comment, "I wonder if we could ask Wade Burleson to put this on his blog."

However, I can appreciate the need for some people to remain anonymous. I've experienced what can happen when you express disagreement, even according to Biblical principles, with decisions made by those in power in Baptist institutions. There's a network out there that can reach right into local churches.

I appreciate courage, but I can also sympathize with those who want to take some time to carefully consider their words and actions.

Roger Simpson said...


In order to have your picture show up you have to have a JPG file with your picture. You can take a picture of yourself with a digital camera. Then you have to use some program - like Photoshop - to reduce the size of the file so it only is around 10K bytes or less. You have to "intentionally" choose a lower resolution than normal and you have to "intentionally" choose a logical size that is small (such as 2" by 3").

If you send me a JPEG of whatever picture you want to put up I'll process it since I am a software engineer (actually ex-software engineer from Silicon Valley) and I have all the tools. After processing it I'll send you back a small JPEG that you can use for your picture. Just update your blogger profile to the JPEG once you put it up on the web someplace.

If you don't have a website I could put your small JPEG up on my site I guess.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

batchap67 said...

Roger- Thanks; I updated my profile and hopefully this will work.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.....is it just possible that Dr. Klouda is only one of MANY who have been the victims of organizational abuse by the mis-use of power? (BTW,when will Wade be PLACED BACK on an IMB committee?) Are instances like this symptomatic of a much deeper dilemna? Could it just be that these abuses are reflective of a corporate failure to OBEY Jesus' KINGDOM model of SERVANT leadership? Are instances like this inevitable when Jesus' words in Matthew 20:25-28 are ignored? How did these actions minister to Dr. Klouda, Wade and others that we don't know about? Could it just be that our corporate need is for TANGIBLE expressions of ORTHOPRAXY rather than more statements about orthodoxy? Hmmmm?

G. Alford said...


“There's a network out there that can reach right into local churches.”

---INTIMIDATION--- From the “Power Brokers of the SBC”

And we wonder why so many of the younger generation of Baptist Pastors, Teachers, and Counselors are struggle with the decision of staying in the SBC or leaving for a safer harbor?

In my local association in north Florida six of our thirty Baptist churches on average are without a pastor at any given time… some have been without a pastor for a very long time and have all but given up on finding one. But hey let’s give the young men in our convention another reason to go somewhere else.

That is so sad Lee...

Grace to all,

Bowden McElroy said...


I hesitate to write this because it is pure rumor, but in the spirit of "feed(ing) one and watch(ing) how far it goes"...

Some would like to see counseling programs moved out of the school of education and into the the school of theology because counseling is seen as a pastoral function.

Whether that's true at any or all of our seminaries I don't know. Frankly, I'm not too concerned. If it doesn't happen, great. If it does, then there are other schools where one can get a counseling degree.

Michael said...

I think we should stop trustees from voting to appear unanimous after a non-unanimous vote. it seems deceptive.
and as I heard withholding information with the intent to mislead is the same as lying(even to create a good public image). to me that seems like lying.

Debbie said...

The reason I would like people wanting to leave to stay , while I understand, is that then it will get narrower and narrower. I believe the SBC worth staying for and changing. It's not easy. In fact it is very hard to stand up for right. But if we don't and leave, it will just continue happening to others with whom leaders disagree. More missionaries, more women, more Calvinists or whoever the issue would be after this would continue to be hurt. It would not end with people leaving. It would just be quicker to the next issue.

Steve A said...

One of y'all reminded me of ...

"I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem's darkest corners
to punish those who sit complacent in their sins.
They think the LORD will do nothing to them, either good or bad." Zeph 1:12 (NLT)

and, also Luke 14 where some fool just assumes he is to sit in the important spot and faces being reseated by the leader or host, and I want to ask, "How warm is your chair starting to get, Dr. Patterson?"

If the good Dr. Patterson had just been picked by an independent committee without all of his political/personal connections to others in the "conservative resurgence" having been so obvious, he might be more believeable; or, if the previous ouster of Professor Bullock hadn't already made him look bad.

Bro. Wade is still on the IMB B of T, right?

Steve Austin
Hoptown Ky

Anonymous said...

I recall listening to several student preachers in the required preaching classes while attending SWBTS as a MDivBL student during the early '90's. The two best speakers I remember hearing in class both were women--who apparently weren't preaching, though it otherwise sounded much like there were. No male speaker in the same classes did a better job than the two women I recall speaking to us from God's Word. Interesting.

