Thursday, January 25, 2007

Reliable or 'Filled With Inaccuracies'?

Van McClain, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, released a public statement one week ago to The Dallas Morning News where he claims my blog essay on Dr. Klouda was 'filled with inaccuracies.' When I read that statement by Van , I immediately contacted him and asked for a written accounting of the inaccuracies. Four days later (Tuesday, January 23) he responded with a one sentence explanation, "the vote for Dr. Klouda was not unanimous." I have since spoken to Dr. Ken Hemphill, who was President of SWBTS when Dr. Klouda was hired - based upon his recommendation - and he told me that he could not remember the trustee vote count. He said the minutes of the plenary (public) sessions of the October 8-10, 2002 SWBTS trustee meeting were available and encouraged me to obtain those for the verification I needed.

Even though the vote total to hire Dr. Klouda is not an essential point in the Klouda post itself, I believe it is appropriate to take steps to insure that the only fact that is disputable be resolved. So I called Dr. Patterson's office to obtain a copy of the minutes of the plenary session when Dr. Klouda was hired. A few hours later we received a call from the President's office at SWBTS telling us that they would not release the public minutes except through the approval of the chairman of the board, Van McClain. We then called Van, again, and he asked that we email him our request. My secretary immediately emailed Van the following:

From: Barbara
To: Dr. Van McClain
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 2:52 PM
Subject: re: official minutes

Dr. McClain,

Please send to Pastor Wade the official minutes for every plenary session of the SWBTS Board of Trustees meeting between April 8-10, 2002.

If it can be attached to an email, you may send it to my work address:, or to Pastor Wade's work address:

If it is necessary to mail them, you may send them to:
Pastor Wade Burleson
Emmanuel Baptist Church
2505 W. Garriott
Enid OK 73703

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either Pastor Wade or myself at 580-237-0602.

I look forward to your prompt reply.

In His Service,
Barbara Ebert
Secretary to Pastor Wade Burleson

Dr. McClain's response

From: Dr. Van McClain
To: Barbara
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 7:32 AM
Subject: Re: official minutes

Dear Pastor Wade,

Thanks for your email dated January 24, 2007. If you wish to view minutes of previous board meetings, you may do so without reproduction privileges, after the next board meeting is over, depending on board action at that time.


Van McClain

It is my earnest request to Van and the entire SWBTS Board of Trustees that they not freeze the minutes of their previous public meetings. It has always been the policy that all plenary sessions of our agencies and boards are open to all Southern Baptists. This includes the minutes of all public meetings, which are to be sent to any Southern Baptist upon written request. Nevertheless, until the SWBTS minutes are made available, or until Van or points out another 'inaccuracy,' everything in the Klouda stands as written.

The day after the post became public, Van McClain released another statement urging people to ignore my unreliable post by saying, "(Klouda) also requested that Wade Burleson not release the story, in part because of inaccuracies." You would think that the chairmen of our respective boards would one day learn to not make hasty, public statements that they will later have to retract.

Sheri Klouda has now gone on the record about my blog post. Reporter Hannah Elliot writes, in a news story released yesterday, that "Klouda maintains that the information chronicled on Burleson’s blog is reliable." Though it is hard for me to see how Sheri's words line up with Van McClain's initial public statement, I am willing to overlook the discrepancies in order to focus on what we all can do to help a Southern Baptist acamedician and her family get back on their feet as we seek to correct a wrong that has been perpetrated against them.

In His Grace,



Kevin Bussey said...


What can be done to change this now? said...

We are getting there Kevin. Several people have stepped up to the plate to help the Kloudas.

There is a strong belief in the providence of God by them, and we will trust that God will do what is needed to open the doors that will help correct the problem.

Anonymous said...

I understand that some think that it is harsh or potentially problematic to do what you've done, Wade. They put on you the motivations they know exist in their hearts, and worry that you are doing this to gain notoriety, or that you are doing so in an unloving way, or are simply out to gain something for yourself in addition to notoriety. I know I have struggled with the "rightness" of all that has happened, and you know that I have challenged you on wording and method in the past. But, the more I think about this whole situation I simply see a man who is trying to get an institution that bears the reputation of the Church to wear it well.

You aren't attacking people; you are challenging an institution to abide by its policies and to be answerable to the ones to whom it belongs. You are simply asking that things not be maintained in secrecy because no Christian organization should operate secretly.

The more I ponder the entire situation the more angry I become, not in an unrighteous way, I simply am becoming passionate about the reputation of God. I think to do otherwise would be to violate the commandment that says we must not take God's name in vain. That commandment means little about saying the word "god" or "God" but means a lot about not making God's reputation worthless. When an institution or humans who claim to belong to God act in ways that do not represent Him well, they are taking the Lord's name in vain and should be challenged and provided an opportunity to repent.

So, thank you. This isn't easy. It weighs on my heart; I can only imagine how you have felt of late. I'm so glad we can rest and lay our burdens at Christ's feet. His yoke is so easy.

Tim Sweatman said...

See how the "proper channels" work? How can we be expected to trust the system when those in charge are intent on suppressing the flow of information?

Anonymous said...


Your question assumes the "proper channels" are concerned about building trust. Clearly, that is not the case. If it were, the minutes from the public portions of the meetings would already be posted and no one would need to ask for them.

Anonymous said...

There's a new word floating around the blogosphere which has been coined by bloggers. The new word refers to "a rash and unsubstantiated public statement, issued by a board chairman, which is designed to cover one's rear, but in reality exposes one's backside."

