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

"Throw Off the View of Women that Denigrates and Objectifies Them," Dr. Sheri Klouda's Story, Part III

Sheri Klouda was the Professor of Hebrew at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's School of Theology. She lost her job because the newly hired President of the SWBTS, Paige Patterson, believed that a woman should never "indulge in the exposition of Scripture," and no woman "should ever be in a position of leadership over men."

Patterson's unbiblical view of a man's inherent authority over a woman and a woman's unconditional submission to a man is a toxic belief system that harms women.

Sheri Klouda is evidence of this harm.

The Southern Baptist Convention which proclaims belief in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Scriptures, must begin comprehending that Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant and made it disappear (Hebrews 8:13) and He inaugurate a New Covenant (Agreement) with the world where leadership comes from humble service, not hubris status; from giftings of the Holy Spirit, not gender of the human race; and from God's appointment, not man's ambition.

Part One of Sheri's story  - "Deep Down I Was Scared" - can be read here.

Part Two of Sheri's story - "Patterson Must Apologise to Those He's Harmed"  - can be read here.

Part Three of Sheri's story - "Throw Off the View of Women that Denigrates and Objectifies Them" in her own words is found below.


Written by Sheri Klouda

In December of 2014, my husband passed away from esophageal cancer. My daughter graduated from Taylor University the following May, and was offered an incredible job with a new company starting up in Dallas. 

Despite the fact that I was a tenured professor at Taylor University, I made the difficult decision to move to Dallas with her and my grandson, who was 20 months old. My elderly grandmother was experiencing a lot of difficulty living alone in her house, so we moved in with her temporarily so we could help her and get established in the area. 

At the time, we had no idea that the job Abigail was offered would never materialize, and I had no idea it would be so difficult for me to find a job, essentially doing anything. After a month of living with my grandmother, she found it too stressful to have a toddler and two dogs living with her. We moved to a hotel, then some old family friends offered their home to us until we could find a place to live. After staying with them for three weeks, and spending hours applying for jobs and looking for a home to rent, it came time to move again and we settled into another hotel. 

Part of the problem centered on the fact that we did not have jobs, and could not show current income, so no one would rent to us, even though I had quite a bit of savings. After a week at another hotel, we decided that if we could not find a home in the next few days, that we would move back to Indiana. 

After taking a loan on my retirement, and agreeing to pay a year’s rent in advance, we finally found a place to live. Little did I know that I would be unable to find a full-time job for the next year and a half. 

I applied for every faculty job I could find anywhere in the United States. I called every connection I knew, and worked as an adjunct at a community college as well as taught part-time online. 

I served as a Regional Director for Museum of the Bible’s Scholar’s Initiative, and applied for secretarial positions all over the Metroplex. I even taught a seminar at Oxford during June of 2016. Abigail picked up jobs in the service industry. I could not even find a secretarial job. 

By December of 2016, I knew we didn’t have enough money to get through more than one more month. Two weeks before we ran out of money, I interviewed for a position as an Administrative Assistant at a Dallas church, where I continue to serve today.

I also continue to teach online occasionally, I am working on a few writing projects, and present papers when I have the opportunity and can afford to attend the professional meetings. But more importantly, I deal with the church’s people and their concerns daily, and that keeps me grounded in my faith.

I believe that I think the SBC is on the cusp of change. 

How they respond will speak volumes about where they go in the future. It can be a time of growth for them as they seek to meet the challenges of their faith in light of biblical teaching.

I will be disappointed in the Southern Baptist Convention if they cannot finally throw off the mantle of an arrogant leader who has historically espoused a view of women that denigrates them and objectifies them, who seems to reinforce the notion that they serve as a major source of wickedness and sin, and who dismisses their concerns as nonsense. 

I think that the Southern Baptist Convention has an opportunity here to separate themselves from Paige Patterson and his position, to stand firm, acknowledge and clarify their position regarding the respect and dignity of women, and spousal abuse in a clear and biblical manner so that there is no longer a question of tolerance in abusive relationships. 