David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Kevin Bussey said...


If there are inaccuracies why don't these entities respond on the blogs? Times are changing and the blogs are the new medium. I'm suprised that there is not a person who gives the statement from each seminary.

CB Scott said...


Stay the course. Do not stand down.


RM said...

I just happened to read the Southern Baptist Texan (newspaper of the SBTC) this morning and as expected, they rallied the wagons around SWBTS.

Interesting quote from theology dean, David Allen:

Allen told the TEXAN in an e-mail: “The Burleson article is not reflective of the hiring or termination practices at SWBTS. Legal, accreditation, and confidentiality reasons prohibit all of our seminaries from discussing details of personnel matters of this nature. Much of the information in the Burleson blog appears to me to come from secondary, even tertiary sources.”

Typical of the SBTC and SWBTS...

Wade Burleson said...

Hmm. Two thoughts.

I think they may be hardpressed to call Dr. Klouda secondary or tertiary.

But, even if there were others besides Dr. Klouda, I wish they could as easily ignore and dismiss secondary and tertiary doctrines as they do 'secondary and tertiary sources.'

By the way, I have a call in to Dean Allen and have yet to hear from him.

I'm sure he is a fine man, but both he and others in PP office need to realize it would be best if they responded to private queries before they have to respond publicly.

John Fariss said...

Re: pastors & others leaving the SBC for safe harbors:

When an organization is dysfunctional, or when it is dominated by dysfunctional ways of relating to others, THOSE WHO ARE THE MOST HEALTHY GENERALLY LEAVE FIRST. As a pastor most of whose ministry has been to troubled churches, I have seen this time after time. (One church I pastored was a 4 or 4.5 on the conflict scale, where 1 is healthy and 5 is when fistfights break out at business meetings.) This is not simply my opinion; based on my experience, it seems to be commonly held among those who serve as intentional interims and who consult in areas of conflict. Many aspects of SBC life have beciome dysfunctional; and we must first recognize this in order to do something effective to counter it. If we do not--the youngest and most healthy who are most engaged will leave, and those remaining will lead the SBC into self-destruction, or at least into irrelevance. It is already happening; and the longer we delay in addressing it, the greater will be the task of "fixing" it--no matter how much Scripture and proof-texting we wrap ourselves in.

Kevin Bussey said...


One thing I appreciate about you is you bring up issues without tearing down individuals. Thanks.

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Kevin,

I have often told my wife that the day I cannot speak to issues and be kind with those who disagree, regardless of their demeanor to me . . .

Wade Burleson said...

is the day I quit.

RM said...


Your Dad and I both think that you married way over your head but we also think your wife is blessed to have you as her husband. I know your churh is blessed to have you as their pastor!

We as fellow pastors are blessed to have you taking a stand and the manner in which you do it. You can be sure we will stand with you...

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks RM,

My hope is that this does not degenerate into 'sides.' There has been an injustice. Let's just correct it and move on.

RM said...


In your honest opinion, what do you think is the best way to go about correcting this injustice? I'd sure be interested in hearing your thoughts and wisdom on this issue.

Wade Burleson said...

Give Sheri her job back.


Anonymous said...


I am a current SWBTS student and I wanted to encourage you that there are MANY of us here supporting you and Dr. Klouda. Please know you have many praying for her as well as you.


Bob Cleveland said...


You didn't ask me, but apology and restoration would seem bare minimums. But there really isn't any way to unring that bell.

The other matters which scream loudly are just that. Other matters, and they are as serious as the dismissal was.

Dr. and Mrs. Milton A. Lites said...

For those who may be interested, a little bit of research will tell you a great deal about what is happening in the SBC. I found an article entitled "What is fundamentalism and why is it so dangerous?" Here is the link http://www.newreformation.org/fundamentalism.htm.
The article is as revealing as it is sobering. I have just begun to do research on the subject, and thought how interesting that this was the first article I found. We may wish otherwise, but so many of the descriptions fit the actions (or non-actions) of some current leaders.
I appreciate those of you who are doing your best to see that this is not the direction the SBC is heading.

Bob said...

Keep investigating!

farmboy said...

It has been interesting - well, maybe distressing is a more accurate word - to read all that has been written concerning Sheri Klouda's departure from SWBTS.