This kind of public statement is now called a 'VanHatley.'

Debbie Kaufman said...

I would think they would gladly give the vote figures to show that Dr. McClain was correct in his statement that the vote was not unanimous. said...


I think what is so silly is the fact that the vote for Sheri Klouda is non-essential.

She was elected to her tenure track faculty position by the trustees --- that is agreed upon by all.

What I can't understand is that in my several hundred word post the only alleged 'inaccuracy' is the 'vote total,' and that one allegation cannot be substantiated by Van. Absolutely nothing else in my post is even challenged.

That, to me, is most telling

Debbie Kaufman said...

Right. :)

Anonymous said...

People who hold a monopoly on the truth have the most difficult time admitting error. What's that queer word God expects of us? Oh, yeah, humility. Hmmm, like it's hard for a rich man to enter... methinks it's hard for a truth monopolist to as well. I hear the words of 1 Corinthians 13:2 and, ironically, the Biblegateway verse of the day is James 4:10..."humble yourself before the Lord..."

Father, forgive me of all the high horses I have ridden right into the ground and may this not be a time for such a ride.

Alycelee said...

Strange response from those who have the ability to produce records to prove their point? Can we draw conclusions why that is not happening?
It gets a little frustrating being completely ignored. We can rest in the fact that our God is in control and He will never be ignored and He comes to the aid of the oppressed.

Anonymous said...

The key point here is that just like you can't fight a war on terror based on the polls, you can't run a seminary based on polls either.

Thank the Lord that we have people like Paige Patterson and George Bush who will take a stand a stand for truth and principle not roll over every time some liberal makes some noise.

CB Scott said...

This should be a wake up call to those that constantly say "work through the system" does it not?

I would have bet the "farm" that Wade would not be given those minutes.

For you see: "The names change, but the game is the same." 1 Dig in. 2 Build a defense. 3 "Lie" behind it untill they get tired and go away. 4 Come out and say: "See, there was nothing to this, just disgruntled employees besmirching the good names of the administration". 5 Say in a very pious tone: "Thank you Jesus. We knew You would lead us through this attack of the Devil."

The game, as played by these guys, has worked every time. You know why? Because good men stand by and let the game continue. That is why.

Wade, do not stand down and maybe other men will begin to STAND UP, this time.


CB Scott said...

I forgot rule 6 of the game. It is a very important rule.

6 Justify, Glorify and Promote the "righteous", "innocent" and "wounded" administrators. Ask for more money for the game to continue.


Marty Duren said...

I wonder where Van McClain the getting his counsel that is helping turn the former crown jewel of our seminaries into a busted Coke bottle bottom. This is another instance of some trustees forgetting who owns the entity.

The very idea that past minutes are not immediately available to any Southern Baptist is elitist and aristocratic. If Dr. Patterson is at all in control of this situation, he should be placing a phone all you both you and Van today offering an apology to you and instruction to Van as to how proper trustee business is to be conducted.

As is usually the case when the wagons are circled, it just get tighter and tighter. It looks like everything is narrowing in Ft. Worth.

Surely this is a violation of some SBC bylaw or guideline. If it isn't, it ought to be.

CB Scott said...

I was just wondering.

I have been on the grounds of all agencies and institutions of the SBC and in several "Caucus Rooms" through the years.

That of which I wonder is: Is there a "farm" somewhere in the SBC where they breed trustee of the likes of Tom Hatley, Van McClain, Tim Lewis, and John Floyd?

If so, let's auction it off and send the money to Annie and Lottie.


irreverend fox said...

their accreditation compliance ought to be examined by a non sbc entity.

jasonk said...

What outcome do these people expect to acheive? Do they hope the internet will disappear before you get a crack at those minutes? Do they hope some kind of righteous Y2K bug will end forever all blogs? Maybe they hope that the naysayers in your church will cause enough disruption in the body that you will be fired or resign in frustration.

Do you believe they are capable of causing disruption in your church? A carefully placed phone call to a prominent but disgruntled member? I do.

Newspaper writers are reading this blog, taking notes for their next story. Surely the powers that be in Fort Worthless know this, and are smart enough to realize that their misdeeds and lies will soon be brought to the surface. At some point they have to say uncle. But they don't seem to be doing anything logically. They don't seem to be doing anything Christian either.

Stay after it, Wade. This is going to be good.

Marty Duren said...

If I'm not mistaken.

RKSOKC66 said...


I don't see how McClain can sustain his idea to suppress the minutes of a "public" minutes.

It must be the case that some other trustee has them and will provide a copy of them. Since the meeting was public McClain can't plausibly build any type of case for suppressing the minutes.

First we see the "event". Now we see an attempt to "obfusicate and cover up". However, I don't think McClain will be able to get by with this. Someone will blow his cover.

His requirement that an action of the trustee board is necessary to release minutes to a PUBLIC meeting is absolutely incredible! He is trying to buy time -- hoping that this will blow over. Well, time is not on McClain's side on this. The longer he stalls the worse it gets for him. Are we going to have a Watergate type scenario where the coverup raises to the same level as the original offense?

Maybe McClain is trying to dilute the focus away from himself in an attempt to make the whole board complicit in the coverup.

He is walking on quicksand.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

RKSOKC66 said...

Wade et. al. -->

The last word of the first paragraph in my previous post should be "meeting".

RM said...