This is the moment to define themselves and put away the assumptions concerning women that they appear to support by allowing Paige to represent them in a significant way.

I would also like to see the SBC actively support women in academic roles in their colleges and universities, particularly in biblical studies and theology. 

The difference between a local church and a university or seminary is very clear. I would like to see them elect more women to decision-making boards in order to give balance. There are many competent women in the SBC who would be an asset as a trustee of a seminary or Baptist university, women who hold doctorates and serve in ministry or corporate leadership positions.

 While I hold a complementarian view, I believe that the Southern Baptist Convention would serve its constituency well by carefully considering the roles of women in ministry, and seek to expand those roles in whatever way possible to meet contemporary needs. 

While I appreciate the recent statement of Steve Gaines, I would also like to see an official SBC statement on marriage and spousal abuse, biblically based and focused on the protection of women and children. Finally, I believe the Convention must emphasize transparency in cases of child abuse and insist on discipline and legal consequences for those who protect or conceal this behavior.



Scott Shaver said...

Bart Barber of Farmerville touts his integrity as an SWBTS trustee this morning in an article at SBCVoices.

"I have not commented outside the board and will not".

Very convienient for Mr Barber as his appointment to the SWBTS board as a paid employee appears to be a glaring conflict of interest.

Perhaps that is the issue opposed to any discussion surrounding Patterson that he doesn't care to discuss.

Scott Shaver said...

Both Mohler and Moore need to answer for their harboring of Mahaney's SGM.

Where are the questions for these guys?

Nathan Petty said...

So apparently Dr. Klouda's offense was that she was "Indulging in the exposition of scripture". Look up the definition of "indulge". Try to understand the attitude and mindset which would use that word in that context.

For this presumed "infraction" her life is thrown into turmoil. Her training is not redeemed to benefit students who considered her a gifted and effective teacher - male students who apparently did not share Patterson's fears and concerns.

We can thank God that such an attitude was not in a position of power when Eunice and Lois taught their son and grandson. Paul tells Timothy to "fan into flame the gift of God." What gift? The faith in Jesus, the Gospel, taught to a male by females.

May God guide those who are in positions of authority to understand the difference between servant leadership and the hubris which seems to be so prevalent.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to Dr. Klouda on many levels, having a child who was verbally abused in a marriage and who teaches, some on the college level.

The threads needing untangling: no matter the situation with Dr. Klouda's husband, finances, or personal life, they would have no bearing to most employers. That said, I am also old enough to remember when even though the SBC churches around us did not call women to be pastors women were allowed to hold any and every other office. I'm old enough to have been, had our church had Patterson for pastor, one of those that judged whether to call him, what to pay him, and when to fire him. Beyond that I won't address the firing of Dr. Klouda simply because from those offices I held, I know there is the possibility of "the rest of the story." I would want to know if Patterson objected to content being taught more than who taught it, and used gender as an excuse acceptable to those he was trying to convince.

In this I am neither pro Klouda nor pro Patterson.

Off topic and maybe really not so off topic, today on the treadmill I had opportunity to listen, Pastor Wade, to your sermon on Hebrews 8 up to verse 12. Hard to do the happy dance on the treadmill:) We butt heads on some issues but I do think you preach the "old time" Baptist faith I grew up with.

Which has me wondering this: how much of all the current kerfuffles in the convention do think trace back to either fundamentalist dispensationalism OR to this neo Puritan strand of Calvinism that is so popular? I can remember when Southern Baptists were neither and no, were not all a pack of rabid flaming liberals out to destroy the Bible either.

Is the root problem a faulty systemic theology?


Anonymous said...

systematic not systemic. crazy autocorrect:)

Anonymous said...

I have no respect for Paige Patterson first, because he lies through his teeth. He make promises to people and then turn around and break them under the name of being "biblical." His doctrine is not sound at all though he espouses being a fundamentalist. The second matter that he is off on is his teaching on tithing. Tithing can't be taught in this dispensation and if it is where are the sermon on the seventh year release of deb?. Right there proves he teaches a doctrine of exploitation. That's enough to get him removed. This Pharisee needs to step down now.