Those who have defended the administrators and trustees of SWBTS have generally invoked one of three strategies: 1) Scripture clearly teaches that a woman should not teach theology to men in a seminary setting. 2) Proper process is not being followed in questioning the administrators and trustees of SWBTS regarding this issue. 3) Even if there is strong reason to infer that Mrs. Klouda was forced out because she was a woman, no evidence exists to conclusively prove this in a court of law.

At best the above three points are tangentially relevant to the issue at hand. At worst they represent efforts to hide conduct that those raising these points know or should know to be wrong.

In April of 2002 the trustees believed that Mrs. Klouda merited an appointment as a faculty member at SWBTS. In June of 2004 the president of SWBTS told Mrs. Klouda that she did not and would not ever merit receiving tenure as a faculty member at SWBTS.

What changed in the intervening 2 years and 2 months? The differing views on the proper role for women in ministry that existed in April of 2002 still existed in June of 2004. The relevant sections of the BF&M that existed in April of 2002 still existed in June of 2004.
One change, Mrs. Klouda had two years worth of additional publications, teaching evaluations and grants. A second change, the president of SWBTS in April of 2002 was different from the president of SWBTS in June of 2004.

There are and there will continue to be different views on the proper role of women in ministry. Fully aware of these different views, the authors of the BF&M composed the relevant sections of the BF&M so that these different views could be accommodated. Had those authors chosen to they could have composed the relevant sections of the BF&M more narrowly.

The six SBC seminaries belong to the SBC. Fundamental fairness dictates that the policies at those seminaries reflect the range of positions found within the SBC. Fundamental fairness dictates that the policies in place at any one of these seminaries should not be subject to the views of the person who happens to occupy the president's office at a given time. Fundamental fairness dictates that "rules should not be changed in the middle of the game" when it comes to the treatment of seminary employees. Fundamental fairness dictates that this issue should not be about what is technically defensible. Instead, it's about doing what is right.

At the end of the day let’s not focus on whether something is legally defensible. Instead, let’s focus on whether something is fair and right. Let’s behave in such a way that the public revelation of what takes place in private is not a reason for concern.

Kelly Reed said...


Something significant came to me regarding this issue and the status of women at SWBTS.

I came to SWBTS in the fall of 1996. It wasn't long before God crossed my path with the woman who eventually became my wife, Vicky. She was an MDiv student and was able to finish her degree. She even took Preaching Lab with me. The late Dr. Spencer thankfully made sure that everyone understood there were women in the class and not to protest or fill their evaluations with harsh "no women" commentary. They were to take any complaints to him.

Anyway, I realized the other day that had conditions existed then as they do now, she probably wouldn't have come to SWBTS nor felt welcome in the MDiv school. Or worse, even though she was in Memphis, TN with a nearby seminary, her pastor may not have strongly recommended her going to SWBTS. I find myself struggling with this currently. Can I faithfully recommend any students considering a seminary education to SWBTS under its current leadership? with this situation, among others, I'm leaning toward no. And that is sad to say because I am proud to be a Southwesterner (thanks Dr. Naylor).

So under similiar conditions to today, I would not have met my wife nor had the children I do. My life certainly would not be the same, I probably wouldn't be the pastor I am today, and I know there are many things I would not have learned, if not for my wife and her insights into the Word of God.

Just a perspective. How just a few years changes things!


Anonymous said...

Can we officially call this great unpleasantness at SWBTS "Kloudagate?"

Greg Hicks said...

"Allen told the TEXAN in an e-mail: 'The Burleson article is not reflective of the hiring or termination practices at SWBTS'"

Since Wade's article was about how SWBTS handled Dr. Klouda specifically, not about hiring and termination practices at SWBTS generally, I need some help understanding what this means.

Is David Allen (like the BOT Chairman) saying that Wade's article is inaccurate in what it states happened (if so, what is inaccurate?) or does he mean that the actions taken against Dr. Klouda are not reflective (as in inconsistent with) the hiring or termination practices at SWBTS?

Greg Hicks said...

And those of you who were dogging Wade about not going through the proper channels - are you contacting David Allen, Van McClain, Paige Patterson, et. al. to ask why they are not responding in a timely manner - if at all - to his inquiries when he follows what you have described as the "proper channels"? Have you asked them why they are going public with their comments - which incidentally they have yet to back up with facts - before contacting him privately?

Kate said...