A few years ago I called Paige's office and requested a list of the trustees and their addresses. The female secretary said she would "have to get back with me." In about an hour a male secretary called and asked, "are you a Southern Baptist?" and then "where do you attend church?" When I informed him I was a pastor of a Southern Baptist church he said he would send them. Interesting...

After that experience I am not surprised at their current action. I would encourage everyone to write/email Paige and Van and request not only the minutes but a list of trustees and their addresses. All of this is supposed to be public information.

Anonymous, please do not put President Bush in the same category as Paige Patterson.

Unknown said...

Wade is a pit bull for truth and accountability!

You have them by the throat and they are trying to wiggle free, don't let up Wade. There are many of us who are strongly behind you.

My prayer is that Van McClain would just do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

What and interesting exchange. It certainly reflects a power play and time to get all things ready for SBC coming up. Why is SBC quiet here? Just enjoy reading the plight we are in and have been in. Pastor Wade is now liberal because he raises some questions. One day we will discover that our view of The Bible has little to do with liberal or conservative. Again, very, very interesting....Wayne, from Alabama

Debbie Kaufman said...

Wayne: Your line "our understanding of the Bible has little to do with being conservative or liberal" is right on target. I like that line.

Anonymous said...

The one caution that any who would enter the fray must be mindful of: don't let the Enemy convince you that the fight is about you or that your reputation is important in the midst of it. Keep God's reputation in mind always, not making His name empty, and with that thought in mind proclaim the truth and challenge others to do the same!

Alycelee said...

To the first anonymous who maintains an equal love for PP and George Bush (don't understand the connection but...)
"Klouda maintains that the information chronicled on Burleson’s blog is reliable. Baptist bloggers Benjamin Cole and Marty Duren also posted corresponding stories about her tenure at Southwestern on their blogs, and, respectively. ABP Press Jan 25

What do you do with this liberal? said...

Jeremy and others,

Let me be clear. My statement that the vote for Dr. Klouda being unanimous is based on a person who says he was there in the room of the meeting that was open to the public. However, if I find that the official record says something different, I will happily take out the word unanimous.

What I find strange is that this is the ONLY 'inaccuracy' Van McClain points out to me. I have heard from a reporter that Van also told the reporter "Paige has kept all of us trustees informed about Klouda's tenure," which, according to the reporter, does not track with what he has heard from other trustees.

It is also odd that when the reporter asked for 'verification' that the trustees had been informed, Van said "I cannot divulge information we received in confidential closed door meetings."

It would really be wild if a letter could be produced, written last week, where Van says "I have no knowledge as to why Dr. Klouda was not granted tenure."


I wish someone at SWBTS would address the substance of the post.

Southwestern, in violation of policy and procedures, Equal Employment Opportunity Laws, their own administration's pledge, and the very bylaws which govern the university --- released a tenure track faculty member because she is a woman.

There is no defense to their action.
Further, it seems that in 2004 the independet Commission on Accreditation slapped SWBTS's hands over the Bullock termination. Members of the outside Commission on Accrediting were suspicious that she was released because she was a woman. Denials abounded. The arguments given by the internal trustee review committee regarding Bullock were 'weak' and poorly defended (it is not the appropriate time to make those public), but in the end, a slap was all that was given.

What's the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you . . . fool me twice . . . ?

The ground should be trembling in Cowtown. And rightfully so. This unjust view of women and unethical treatment of them at SWBTS must be stopped -- and if the trustees don't have the backbone to stop it, those who hold the trustees accountable should.

OC Hands said...

As these events develop, there appears to be a pattern, unfortunately, whereby some elected leaders begin to act as though they are infallible. Having worked with pastors in the US as well as in an overseas setting, some (not all) seem to develop this infallible mentality, whether early or late in their ministry. I can understand that the responsibility for a church is awesome, and must come with an anointing by God himself.
However, the call for humility is right on, because without it we become like the Pharisees--we have all the right answers and are ever ready to show you where you are wrong, with no remorse or willingness to be corrected. (ref. the blind man that Jesus healed.)
There seems to me to be a principle among some fundamentalists/conservatives (choose your term) that their beliefs, attitudes and actions are like a house of cards. Take one away and the whole stack comes tumbling down. For this reason, there can be no admission of error or guilt, or any possibility of same.
While these actions and attitudes make my blood boil, I have found that the best way for me to respond is to do what the Bible says--pray for God to bless them and prosper them. This may seem to be the opposite course of action to take, but I have found it to be extremely effective. It sure does take the anger out of me, and eventually I have seen God deal with the situation in ways that I would never have imagined. (The exit of a seminary president. e.g.)
This does not mean that others should not pursue the truth or confront leaders who seem to be headed down the wrong path. That is for the individual to decide. But for those who feel "helpless" in these types of situations, intercessory prayer is a wonderful avenue for fulfilling our responsibilities toward our leaders and relieving ourselves of the anger and frustrations that come when you feel there is nothing you can do.

Kevin Bussey said...


Whe you get to look at the notes bring this:

spy cameras said...


A very wise word indeed.


A very funny comment indeed.


John Jax said...

To those anonymous souls that attack Wade for blogging about this situation and not "following procedures", I just don't get it.

As a SB layman "just tuning in", it seems that Ms. Klouda was treated unfairly and illegally. I am sure there are many good reasons why she chose not to come forward herself, which I am not privy to.