Anonymous said...

From the OP: "The difference between a local church and a university or seminary is very clear."

PP, however, does not get this at all. There are several respects in which he has SWBTS more like a church than an institution of higher learning: Hosting evangelical events that are more appropriate for the local church (and some not appropriate at all like giving away guns as door prizes), building a baptistery in the chapel (which has the unfortunate side effect of making the foyer smell like chlorine), treating chapel hour like it is 11:00 Sunday, requiring doctrinal conformity (are there any Calvinists left on Seminary Hill) of the faculty like a pastor might of his staff, etc. The most egregious is, as Dr. Klouda alludes to, extending his understanding of roles intended for the local church to the academic setting.

Scott Shaver said...

If it ain't local with a sheherd and co-laboring fellow priests, it ain't a "church". All the councils, agency heads, seminary professors and presidents with their boards and annual meetings and newspaper connections...notwithstanding.

Rex Ray said...


“Judge Dismisses Gender Discrimination Suit Against Baptist Seminary”

“…a female professor, Sheri Klouda, sued Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and its president, claiming the school had removed her for gender reasons.”

“Klouda claimed Patterson assured her “personally” that her tenure-track position was secure. She alleged that termination of her employment was based upon Patterson’s “social and/or personal beliefs” and that she was removed without any cause other than her gender.”

“The defendants’ attorneys argued that the court had no jurisdiction because Klouda’s tenure denial was on constitutionally protected religious grounds.”

The judge agreed that the case was a religious matter.

Scott Shaver said...

Shepherd. Spelling

Scott Shaver said...

An "academic" institution that seeks societal academic ranking and credibility by agreeing to certain standards can, at the same time claim to be a "church" regardless of interpretive distortion.

Bob Cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Cleveland said...

I've never seen anyone state that it was God's hand over Job that fostered his position as "..a man of perfect integrity who feared God and turned away from evil". When the hand was withdrawn, we know what happened.

Perhaps it is, that God's hand of protection was what fostered the wonderful things that were done by and through the SBC. And just maybe that hand has been withdrawn, for cause, that is fostering all the unpleasantness we see in the SBC, now.

Methinks SBC 2018 is way more important than we know....

Anonymous said...

As you wrote above about the SBC, I'd like to say about Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio:

"I will be disappointed in [Cedarville University] if they cannot finally throw off the mantle of an arrogant leader who has historically espoused a view of women that denigrates them and objectifies them, who seems to reinforce the notion that they serve as a major source of wickedness and sin, and who dismisses their concerns as nonsense.

"I think that Cedarville University has an opportunity here to separate themselves from Paige Patterson and his position, to stand firm, acknowledge and clarify their position regarding the respect and dignity of women, and spousal abuse in a clear and biblical manner so that there is no longer a question of tolerance in abusive relationships.

"This is the moment to define themselves and put away the assumptions concerning women that they appear to support by allowing Paige to represent them in a significant way [on their Board of Trustees and as mentor to their president].

"I would also like to see Cedarville University actively support women in academic roles in [their classes, especially in the liberal arts], particularly in biblical studies and theology [where only one female instructor of Bible now exists who can only teach female students]."

Thank you again for sharing your story, Sheri!

Christiane said...

Goodness, it may take a few generations for the SBC Churches who followed Patterson et al to finally overcome the sin of male idolatry . . . because children have been raised in homes where they witnessed their mothers being treated as subordinate to their fathers and when raised with an example like that, there are consequences that continue into the next generation.

'the sins of the fathers' . . . .

