Saturday, January 27, 2007

Women in Ministry and Due Process

If someone would like to know the official SBC position of Women in Ministry, the following statement is found on the official Southern Baptist Convention website.

"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."

Most Southern Baptists will begin to hear of the Sheri Klouda issue next week when state Baptist papers run the story or the local newspaper runs a weekend religion story on the forced removal of Dr. Klouda as Professor of Hebrew at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary simply because she is a woman.

Some, in an attempt to justify this unjust action against Sheri, argue that hiring her in 2002 was a 'momentary lax of the parameters.' In other words, some allege that the official 'position' of the SBC is that Sheri should never have hired in the first place. That reasoning is both implausible and deceptive. First, as is evidenced from the quote on our convention's web site, women are equal to men in every position of ministry but the 'office of pastor.' Second, the policies and procedures at SWBTS are very clear about tenure review for tenure track professors on SWBTS faculty -- a position that Sheri held. SWBTS must follow policy regarding tenure review, whether it be for a male or female professor. No gender distinction is made in the governing documents of SWBTS. There is no option to navigate around these policies and procedures, nor is there any permission to subvert proper policy, nor can anyone (including the President) simply say, "I don't care what policy states, we are not going to have a woman teach in the School of Theology, therefore, we are not going to give a female tenure track professor the privilege of tenure review and defense."

Southern Baptists are of the opinion that men and women are equal. The BFM states that the role of 'pastor' is reserved for men, but women can, and have, participated in all other roles, including the academic faculty of the theology departments of our seminaries. You can't just deny tenure, or cease tenure review, because someone is a woman. The policy handbook forbids this, and any outside commission would see such action as an egregious violation of professional conduct.

So, the Klouda matter is not about whether or not you believe a woman should, or should not, teach Hebrew. The Klouda issue is not about whether or not you are of the opinion that a woman should, or should not, hold a position in a 'School of Theology.' The Klouda controversy is about insuring that our institutions follow bylaws, procedures, and policy. I believe that those who examine the Klouda controversy, free from jaundiced eyes, will see that Sheri Klouda was not dealt with properly when it came to the handbook on tenure review -- she was discrimated against and treated differently because she is a woman. That's the problem -- and it is a big one.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Bob Cleveland said...


Yes, but it's also about holding our leadership to certain standards of behavior, lest we forget completely that we're about the King's business here. And how can we go about His business in ways He would never condone?

What strikes me so blatantly is that I'm just a guy in a pew, and my standards are a lot higher than what I've seen from the "higher-ups" in this matter. They apparently have no earthly idea how discouraging their actions are to us ordinary folk

CB Scott said...


You said: "treated differently because she was is a woman"

That is the whole and the only valid isssue before the SBC relating to Dr. Sheri Klouda. All of the arguments about "who should teach what" and "she should not have been hired in the first place" are nothing more than "dogs and ponies" being brought before us, in a "show" to evade the truth in this matter and blind all who are willing to have their vision darkened.

To be in the dark makes it easier to go back to sleep in a bed of faulty ethics and questionable moral character.

It is easy to sleep when one is filled with "boloney" sandwiches after having seen a dog and pony show.


irreverend fox said...

you are right on the money again wise one! this is a very big deal...wait till CNN catches wind of it...

Marty Duren said...

MSNBC already has.

Anonymous said...

Based on the clear statement of the denomination's stand on women in the ministry, there is no defense for what the seminary has done. It is clear. And now they aren't just dealing with the blogosphere. Thank you for the link, Marty. Did you read some of the message board comments attached to the article? May we humbly continue to ask the Father for guidance and that His glory be magnified. We need to pray for all who are involved.

Anonymous said...

The message board attached to the article Marty links to shows the John Q. Public response to this information.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting comment there:

Ahhh...the divine ignorance continues at an appalling pace. How is it that we can rely on any religion, specifically the Southern Baptists in this instance, that might indicate their particular "way" is based on "faith", called the "truth", but demands total certainty???? That's enough to confuse even most neo-cons! [. . .] Perhaps we all should consider taking the Bible back from those who claim to know what it says, but continue to demonstrate a persistent ignorance about what it meant, for whom it was written, and what it means in this day and age. But, of course the Baptists would already know this...for theirs is a faith of certainty...go figure.


"Seminary trustee Miles Seaborn, former chairman of the board, told the Star-Telegram the new hires represent the kind of rightward shift he and other trustees have been wanting for years." -- Baptist Standard, 4/15/2002, reporting on Dr. Klouda's hire.

I guess things at SWBTS are now "righter"??

Kevin Bussey said...


When are you going on Nancy Grace and Larry King Live?

Anonymous said...