PP is a big boy. He made a decision based on his convictions and provided leadership in that regard. Some applaud him, some disagree. So what? But why try to attack and silence those that disagree? That is how Saddam Hussein operated. (Not comparing anyone to him, of course, just making a point. :0) Remember freedom of speech and freedom of the press? Some will read Wade's blog and agree with it, others will not. Why does it have to get ugly?

Also, why do pro PP people get so upset if the "proper channels" were not followed. I agree that is wrong, but not as wrong as what happened to Ms. Klouda. That is like saying, "yes, the pastor sexually abused children, but these bloggers will be held accountable for bringing it out." Supporters immediately begin showing outrage over the written posts of the bloggers! I don't get it. Focus on Ms. Klouda's treatment, not on the bloggers opinions and motives. I assume if Wade started blasting the current leadership of the SBC for not "following procedures", no one would really care. It is only a big deal when it is done by those that disagree with your position. No one requires that PP's supporters have "proof" on everything they blog, yet Wade is supposed to have trial evidence quality proof or he gets hammered. It reminds me of when I was a kid: we would say "make me" or "prove it." Of course, it is often impossible to do either. :)

By the way, it just might be possible, remotely as it may be of course, that even our beloved George Bush, made some mistakes in Iraq? At least people can openly write, discuss, and criticize him without fear of being attacked. And at least he is man enough to admit his mistakes and try to take measures to correct them. Comparing PP to GWB makes PP look even worse.

hopelesslyhuman said...

Maybe M Scott Peck can add a chapter that includes the behavior of some SBC Trustee Board chairmen should a revised and expanded version of "People of the Lie" be released.

Anonymous said...

"The key point here is that just like you can't fight a war on terror based on the polls, you can't run a seminary based on polls either.

Thank the Lord that we have people like Paige Patterson and George Bush who will take a stand a stand for truth and principle not roll over every time some liberal makes some noise."


If the "brave soul" who posted the above remark was "fishing" for a rational basis on which he could defend Dr. Patterson's actions to rid SWBTS of the "feminine terror" which threatens "his academic institution" (in the person of Dr. Sheri Klouda), it is curious that all he could come up with was a couple of "red herrings" for arguments.

Certainly, no one has suggested that President Patterson take a poll before making administrative decisions at SWBTS. However, neither has the title of "Pope" been conferred on Dr. Patterson (or has it?). Therefore, he is accountable, not only to God, but to his constituency, the Baptist membership in the Southern Baptist Convention for his actions.

Secondly, to claim that Dr. Patterson has taken a stand of "principle and truth" is, on its face, a ludicrous remark, if one has even an inkling of the 180 degree about face the President made after previously assuring the faculty at SWBTS (including Dr. Klouda and other women)that their jobs were secure.

Neither Dr. Patterson, nor his spin "doctor", Van McClain, have specifically refuted any of Wade Burleson's disclosures regarding the expulsion of Dr. Klouda other than to say "it t'aint so". Curiously, McClain asserted that Burleson's report is "filled with inaccuracies". When pressed for specific examples of this unsubstantiated allegation, McClain's singular retort was that the vote approving Dr. Klouda's hiring at SWBTS was "not unanimous." However, when Burleson asked him to document his remark, McClain pulled a thinly disguised version of the "Hatley Trick", sending Wade on a futile and circuitous trail, which eventually led back to the elusive McClain, who then pronounced that the document was not publicly accessible.

The truth of this entire matter is that the actions of Dr. Patterson and associates have been anything but principled. Rather, hidden agendas and collusive tactics have proven to be the modus operandi of the Patterson Administration in its ongoing project of gaining absolute control of the SWBTS . Neither do the actions of Dr. Patterson smack of anything "conservative", if the financial health of SWBTS is examined. In an environment where student enrollment is already decreasing, prospective female students not fitting Dr. Patterson's "vision of a woman's role in the Christian ministry" are obviously persona non grata at SWBTS and may as well not bother with pursuing an education there. In the meantime, Dr. Patterson's handpicked Trustees appear to be doing his bidding in bobble-head fashion, while the "mum-ified" President. . .in the words of the narrator of the "Br'er rabbit" tale, "Well, he lay low".

In His Grace and Peace,
T. D. Webb said...

Mo Scratch,

Great comment. I would just add that I did follow tbe procedures available to me.

There was no response.

In fact, when I realized that there were possible steps being taken for retribution toward Dr. Klouda for speaking of her removal, I posted the material in order to make it public and protect her.

Bob Cleveland said...


We seem to have lost our sense of outrage. Sure, we have principles, and sure, we don't want to be judgmental. NO .. let me change that ... we don't want OTHERS to think we're judgmental.

I'd have taken a different view of all this if Dr. Klouda had been my daughter. I guarantee the beast within would have been unleashed, and that hasn't happened in a LONG time!

Well, Dr. Klouda is my SISTER. I should be just as outraged ... just as outraged as I got after getting to know, personally, an ex-missionary who had to resign over over changes at the IMB, to stand on his principles.

The ease of, and the absolute deluge of, information seems to have hardened us to misfortune. So try to think of Dr. Klouda as YOUR child.

Your brokenhearted, wronged, displaced, mistreated child.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Dr. Patterson attempt to defend his actions in writing to you Wade. Maybe he's to busy out killing a zebra or something...

sarobert said...