For those that say this should not be public, but considered "behind closed doors", didn't Jesus have something to say about what takes place in the dark festers, but what is brought to Light is exposed and cannot remain? It is high time we as Christians started exposing the evil in our midsts,,, from mistreatment at a seminary to mistreatment in a home.... thanks Wade. This blog has been very helpful to me as my husband and I struggle with our own SB church.

Wade Burleson said...

Greg and Kate,

You both make some solid points. I would be interested in responses from those who disagree.

Kelly Reed said...


How do you see this incident affecting student enrollment at the Masters and Doctoral levels?

Do you know the change in enrollment (percentages) in the last few years?


Wade Burleson said...


I do not know the percentages regarding enrollment changes. That is an interesting question.

My major concern is that the internal policies and bylaws regarding tenure track professors have been violated -- all in an attempt to put women in their 'proper' place. There are those who are saying a seminary can do anything it chooses. That's just not right.

A seminary could lose her accreditation if proper procedures were not followed regarding faculty. A couple of people have emailed to tell me that I am the problem because I now have endangered SWBTS's accreditation.

My response? There is something really unhealthy in an organization when the messenger of the problem becomes the problem and not the problem itself.

Debbie said...

Wade said: "My response? There is something really unhealthy in an organization when the messenger of the problem becomes the problem and not the problem itself."

Exactly. It goes back to doing things behind closed doors. If something is the right thing to do, even light shining should not be unwanted.

volfan007 said...

why would it matter if the enrollment went down or not? if someone is doing whats right, then that should be what matters. if its not right for a woman to be teaching men theology...the bible...in a public setting where they would be seen as the authority, then we should not allow it....whether the enrollment went up or down.

i know of a large church in texas that has a huge crowd every sunday, but the preacher doesnt preach the Word. its not a church that i would want to be a member of, nor would i recommend anyone going there. but, they do get huge crowds, and the crowds get thier ears tickled every sunday.

david worley

volfan007 said...

and yes, i am related to darryl worley...the country singer. thats usually the next question i get.


Wade Burleson said...

Thanks David,

Welcome back. I appreciate you and your willingness to identify yourself.

You are always welcome to comment, even when you disagree. :)

In fact, I would say particularly when you disagree. Our convention works best when we have people of varied opinions who respect and honor one another in Christian love.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I thought you were an IMB trustee. Are you also a SWBTS trustee? Why is this your business? Let Dr. Patterson and SWTBS handle this matter.

Anonymous said...

Patterson: Women are treasured by God, have high calling

Oct 25, 2004
By Gregory Tomlin
Baptist Press

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--There were rumors that women would not be allowed to take classes with men at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary when Paige Patterson became president just over a year ago. In fact, there were rumors that women would be drummed out of the theology school altogether.

Patterson said he knew he would have to speak to the rumors one day. “But I sort of enjoyed watching the rumor mill work for a year,” the Texas seminary president said in chapel Oct. 19. “Every once and awhile I’ve been known to feed one and watch how far it goes.”

Patterson said he purposefully scheduled a discussion of the issue of women in ministry because others often misrepresent his views on the subject, calling such misrepresentation a “diatribe and lie of the left.”

“No Bible-believing, evangelical Christian and follower of Jesus Christ has ever believed anything else other than that women are equal with men,” Patterson said.

Patterson said that the story of creation in Genesis 2 and the Apostle Paul’s words to his young protégé Timothy in 1 Timothy 2 demonstrate the equality of women in creation and their assignment in the body of Christ.

In Genesis 2, God paraded all of creation in front of the man he had created and watched as Adam named the creatures. But God said it was “not good under any circumstance” that there was not another special creation like the man, Patterson said.

“By the time all those animals had been named and viewed, it was apparent to Adam that each one had a suitable helper. He was the only one in the world that was alone. God was preparing his heart for a wonderful blessing that was about to happen to him,” Patterson said.

God caused Adam to sleep deeply and then He took part of Adam’s “side” -- not necessarily his “rib” -- to fashion the first woman. Patterson said the word used to describe the creation of the first woman means to “beautifully and artistically construct.”

“I wish I had $5 for Southwestern Seminary every time a well-meaning preacher or Sunday School teacher said it, but it is not true that women have one more rib than men,” Patterson gibed. “If I am in a car accident and lose one arm, it doesn’t mean all of my kids are going to be born one-armed. The genetic code is in place.”

Beyond what is contained in Scripture, Patterson said there is no way to know for sure what Adam thought of his helpmate when he awoke. “What do you think he said? We don’t have it all recorded here folks. But we have what is necessary for faith and salvation and our understanding of creation.”