It may take generations for the healing to come through and for families to be restored to the Christian ideal of marriage as seen in the early Church:

"From a letter by Tertullian, an Early Church Father, to his wife, ca. 202 A.D.
” How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in hope, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice.
They are as brother and sister, both servants of the same Master. Nothing divides them, either in flesh or in Spirit. They are in very truth, two in one flesh; and where there is but one flesh there is also but one spirit.
They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another.
Side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another, they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts… Psalms and hymns they sing to one another.
Hearing and seeing this, Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present, and where He is, there evil is not.”

Did Patterson 'interpret' the Bible without taking the words, teachings, and commands of Our Lord into consideration? Is that how he was able to hurt people . . . really hurt them? Using any bible verse to bring harm on others is a violation of the Royal Law of Christ and has no place in Christian life. Our Lord taught in the very Person of God and His teaching will always take precedence over the warped views of a person who is inflamed with his own importance so much that he thinks he has God's approval to harm an innocent Christian woman and her family. Patterson is wrong to think he can teach something that is 'Christian' and 'biblical' that causes such pain to innocents. He has done great harm. And his example to other men is also a sin. That whole patriarchy scene is getting cracks in it because it has no integrity based on the teachings of Christ Himself.

Rex Ray said...


Wow! “Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio has a female instructor that can only teach female students.”

I’ll bet Patterson wishes he had thought of that rule.

Bob Cleveland,

You said, “Methinks SBC 2018 is way more important than we know....”

I hope a motion is made to have a NEW BFM that respects women to be voted on next year.

If that happens, I predict a frown will appear on his picture in the ‘stain glass’ at SWBTS.

Donald Johnson said...

If there is any justice in this world, SBC 2018 will fire Paige Patterson for his sinful actions, including his treatment of Dr. Klouda. Everyone should realize that the world is watching and the exodus from the SBC will accelerate unless Paige Patterson is held accountable.

Scott Shaver said...

Last I checked Christianne, there were no female priests in the RCC. Has that changed?

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

Hello WADE,
you wrote, this:
"I believe that I think the SBC is on the cusp of change."

I certainly hope you are right; but I also hope that it goes forward in a GOOD direction, for the sake of all the future Dr. Klouda's out there and for the SBC to remain focused on bringing the world to Christ in a way that honors His love, especially for those who suffer.

I'm now concerned about another problem which I hope, in future, you might address, this:

I hope this terrible resolution fails to be accepted as it seems so motivated by the worst possible agendas, nothing of Christ is in it, only a terrible contempt for those who are worse off than most and in need of care. My hope is that the good people of the SBC see this resolution for what it truly is and reject it completely. God have mercy on us all together.

Also, I want to thank Dr.Klouda for sharing her story. She has been a great inspiration and role model of someone who can survive an evil she never deserved to have directed at her. Wade, your support of Dr. Klouda helped me to better understand the good heart of many Southern Baptist people who are confronted with challenges and are facing them with courage and with faith.

Wade Burleson said...


I do believe the change is in a GOOD direction!

Thanks for your kind words.

Scott Shaver said...

Thank you. Interesting.

RB Kuter said...

Dr. Klouda correctly assesses that the Southern Baptist Convention is at the brink of changing; either for the better, or for worse.

As an analogy: Regardless of your political affiliation, you will agree that prior to our last Presidential election the United States was at the brink of change. Depending on which candidate won, we were either going to go irreversibly down a path of socialism, as openly and transparently acknowledged by one candidate campaigning on that basis, or see a reversal in the recent path leading to socialism. The capitalist candidate won so we see at least a temporary reprieve from the socialist plunge in which we would have gone.

As I mentioned in an earlier response comment, The Southern Baptist Convention has been suffering from a rottenness in its inner core. This is verified by the decrease in the number of souls being saved in the SBC even though there are more churches being started. (See "State of the SBC", http://www.drchuckkelley.com/2017/06/08/sbc-state/)

This heart problem is of such a degree that it will result in our Convention becoming more fruitless and eventually dying, like the fig tree that Jesus cursed to cause it to die due to its not producing figs.