I commented earlier and anonymously. Please forgive that error on my part. The news about Dr. Klouda surprised and saddened me. Like every Southern Baptist, I am affected by what happens at our institutions. Our church is affected as well. We are the host church for the seminary in San Antonio. Our relationship is cordial and cooperative. That being said, we do take interest in what happens with our sister institution. Because of my concern about the trustee actions I made a call to a former trustee who was on the board at the time of Dr. Klouda's hiring. He told me the vote was unanimous but not without conflict. I am keeping this trustee's name confidential but I thought you should know that at least one former trustee disagrees with the chairman's statement.

Wade, thank you for your efforts. While some would question the methods I am wondering how else this would be addressed since the agencies are being so secretive about their actions.

For the record, I cannot believe we are seeing the constricting of our theology to such narrow parameters based on so little textual foundation and that so hermeneutically challenging at that.

Robert Welch

OC Hands said...

If some of you are becoming weary with the revelations, accusations, charges and counter-charges of blog-land, let me encourage you to visit our blog
"Voices of Praise" ( There you will read some exciting, inspiring and reassuring updates of what God is doing through his representatives around the world. Many things to get excited about and for which we can all praise the Lord. said...

Dr. Welch,

Thank you for your comment, integrity and honor.

I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio. Your information is not new to me. This is why I said what I said in my post. I am looking forward to seeing the minutes which will confirm that all eight new faculty members at SWBTS were voted in, by block, unanimously.

What would motivate Van McClain to release a statement to the press last week, the day after my post, that alleges inaccuracies in it, but then refuse to give me the material that confirms the accuracy of the one statement he challenged?

I am not unfamiliar with public statements being made to press by those in charge, which are later retracted when asked to offer proof.

It's a new day in the SBC. You can't do what you used to be able to do in the 80's and 90's. Publicly seeking to discredit others with different opinions by issuing generic, unsupportable statements that attack character is much harder to accomplish. The information age keeps everyone well informed, and they can, and do, make their own judgments.

We need more people, Dr. Welch, like you and others who have willingly identified themselves, to fully participate in the governance of our convention by holding our leaders accountable.

sarobert said...


One other item that may be germane to the discussion is this: after Dr. Patterson was elected as president of SWBTS, one trustee reported that tenure tracking had been, "laid aside." Whether this was done with trustee approval or not, I do not know. It does follow Dr. Patterson's belief that tenure doesn't belong in a denominational institution. I believe he is on record with that kind of comment.

Robert Welch

Anonymous said...

A little more from the Word. Given today being January 26th, I was reading Proverbs 26. In verse 12 it says: "Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him."

Anonymous said...

I have always generally supported PP, but this time he ought to release all the information concerning Klouda.
In the business world, they will not put out much information because once the information is out, they have to defend it. However, this is not the business world - our standards are to be higher.
In this case it is better to "lay all the cards on the table" and
let Southern Baptist deal with the matter. We need a "Christian" discussion of this matter. We might not all agree on the nuts and bolts. Yet when there is complete honesty and all the information before us, then we can deal with the situation. When information is withheld, it seems that someone has something to hide - whether they do or not might be debatable, yet it appears that way.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Bob Cleveland: I agree with you and I am outraged as well. The more that is revealed the more outraged I am. To think this has been going on for several years.

Marty Duren said...

It is well known (even among the trustees) that Dr. Patterson doesn't favor tenure. In fact, one trustee told me on the phone that no prof had been granted tenure in Dr. Patterson's time as President.

That part doesn't bother me all that much, I'm not much in favor of it either. The bigger question is: Does the President have the authority to over ride the position of the school? If Klouda was hired for a "tenure track" position, then it seems that it is; in fact there are tenured profs currently on staff, but it was granted "pre-P."

Anonymous said...


I was wondering what "this old adage linked to." For some reason my network blocked the site.

The Nameless One

volfan007 said...

its my understanding that no one is guaranteed tenure. no one. tenure is given. thus, those who dont get tenure were not fired. they were just not given tenure. i am sure that this happens often.

so, why are we attacking pp and swbts and the trustees and others? why are we stirring up such a division amongst brothers and sisters in Christ over this issue? is this really trying to have peace and unity in the sbc?

what about all those other prof's out there who didnt get tenure? are we raising funds for them as well? these are all questions people want to know in times like this.


Anonymous said...

Well volfan, do you know of any other highly qualified professors who were first assured of their job security, then told they needed to find another job solely because of gender, not scheduled for teaching responsibilities and nearly forced into bankruptcy? That is what does not happen often.

And while the conflict grieves me greatly, what does it say about our convention if we tolerate injustice in the interests of unity? (or rather avoiding conflict--not necessarily synonymous with unity).

My grandmother attended SWBTS alongside my grandfather in the early 40s. When we went through her personal effects after her we found a note on one of her papers from her professor. He thanked her for her academic excellence and said that her example would "open doors for future generations of women." Here's to more open doors.

Anonymous said...


Wasn't Dr. Klouda given a nice severance package?

The Nameless One

Anonymous said...

This really isn't about tenure at all. Let's not let that issue (whether we should have tenure or not) sidetrack us.

The King of Red Herrings,

Bryan Riley

Anonymous said...

O Great Nameless One,

Even if Dr. Klouda were given a severance package, would that make terminating someone based on gender right? Particularly for an institution claiming to be based on the principles of Jesus?

Seeking Truth & Love,

bryan riley

farmboy said...

"its my understanding that no one is guaranteed tenure. no one. tenure is given. thus, those who dont get tenure were not fired. they were just not given tenure. i am sure that this happens often."