Genesis 2:23 records Adam’s description of Eve as “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, and she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.” Patterson said that Adam was saying, “Whatever it is I am, there is another one ... with certain notable improvements.”

“Every woman, like every man, is made in the imago Dei, in the image of God. Every woman has the right and responsibility to come to God for herself. Every woman, like every man, has the right to study God’s Word and apply it to her life. Every woman is fully equal and quite a lot of them more than equal to any man I ever saw,” Patterson said.

Patterson asked if the equality of women with men means that a woman can do anything she wants to do in the church.

For the answer, he turned to 1 Timothy 2:9-15. Patterson described the passage as “one the most hated in all of Scripture” because it runs counter to an American culture that drives women to succeed in business and other endeavors while spending less time concentrating on family.

“What can a woman do in the church?” Patterson asked after reading the passage. “Anything she wants to. Anything she wants to that is not expressly prohibited in Scripture.”

The portion of the passage referring to submissiveness drives many people away because they assume submissiveness indicates a lower order of being, Patterson said. But there are examples in society that disprove such thinking, he said, noting, for example, that in an encounter with a police officer, he and the officer would be equal before the Lord.

“However, he is above me,” Patterson said. “God gave him an assignment that affects me and made him a minister of God to correct my evil ways. I am obligated to submit to him, not because he is a superior human being, but because his assignment from God is such that it is.”

Patterson said the same principle applies to the relationship of children and their parents. The children are fully equal to their parents as human beings, he said, but placed by God under their parents’ supervision and authority so they will grow into godly, respectable citizens.

“It is in the obedience that we all have to somebody that we learn how to obey God. That is why God placed those positions of authority all throughout society to begin with,” he said.

Jesus exemplified this principle during His earthly ministry, Patterson noted. “Ontologically, the Son is always equal with the Father, but from eternity past He is positionally subordinate to the Father and so shall He ever be. If it is not too good for Jesus, it is not too good for us. Every human being on the face of the earth is accountable to somebody.... We are told to submit ourselves to those to whom He has made us accountable.”

The same rule, Patterson said, is to be applied in the body of Christ, the church. Of the many attempts to explain what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote the passage about the submission and silence of women, Patterson said, “Oftentimes, the answer of the evangelical world is that a woman cannot serve as a senior pastor.”

“Would somebody please find that in the text? It is not in the text. That is not said. There is no mention of occupation in this text at all. This is not a question of occupation. It is a question of an assignment from God, in this case that a woman not be involved in a teaching or ruling capacity over men,” Patterson said. “It is a prohibition of a woman teaching or ruling over a man in the church,” which would necessarily mean that women cannot serve as pastors, he said.

The words of the apostle do not make any man a dictator, a supreme sovereign or a “be-all, end-all,” Patterson said. The words mean that men are responsible for the spiritual well-being of the home, he said.

“Wives are told, ‘Submit yourself.’ No one makes you do it. That’s a voluntary matter,” Patterson said.

“It means voluntarily to line up in the right order that God has given, and the husband is loving his wife sacrificially as much as Jesus Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, so that all the husband can think of is, ‘Honey, what can I do for you? What can I do to serve you? How can I make your life better?’ And all the time she is submitting herself to her husband and saying, ‘You just lead and, honey, I’ll follow.’ Would you tell me how any kind of fight could develop in that situation? It will just be heaven on earth. That’s all. God knew it and He wants the church to be an example of it. That is the reason He said ‘no’ to a woman having a ruling or teaching position over a man.”

Patterson said that revisionists approach the passage in Timothy and say, “Yes, that’s what it says, but.” Others, who see the passage as providing commentary on practices limited to a specific culture, believe it was meant only for that time. However, these overlook the inherent connection to the created order referenced in Genesis 2, Patterson said.

But the passage is very clear, Patterson said. The passage does not mean that a woman cannot say anything in church. “In that case, we would have Paul contradicting Paul. There is an appropriate time for women to pray and prophesy,” he said. Instead, the injunction for women to learn in “silence” means to have an attitude of meekness, respectability and godliness.

The role of women in the church, Patterson said, is bound up in the enigma Paul wrote about when he said that women would be “saved in childbearing” in 1 Timothy 2:15.

“She will find her greatest contribution and impact through the children she bears,” Patterson said. He said that many women do not view rearing children as an honorable profession. Many women who fill out paperwork write their occupation as “homemaker” in small letters.