The Klouda case has split the conservatives in the SBC. Sherri Klouda being hired under Ken Hemphill who by all means is a conservative and now being forced out by PP who claims to be a conservative. Now it appears that SBC'ers are going to be chosing sides - Ken Hemphill or Paige Patterson. ISN'T THE DEVIL HAVING A GREAT TIME?

Anonymous said...

Good work on all of this, Wade. Patterson and Co. are creating their own problems by their actions. I didn't really have a problem with him (b/c I knew nothing about him) until the McKissic Incident. This is the man that had lunch with McKissic, said nothing about the problem he had with his message, and then went out and issued a statement that Rev. McKissic was spreading doctrine harmful to the churches. That is shameful.

Now this. When will they learn? Soon, there will be memorandums flying back and forth on how to deal with the independent Baptist press - the bloggers. It seems that McClain learned nothing from Tom Hatley and so the beat goes on.

The MSNBC article could be a watershed moment in this whole thing. I hope that they see that all we want is consistency and for them to follow our own statement of faith.

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,

I agree with Brother CB, the thing about your argumentation is that its nearly impossible to even attempt to refute.

The entire issue seems to be: How would Sheri Klouda have been treated if she were a man?

Oddly enough, no one from the seminary school seems to be answering this question. I'm impressed that you keep asking the question. said...


Please reword your comment without the word Taliban. It is an offense to me and the soldiers in Afghanistan to equate any fellow American, particularly an evangelical -- even a Fundamentalist -- to the Taliban.

wade said...

John D. Herring has given us insight with his link and his very perceptive comment.


Anonymous said...


Should we see the several other women who teach at SWBTS denied tenure? (if they don't have it already)

Should we look to see them removed soon?

The Nameless one

Anonymous said...

one little man asked "how would Sheri Klouda have been treated if she were a man?" What hasn't been reported on this blog (or any where else for that matter) is that, as far as tenure is concerned, she would have been treated exactly the same. If you had done a little more investigation you would have found that NO professor has been granted tenure since Patterson arrived in '03 because the tenure track is being re-written.

Alycelee said...

Do you suppose SBTS trustees and PP finally understand that this isn't going away? Business as usual just isn't going to work. I noted in particular seeing with "jaundice eyes." If ever there was a need to take our lense off, it's now.

Unfortunately, I see more and more blogs dedicated to 'bringing Wade down' as well as Marty, Ben and others. While reading them, it seems they don't believe your motive is to help, but to tear down, so their response? Tear down.
It seems they have lost sight of where the real problem is, if they ever saw in the first place.

Shouldn't we all be on the same page when it comes to coming to the defense of the oppressed?

Anonymous said...


What blogs are they? Just curoius.


The Nameless one said...


Pray for me.

I must maintain a gracious spirit in the face of attack.


Todd Nelson said...

As a SWBTS alumnus and the nephew of an alum, I'm appalled and embarrassed at the behavior of the present seminary administration. In fact, I've been appalled and embarrassed ever since I witnessed the hard ball trustee politics that got Russell Dilday fired. Disgraceful behavior then, and now.

Reminds me of a Beth Moore book title: When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. (Is she not Southern Baptists' and Lifeway's most popular Bible teacher? Mmm.)

Though there are undoubtedly still some wonderful professors there, I can no longer recommend anyone to enroll at SWBTS, at least not until some trustees get replaced and a new administration puts the school back on a less restrictive course -- one with a bit more hermeneutical humility.

Keep up the heat, Wade, Marty, Art, Alan, Dwight, and all. Keep it up, and guard your own hearts as well.

Let righteousness, light, and truth prevail.

BTW, just wondering after reading the MSNBC article... Might it be Sheri's growing popularity as a teacher that caused the administration to renege and cancel her class schedule earlier than originally promised? (And they did it without telling her directly?!) Or was the dean or president simply concerned that she wasn't obeying orders quickly enough?

Anonymous said...

Another thing that has gone unnoticed is that many of the other SBC seminaries are testosterone heavy in their theology school faculties. In fact, SBTS, SEBTS, and NOBTS have NO women in full-time faculty positions in the school of theology. Should we expect similar outcries from you and more letters from Ben? Somehow I'm doubting the response will be the same.

Steve said...

Pastor Wade,
If you go on Larry King take your wife and maybe a couple other younger ladies from EBC!

volfan007 said...

i think that one thing that ought to be considered more strongly as this debate goes on is this....from what i understand, pp does not give tenure out very much. hardly anyone gets tenure under him. and, if anonymous is right, no one has received tenure since '03. is this the truth? i dont know. i am going by what i am told.

if this is so, then why should dr. klouda's case be any different than all the other prof.'s being denied tenure?