While no faculty member, except those hired with tenure, is "guaranteed" tenure. All faculty members are "guaranteed" that their respective cases for tenure will be evaluated according to explicit, consistent standards. This is nothing more than basic fairness referred to as due process.

Based on the content of her VITA, Professor Klouda was building a solid case for meriting tenure before she was discharged because of her gender. That tenure was reserved for male applicants is neither an explicit or consistent standard. If such standard existed in April 2002, when Professor Klouda was hired, then why was she hired for a tenure track position? If such standard exists today, then where is it explicitly stated?

"so, why are we attacking pp and swbts and the trustees and others? why are we stirring up such a division amongst brothers and sisters in Christ over this issue? is this really trying to have peace and unity in the sbc?"

So, are you saying that for the sake of peace, unity and harmony the Protestant Reformers should have kept quiet? Are peace, unity and harmony so important that they trump the pointing out of all wrongs and injustices? Wouldn't it be better for the powers that be within the SBC to conduct themselves in such a way that their actions are above reproach, that they have nothing to fear from public scrutiny of their actions?

"what about all those other prof's out there who didnt get tenure? are we raising funds for them as well?"

Yes, there are faculty members who are unfairly denied tenure each year. But, does it follow that these injustices somehow justify the injustice done to Professor Klouda? Similarly, because one cannot meet all deserving needs, does it follow that one should not try to meet any deserving needs?

"these are all questions people want to know in times like this."

Maybe in your neck of the woods, but I have yet to hear them in mine.

Anonymous said...


Let me get this straight. They are not going to give you the minutes from a public meeting? And if you do get them, you cannot reproduce them? This is incredible.

So, how are we supposed to follow the procedures of the system when they do not work, or they have been corrupted to favor those in power?

Sit down. Shut up. Pay up. The SBC at it's finest!

I am very glad, by the way, that there are MANY fine people who work in our denominational entities who are NOT this way and want to see things change. Hat's off to the nameless, faceless denominational workers and trustees who are doing it right. They should know, however, that a few are ruining this whole thing for everyone - them included.

RKSOKC66 said...

My guess is that at least one SWBTS trustee reads this blog. I address this comment to you:

If you have the minutes of the meeting would you please post them on some web site and/or mail them to Wade. The meeting was public and the minutes are public, right?


Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Anonymous said...

Good evening from the SBC Geneva. Is it not possible that some of the statements contained in your blog are not factual! They might not be specifically about Sheri Klouda but still be they are inaccuracies.
one example....that Wayne Grudem,John Piper,
John Macarthur would not disagree with your beliefs about roles for women in a seminary.
As I sit here with Wayne Grudems; Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth, I just do not see how you can make that statement. I consider it totally inaccurate.
BTW...Have you talked to Wayne Grudem about this issue. It appears you have many other things in common with Wayne. I understand that his Systematic Theology is a standard textbook in many SBC Seminaries.
Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

I really struggle with reading comments that read about like this:

Ben Cole shot Kennedy; he was the one in the grassy knoll. Wade is a liberal. What if you thought that I thought that you thought that he thought that they did it. And Kevin Bussey can't be believed because he got hit in the head with a hockey stick, so you better watch out for that Bob Cleveland, pink hat guy. Anyone who actually is funny must not be telling the truth.

Oh, and it should be anonymous or practically that. and it might even say I don't see why everyone doesn't see it so clearly.

And then it might be signed off with something like God loves you or I'm a real Christian or something like that.

Anonymous said...

Names & addresses of SWBTS Trustees posted here:

Bill Scott said...

Bill Scott said...

Sorry...forgot to attach the text of the story, however no voting records:

Southwestern Seminary adds eight to faculty; Trustees approve record budget
by Gregory Tomlin