“Ladies, the highest and noblest calling of God is mother and grandmother. Equal to men, yes, but do what God has called you to do,” Patterson said. “Write it in bold letters with a big magic marker.”

Patterson said he believes a seminary education is perfectly suitable for women. “Any woman who loves Jesus is welcome at this school. We have even established a full women’s studies program here. We will raise a generation of women committed to doing it God’s way. They will shake the world in ways a stumbling old preacher never could.”

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade doesn't need me to answer questions for him, but I'm going to answer anonymous' question anyway.

Dr. Patterson and the SWBTS trustees have already handled this. That's what put Sheri Klouda where she is now.

If we're to be part of the SBC, we need to take part, not just be part.

Anonymous said...

Is it OK with everyone that Ben Cole has now sent a letter to SACS regarding Southwestern? I would bet that a letter to ATS is going to follow. This is certainly a matter for the trustees and for the messengers of the SBC but was it necessary to get the accrediting agency involved? I understand if Mr. Cole does not have complete faith in the trustees of SWBTS but don't the messengers of the convention have the right to hear the case before the accrediting agency is called in?

B.L. said...

Hey Wade,

I wanted to make a statement for whatever it is worth. I am a student at SWBTS currently, as you’ll probably guess. I don't agree with what happened to Dr. Klouda or the idea that women shouldn't "teach men" don’t get me wrong. But I think something might need to be heard: Southwestern IN THE CLASS ROOM is an amazing place with extremely intelligent professors who absolutely care more about the preparation of current and future ministers of the great Gospel message than anything else that’s happening around them. Now, I certainly understand that SWBTS on the administrative and political levels [as if there's a dichotomy ;)] is a bit fragile, but I can tell you this much...Dr. Lee, Dr. Schatzmann, Dr. J. Taylor, Dr. J. Williams, Dr. Goff, and many others (these are just who I've personally taken) are much more interested in teaching the well needed facts than keeping women out of ministerial roles.

I may be well off subject here, but it just seems a bit like the term “SWBTS” is getting tossed around like a rag doll....and while parts of SWBTS’ leadership might warrant a little time “under the microscope,” it doesn’t change the fact that SWBTS is an incredible and Godly center for education.

More power to you on your quest for truth and to dismantle the unneeded “darkness” in the convention. I don’t feel that your intention is to scrutinize such an institution without a warranted reason. But I do hope you’ll highlight, if possible, some of the better aspects of SWBTS every so often...just so anyone who hasn’t been there won’t make an unnecessary assumptions based on a poor decision by the leadership of SWBTS. (for clarity, I certainly and absolutely do not intend to down-play the negative affects on the Dr. Klouda and her family in saying “poor decision”)

ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματος σου ἀδελφὸν,


Alycelee said...

It's rather hard to keep up with which Anonymous said what?
Is there anyway to know?
There is anonymous (press release)
by the way, Greg Tomlin is no longer with SWBTS and the last anonymous. I dont know who's talking :(

bryan riley said...

David/Volfan, thank you for deciding to identify yourself. We do well to discuss these issues, hopefully with grace and love, and thereby sharpen one another.

At the same time, I find it interesting that you, a few comments back in this string, are asking why would it matter if the enrollment went down or not, but on one of the earlier posts you went to great lengths to talk about how the SBC hasn't lost people.

CB Scott said...

Anony Guy,

Wade was, along with all that cooperate, a Southern Baptist long before he was a trustee of the IMB. Therefore, the happenings at SWBTS and all other SBC entities was, by accountability, his business long before he became specifically responsible and accountable to the rest of us for the IMB.

The question really is: are you aware of your accountability as a Southern Baptist?


Anonymous said...


do you support and/or agree with Ben Cole's decision to involve the accrediting agencies at this juncture?

Wade Burleson said...

Ben Cole does not ask me about what he should, or should not post, and neither do I ask him.

He is highly intelligent and does what he does for reasons that you will have to ask him.

I am simply trying to correct an injustice with Dr. Klouda. I have no opinion about notifying the accrediting agency, but I would be happy to remind everyone that our schools are obligated to abide by the rules, and any attempt to cover up ethical violations of policies and procedures should never be condoned.

If, as the chairman of the SWBTS has stated, nothing wrong has been done in the employment practices of SWBTS, then nobody should worry about anything to do with accreditation.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson said...