There must be a change of heart if God is to again look upon this collective body of churches with favor. Such a change of heart will be reflected in who is elected as President of The Southern Baptist Convention. Upon what principles/priorities/objectives for change, will that President be elected? What impact will he have based upon who he selects as members of those Committees who will ultimately determine what mindset will be held by Trustees serving on Boards of SBC institutions?

This will determine what will be the future of the Southern Baptist Convention. Will it enter the "hospice care"-phase or the new-birth phase?

Jon L. Estes said...

So, as an inerrantist, I must interpret Hebrews 8:13 as you say it must be interpreted?

Sticking with the subject, wich the New Covenant supports, of gender complimenting each other and each having their God designed role in the home and church where man is the head..., this is not an Old Covenant subject alone.

Personally, I do not take it as far as teaching in a seminary but the SBC hired a man who dies and as a result decisions were made. I hurt for Dr. Klouda and wish this had not happened. I think Dr. P erred but people knew his position on this and elected him to lead. It matters not how much we hate it, it not a fireable offense. IMPO.

I will even support the right of those who disagree to disagree. What I cannot support is the flame throwing and ugly remarks being made at a Brother in Christ, in public. Disagree, but follow the rules for how this is to be handled (biblically and institutionally). Don't lynch him in the public square. Don't even build the stage (Blog) for others to stand on and scream their hatred towards and bitterness of (comment section).

The ugly and hate comments in your provided comment stream are on you.

Rex Ray said...


I don’t understand why our church doesn’t know what the resolutions and motions are.

Thank you, thank you for telling us of this resolution. My hope is the Resolutions Committee of the SBC will reject or reword this AWFUL resolution as it’s stated.

This resolution has taken something good and made it bad.

It’s like taking the good words of Jesus: “Love one another” and making them bad by a man/woman loving everyone in bed etc.

Social justice is GOOD, but its made BAD by saying it stands for homosexuality, abortion etc.

The resolution could be summarized: Baptists are against sin.

Many years ago, it was suggested the SBC could be made into something like a blog. Every church could vote on motions and resolutions. Money spent on travel, lodging, parking etc. for everyone cost a lot. Renting the building in Dallas is $15,000 to $20,000.

Why was it rejected? I believe the ‘powers that be’ didn’t want to loose their recognition. (Patterson would lose the limelight in preaching a sermon.)

I can drive to Dallas in 1 ½ hours, but the more I think about it; I don’t know if I’ll go unless there’s a motion for Patterson to reap what he’s sowed.

Bah Humbug :)

Christiane said...


THIS is the kind of 'social justice' that I believe in:

and the details :)

Scott Shaver said...

Did Patterson follow your stated rules during his efforts to "purge" our seminaries of those who did not share his dogma. The man flat LIED about others Jon.

You keep talking about handling Boss Hogg "biblically" but you deflect from any questions of biblical substance when it comes to his history or behavior.

Patterson, IMO has béen a blight on the SBC.

Scott Shaver said...

Firing isn't lynching Jon. And I sure his retirement will be comfortable whether he keeps his job or not. Fundamentalists have a flair for the dramatic.

Jon L. Estes said...

Scott -

I have said clearly I will not talk about others in the negative to you.

Also, I am not on a vendetta to save Dr. P. He does not need my help. I am responding directly to what people on this blog have stated. I have asked for clarification or questioned their comments directly in the place they made them.

Not all questions are worth answering. Oh well. Some have been answered by many prior to our conversations and repeating them helps no one.

I get it, you are an egalitarian - I can live with that. I expect you to make decisions based on that conviction. Dr. P is a complementarian and he will make choices based on that conviction. When he was hired, this was known.

I have no desire to change your mind and I can tell you, you will not change mine. If we are both going to be in the SBC, we must learn to work together even when these beliefs clash. If one is heretical,then it is up to the other to fight the heresy, not the person.

i.e. If Patterson is propagating a heresy that needs not be in the SBC (which is here among many SBCers), removing him will not change the position of many within the SBC.

Jon L. Estes said...


The lynching term is being used by me due to the hateful language being espoused by many on blog land on this subject.