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees elected seven faculty members, including two women, in their semi-annual meeting April 8-10. An additional faculty member was added by presidential appointment.
Elected to the faculty were Jeffrey Bingham, Kevin Kennedy, Sheri Klouda, Eric Mitchell, Calvin Pearson, Teresa Stovall and Scott Swain. Seminary President Kenneth S. Hemphill appointed Craig Mitchell as instructor in Christian ethics. Craig Mitchell becomes the seminary's second African-American faculty member.
"Southwestern may have the greatest faculty in our history. These new faculty appointments only add to the diversity and quality of our faculty," Hemphill said.
"There really is not a comparable faculty anywhere in the nation."
Craig Blaising, provost and executive vice president, echoed Hemphill's sentiment. "With the faculty I have emphasized two things: quality and integrity. We want to bring on faculty who are with us in integrity, in line with the Baptist Faith and Message, and we want them to be in line with us in quality ¾ not only in the classroom, but also professionally."
Bingham, formerly research professor in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, joins the faculty as professor of historical theology. Bingham is a graduate of New Mexico State University and received his ThM and PhD degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous articles and monographs on the early church fathers.
"Dr. Bingham is internationally known and respected for his work on the early church. He is esteemed as a mentor of students and brings a pastoral concern to the ministry of the classroom," Blaising said.
Kennedy joins the faculty as assistant professor of theology. A graduate of Liberty University, Kennedy received a master of divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. He completed a PhD at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Kennedy is the author of Union with Christ as Key to John Calvin's Understanding of the Extent of the Atonement, forthcoming from Peter Lang Publishing.
Klouda, who anticipates the completion of her PhD at Southwestern in May, received bachelor's and master's degrees from Criswell College in Dallas. Klouda, who formerly served as assistant professor of biblical Hebrew at Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, joins the faculty as assistant professor of Old Testament Language.
Eric Mitchell joins the faculty as assistant professor of biblical backgrounds and archaeology. He graduated from Baylor University, and received a master of divinity from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn. He has served as an instructor of Old Testament interpretation at Southern Seminary since 1999. He anticipates the completion of his PhD in December.
Pearson, a doctor of ministry graduate from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hampton, Mass., received a master of divinity from Southwestern and a master of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He completed undergraduate studies at Houston Baptist University. Pearson joins the faculty as associate professor of preaching.
Stovall, who recently received the Southern Baptist Research Fellowship's Outstanding Research Award for her dissertation, A Study of the Differences Between Growing, Declining, Plateaued, and Erratic Growth Southern Baptist Churches in Texas, joins the faculty as assistant professor of adult education and aging in the school of educational ministries. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she received a master of arts in religious education and PhD from Southwestern.
Swain, who anticipates the completion of a PhD at Trinity Evangelical Divinity in Deerfield, Ill., in May, joins the faculty as assistant professor of theology. Swain received a master of divinity with biblical languages and master of theology from Southeastern Seminary. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of North Florida.
Craig Mitchell, who joins the faculty by presidential appointment, will serve as instructor of Christian ethics. Mitchell, an inactive-reserve Air Force officer, completed a master of divinity at Southwestern and is currently pursuing his PhD. He received undergraduate degrees from Savannah State College in Savannah, Ga., and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. He received two master's degrees from West Coast University in Los Angeles, Calif.
Hemphill called Craig Mitchell "an up and coming ethicist in Southern Baptist life."
The faculty appointments came during the bi-annual trustee meeting, held in the seminary's new Ralph M. Smith Leadership Development Complex. During the meeting, trustees approved a record budget of $30.3 million for the 2002-2003 fiscal year. The previous budget for the 2001-2002 fiscal year was $29.6 million.
Recent budget increases have allowed the seminary to increase faculty salaries and become self-insured, Hubert Martin, vice president of finance, told trustees. "For the first time, our salaries are the top among our sister seminaries. Over the last four years, we have made significant progress," Martin said.
Vice president of institutional advancement Jack Terry reported that charitable giving rose 40 percent in the past year while most secular charities suffered declines in contributions after Sept. 11. "The gifts that we have received are a reflection on our president. People don't give money to leaders that they don't trust," Terry said. Hemphill told trustees the seminary was in a stable position within the Southern Baptist Convention.
Southwestern is strong, Hemphill said, because few other institutions blend the practical and theological the way Southwestern does. The seminary is particularly strong in the area of missions, he said.
"When we talk about missions," Hemphill said, "we do not mean a missions department. We mean a missions mindset across the whole school. We want theologians, church musicians, and Christian educators who have a heart for missions."
The desire to minister around the world, Hemphill said, reflects Southwestern's global emphasis.
"Southwestern is the global seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention. Our enrollment of international students has increased from 138 to 245, and that is only one way that globalization is expressed."
Although the seminary's international student population has increased, Spring enrollment has decreased from 3,004 to 2,839. David McQuitty, dean of student services, said he wasn't concerned about the decline in enrollment.
"Enrollment may be slightly down, but we are 'uptimistic' about the future." McQuitty said. "This is a place where students train to touch the world. …You watch enrollment. I'm 'uptimistic' about it."

In other business, trustees:
• re-elected Michael Dean for a second term as chairman of the board of trustees and David Allen and Matthew McKellar as vice-chairman and secretary, respectively.
• approved a new 48 master of arts in worship and a new 52-hour master of music with a concentration in worship. "We are excited about these new music degrees. They will put us on the cutting edge of church music and will add some theology to the core for the degrees," said Denny Autry, chair of the academic affairs committee.
• promoted William Caldwell to distinguished professor of administration and John Babler to associate professor of social work and ministry-based evangelism.
• granted tenure to Norma Hedin, associate professor of foundations of education; Marsha McQuitty, associate professor of childhood education; and Robert Welch, associate professor of administration. All have been serving since 1991.
• revised the seminary's bylaws to reflect the role of the new executive vice president and provost.
• passed a resolution thanking the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger for 90 years of faithful service.
• passed a resolution thanking Ralph Pulley for his service as a Southwestern seminary trustee for 22 years.
• passed a resolution commending all seminary faculty, staff, and students, personnel who worked on the 10-year re-accreditation of the seminary, announced by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) in January.

Anonymous said...

Have you read this article...defines the issues well.
Just the facts sir.
DOG man
Robert I Masters

Its about the Theology..not the politics!

Anonymous said...


Have you looked up Roger Nicole on the subject of women in ministry? Do you know who he is?


Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that the minutes will be available AFTER the next BOT meeting, depending on board action. Meaning, perhaps, "Give us a chance to fill in the chinks between the wagons"?

Heather K.

Anonymous said...

Yes...but I also agree with what Mark Dever said about his views on this issue.
Mark Dever on Roger Nicole.
Do you concur with Mark Dever?
Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

Did you see this on Roger Nicole and women.
Soli deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

Women in Ministry
Women participate equally with men in the priesthood of all believers. Their role is crucial, their wisdom, grace and commitment exemplary. Women are an integral part of our Southern Baptist boards, FACULTIES, mission teams, writer pools, and professional staffs. We affirm and celebrate their Great Commission impact.