I agree that some wonderful professors and educators are employed at SWBTS and good things are happening.

Anonymous said...

No need to ask Mr. Cole his reasoning for sending the letter. It is obvious that he has the convention's best interest at heart. He doesn't seem to harbor any ill will toward Patterson at all. I hope no one questions the purity of his motives.

Anonymous said...


was that facitious? Kind of hard to tell in the locutionary language of computers.

Anon John

Anonymous said...


Kelly Reed said...


I'd agree with those concerns. They are justified. Mine was a different concern... that prospective students, pastors, missionaries will begin avoiding SWBTS. Or that pastors and alumni will not be able to recommend SWBTS as the place to get the best training in good conscience.

I read somewhere else, but if accurate, SWBTS has dropped from the #1 sized seminary to the #3 in just the last few years. I would like to confirm this if possible.

However, it is clear that due to this kind of leadership, the place and status of SWBTS in SBC life is declining. Not even the best professors can make up for that and I am saddened by it.


volfan007 said...


about the sbc numbers not going down...i was answering some women that said that the sbc was losing people by the thousands due to our conservative view of the bible. we are not losing people by the thousands. the sbc is a growing organism...not declining.

then, in regards to the seminary losing people comment....i am just saying that it doesnt really matter if they are losing people or not...if its over the right thing.

for example, if i preach on the virgin birth of Christ this sunday, and how important...essential...it is for us to believe that. and, 40 or 50 people say that its not, and if i dont quit saying that it is they will leave and form thier own church. and then, i preach that it is essential the next sunday and they leave. i might lose some attendance...but so what! i am staying true to the bible and to God. whether we have great attendance or not.

so, i was speaking to two different issues. you are trying to lump them both together.


Kelly Reed said...

Standing on the truth is vital and will at times turn people away in itself.

However, the one standing on the truth is responsible for the manner in which the truth is conveyed. If a preacher is standing for the truth of the Virgin Birth in such a way that he is so boring that he puts his wife on the front row, that's not the fault of the truth, but the one standing for it.

Or if a minister is so incredibly obnoxious, offensive, fire/brimstone, in-your-face, and people walk away or leave the church... are they rejecting the truth or the speaker?

If SWBTS wants to hitch the "truth" to this narrow interpretation, they could do that without creating an avoidance problem if they would do so without the arrogant, "my way or the highway", violating ethics, decency, or potentially the law.

If they could take this stand without doing those things then we might not be talking about this as fervently right now and future ministers would still be comfortable going to SWBTS, then alumni like myself, may still be able to recommend SWBTS is good conscience.

However, you couple this questionable "stand for truth" with the manner and excercise in which they are taking this stand, and you make me and others angry and unwilling to let it slide.

In this instance, the "truth" at stake is not nearly as at fault as the ones claiming to stand for it.


volfan007 said...


if swbts were to have women teaching theology, then you would turn me away, and all the young preachers that i might encourage to go there. i wouldnt want to go to a seminary where i would have to take a woman teaching theology to me. and, i wouldnt want to send young preachers there if they had to take women theology teachers. so, i guess it all boils down to who is going to feel welcome. all of us who believe 1 tim. 2, and hold to the historical position on that verse...as did calvin, gill, j. vernon mcgee, ironside, a.t. robertson, john mcarthur, etc.? or, those who believe that women should teach men?



Tim Batchelor said...


You state,

"I am simply trying to correct an injustice with Dr. Klouda."

I have not yet heard you offer one proposal that would "correct the injustice"

What exactly do you want done here?

Anonymous said...

You said: "(2). Some may argue that Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary had 'a momentary lapse of parameters' when SWBTS hired a woman to teach Hebrew in 2002, but then the question becomes, 'Were the trustees who hired Dr. Klouda informed of the effort to remove Dr. Kluoda, or did the President take this action by himself, based upon his 'opinion' that women should not teach in the theology department,'?"

This so called "momentary lapse" was not momentary at all. In fact, in the fall of 2005, only one professor taught the various sections of the Hebrew Exegetical Method class (which happens to be one of the most involved theology classes that I have taken in Seminary). This was well into Patterson's reign at the helm of SWBTS. In addition, there was one male professor who was denied the opportunity to teach Hebrew Exegetical Method that semester. From the stance that PP is currently taking, it can safely be assumed that he either (1) has had a change of heart regarding the role of women since 2005 or (2) was negligent in his duties at President of the seminary.

A Simple Seminary Student

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