RB Kuter said...

"Goodness, it may take a few generations for the SBC Churches who followed Patterson et al to finally overcome the sin of male idolatry . ."

The process of the SBC structure is such that even if we elected a President who was intent on making changes by using his influence to install Trustees of a like mind, the number would be limited. It would take several Presidential cycles with Presidents having a continuity of purpose before our system would significantly reflect the new mentality. We saw this process take place during the conservative movement in the 80s and 90s and since. It is slow, but if done with purpose, it does occur.

Again, removing Paige Patterson does not even begin the process of changing anything other than the leader of that one institution which will happen soon anyway given his age.

Scott Shaver said...

Hey Jon Estes. Since you are so upset with how "Boss" is being handled in here, what do you think about Mohler, Moore and Akin hanging him out to dry? Are you equally outraged with their camp?

Scott Shaver said...

Correction. Jon will not talk negatively about others, unless they have issues with Boss Patterson.

Scott Shaver said...

You can't control "blog land" any more than Boss, Jon. Patterson was once asked by a reporter if he was rubbing the cat's (SBC) fur the wrong way. Patterson replied, "Not if you turn the cat around".

Looks like that analogy works as well when applied to him now as it did for others when he was on the pitching end.

Scott Shaver said...

No Jon, when it comes to me personally and the nuances of my beliefs ... You don't get it at all my friend. You do, however, speculate out of frustration.

Scott Shaver said...

The "New Covenant" supports complimentarion theology? Or did New Testament writers work within the context of their time and prevailing culture to declare Christ (who in and of Himself) IS the New Covenant?

Scott Shaver said...

"Removing him will not change the position of many within the SBC".

Exactly Jon, excellent point. Just like the CR of Patterson and Pressler was obviously unsuccessful in removing Southern Baptists who vehemently disagree with their politics of imposed dogma.

Removing him might,however, give aspiring SBC "polity wonks" who want to follow his lead second thoughts. That would be a good thing for the SBC.

Jon L. Estes said...

Scott - I hope I am not talking about others but to those I engage in discussion.

I do promise not to talk about you to others. I will talk to you if I have a problem.

Not a lot of that happening these days.

Anonymous said...

The trustees need to quit acting like a cabal around Patterson and consider the ethics of Patterson's two-faced lying to people like Klouda, in keeping her job then turning around and firing her. Since when do we support Machevillian tactics to our brothers and sisters in Christ as being "biblical?" His snide remarks on seminary students being poor because they don't tithe is also abominable. He was boasting about his giving 20%? And what does Paul say about boasting? Reasoning biblically could also mean that perhaps certain Christians are poor because their debt is not forgiven in the seventh year by a banking brother that is holding their debt? Where are the sermons on that? (Crickets chirping) Gaines, Brunson, and have vexed and flogged conscience on this maligning of Malachi 3 toward a doctrine of exploitation. All should be removed personally. Several Messianic commentators state clearly problems in teaching on tithing and that the direction of giving should be in the interest of the welfare of the church and of ministry. In having a degree in seminary degree, I felt I got a far more deeper and better education from Messianic leaders and find their writings more authoritative and definitely more biblically based. The conservative resurgence of the last 30 years, I fear has only led us back to traditionalism, clerical intimidation, and quenching and grieving of the Spirit. Revival is needed, TRUE revival is needed! Pray for healing in all this. Restore US Oh Lord!

RB Kuter said...

Anonymous said: "The trustees need to quit acting like a cabal around Patterson and consider the ethics of Patterson's two-faced lying to people like Klouda, in keeping her job then turning around and firing her."

Do you actually believe that the Trustees are going to serve as some sort of accountability source? The proposal that the solution to all of this is for the same Trustee Board that has become enchanted with this man for years so as to give him a pass at every juncture is ludicrous. Again, the appropriate demand to make is that the entire SWBTS Trustee Board immediately resign from their position. Let the Convention Executive Committee come up with a way to temporarily fill the void left.