While Scripture teaches that a woman's role is not identical to that of men in every respect, and that pastoral leadership is assigned to men, it also teaches that women are equal in value to men.

Anonymous said...


I agree in some respects with Dever. I am not, however, totally on board with the slippery slope argument he presents. Though I can see how it could happen and some may even say has happened in certain denominations.

One of the issues though, is the same type of argument is being put for against Calvinism. It's been said over and over again, in so many words, that Calvinism teaches or leads to lack of evangelism. Or simply put Calvinism leads to hyper-Calvinism. Just as we may say that Arminianism and non-Calvinism may lead to pelagianism and semi-pelagianism.

It's bedtime now, but I just want to note that I want to read Dr. Nicole on this subject as he has piqued my interest.


Batchap67 said...

Dr. Patterson,
As an alumnus of both SWBTS (MDiv ’01) and Criswell College (MA ’99) I must say I am a bit disappointed with the treatment of my sister-in-Christ, Dr. Sherri Klouda. This situation seems to have gotten to the point of illegal behavior and will certainly only get worse as long as you and the Board of Trustees remain silent. If indeed SWBTS, i.e. [you] in your role as President, is above reproach then please direct the trustees to release every and all documents related to this incident and silence the critics. However, if SWBTS is being “drug through the mud” because of poor decision making on your part, then please do the right thing and step aside as President and preserve what dignity SWBTS may still possess.

I am currently serving as a U.S. Navy chaplain and have spent 45 of the past 50 months forward-deployed overseas with sailors and marines from our great Nation. Many of these young men and women have given their lives to ensure that things like freedom, liberty, justice and equality are not just lip service but ideas that are lived out by every kindred, tribe, nation, tongue, man, woman and child at all times and places within our nation; their sacrifices have allowed women and girls in both Iraq and Afghanistan to no longer be considered second class citizens but to exercise their God-given freedom to excel in whatever endeavor they may choose to pursue: Your actions towards Dr. Klouda dishonor the sacrifice of every soldier, sailor and marine who have shed blood for our country; your actions dishonor the sacrifice of the Savior who shed His blood to purchase true freedom.

My prayer is that you will repent and do the right thing.


Russell A. Hale
Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group

Touch the World, Impact Eternity

Batchap67 said...

I hope this picture thing is working

Anonymous said...

I wonder, are there no professors at Southwestern who are willing to speak out in support of Dr. Klouda? Have all the real men of God (the real women of God are already gone) already resigned in protest from SWBTS because of this kind of un-Christlike behavior, or have they already been forced to leave because they wouldn't keep quiet? It makes me wonder what we have left at Southwestern.

For instance, Dr. Yarnell reads this blog. He claims to have the gift of prophecy. Come out come out wherever you are and prophesy the truth. Or instead, let your silence and the silence of your fellow professors do the talking. Your silence is so loud now it must make Dr. Klouda's heart ache and the righteous angels in heaven sick.

Steve said...

Kevin, the spy camera thing is funny;

the mention of intercessory prayer is well made;

I know a church where in the hearts of 6-8 people it went from being God's house to "our clubhouse." At that time this group's cooperative spirit ended with their pastor and every good thing the church was trying to do was resisted. You can all tell me what happened in that congregation within a couple o' years.

Has this once-revered institution in Texas gone from being God's schoolhouse to a certain man's, or a certain insular group's clubhouse?

Steve Austin in Hoptown Ky

Anonymous said...

Lt. Hale, wow. Thank you for your comment. Anonymous who asks about male professors at SWTBS... great question.

Anonymous said...

First, Thank you Lt. Hale... great words, and great service. Thank you.

Second, as the minutes of public meetings are to be kept as hardcopy on the grounds of the institution (it is that way at non-profits, etc.) and available to anyone who wishes to view them, couldn't any student or person living near the institution just walk into the president's office and ask to see them? Is anyone near there willing to try?

Third, I fear that the reason he stated about wating to see the mintues until after the next meeting, depending on action by the Board, is that he (or PP) may ask them to vote to keep the minutes out of view.. all for the reason of saving the institution from legal scandal of course...

How about it? Any takers on walking into PP's office???

Anonymous said...


If I didn't live half-way across the world, I certainly would! But great idea.

May His face shine upon you,
from the Middle East

hopelesslyhuman said...

From my perspective, we've already learned everything about the minutes we need to know. The one item Van McClain challenged in Wade's post (after saying it was "filled with inaccuracies") is an immaterial detail; even if the minutes showed this detail was incorrect, it doesn't change how PP and the Board mistreated Dr. Klouda.

What we have learned of value from the minutes is the length Van McClain and SWBTS will go to cover up their actions as they attempt to discredit legitimate criticism.

Anonymous said...

Bryan Riley,

Sorry about getting back to you so late. My question was directed at someone who said Dr. Klouda was, "nearly forced into bankruptcy."

My understanding is that she got a nice severance package and I have since learned she has accepted a position at Taylors University.

I was just trying to point out that she was not bankrupt. It added a since that they didn't seem to care about her husband. Now, maybe that commenter did not make that connection, but I know its been made and I think unsubstantiated.

Sorry for not making myself clear.

The Nameless One

Anonymous said...

In the morning I will ask our church about helping this lady. Can someone post the address ASAP so I will have it with me at the business meeting

thanks said...

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).