Denise said...

Houston Chronicle Checking in..

Alycelee said...

nameless, email me and I will send you a list.
Wade, Mackey and I pray for you everyday. We believe you are on mission by God, this is why we are here. We stand with you my brother and all who will stand to 'set the captives free'

Bob Cleveland said...


Cuz all her classes were taken away from her. If there are professors teaching there, now, without tenure, that's all the difference you'd need.

CB Scott said...

Bob Cleveland,

I must take issue with you on one thing before we start down the road.

There is no such "animal" as: "just a guy in a pew" in SBC life. At least there is not supposed to be such an animal in SBC life.

I think that is one of our great problems within our convention. We have let "so called" leaders do our thinking for us as Southern Baptists far to long. We have anointed icons and forgotten Exodus 20:4-6. We are reaping the harvest for our creature worship.

There must be an awakening in the SBC. The very nature of our denomination demands individual accountability before God for what happens in the convention.

In truth, Bob, you would never be just another guy in anything:-)

Thanks for sticking to the stuff.


Steve said...

Why fuss now, Volfan -

Paige specifically lied to her and has been Clinton-sly through all of this - very worldly, but nothing even close to anyone's idea of righteousness or acting like Jesus.

PP has demonstrated his slickness by dining with Dr. McKissick and immediately slamming the door on his sermon.

All the hallelujahs thrown at PP and the gang for kicking doors in amd politically throwing all the rascals out apparently went to his head. More on this at Marty Duren's blog.

All I know is, is that if it had been me or thee following the steps of this life, who's to say we wouldn't have made an even more fragrant cowpie of the whole thing?

By the way, the prettiest end zone in football IS checkerboard Orange & White! My daddy's buried in Tennessee.

Steve Austin

Anonymous said...

Anony who asked about the devil having a good time... he had a good time those night Jesus lay in the grave, too. But God always has a plan! Praise God, not the devil.

Wade, I am praying for you. I still cannot imagine all the pressure you are under right now. It isn't just the criticism. It is the temptation to be proud of what has happened as though you have done it or accomplished something. I pray for your grace in the face of criticism, humility in the face of the itch to make a name for yourself, patience to let God work, and endurance to persevere in following Him.

Anonymous said...

Volfan, if that were a legitimate defense and the one the SWBTS seminary were claiming (that they don't grant tenure), then they would have said that from the beginning. It's too late now for them to answer anything legitimately. If they had a legit answer it should have been given immediately and up front. Anything said now will appear pretextual and "created." They really have painted themselves in a corner.

Kelly Reed said...

If PP is not granting many tenures at SWBTS it's probably because of the high turnover that has occured since his arrival. Many professors left and/or retired which needed to be replaced. These new hires have not been there long enough to be considered for tenure.

It seems like most of PP's hires have been based on relationship/friendship with him or whether they are a part of the "network" of good 'ol boys. So I suspect they will get tenure when the time comes. That will be his legacy building.

If not granting tenure is a pattern that goes back to SEBTS, then that too is a problem as some of the best professors will avoid seeking employment at SWBTS because they recognize there is a slim chance of getting tenure.

Consider it like this. Most secular employment has some kind of probationary period for review, some 90 days, some 6 months. If you were considering this position and you knew there was only a 20% of getting hired full time regardless of job performance, would you be willing to sell your home, move your family, and buy a new home just to take the job? I wouldn't.

In the same way, the SWBTS won't be considered by some of the best, if this is the pattern. They won't want to waste 4-5 years of their professional career like Klouda now has.

All of the SBC would be weakened by this in the future as the future pastors and ministers won't be learning from the best in their fields.

Kelly said...

Excellent insight Kelly. Tenure track faculty are given six years to either have tenure or be removed. Every six months there is a tenure track review process where the professor's peformance is discussed based upon the criteria for tenure in the SWBTS policies and procedures manual. By the way, the manual contains sentences in the his/her format for all schools at SWBTS, including the school of theology. There is never a distinction in tenure criteria based upon gender.

It seems obvious to me that Patterson is more comfortable with a Bible school that produces pastors than an academy that produces scholars. The SBC needs to realize that this particular course, unless stopped, is extraordinarily detrimental to the academic progress the Southern Baptist Convention has made over the years.

In fact, if this mentality is not reversed by the trustees, we will soon find Ph.D. students from our seminaries declined by any university that prizes academia as a criterion for new hires. Some Ph.D. students have already felt that pain, as is evidenced by their comments to me.

volfan007 said...


what i am being told is that pp has consistently not granted tenure to very many wherever he all the places he has been. that this is truly a pattern with him. thus, dr. klouda's being denied is no unusual thing. in other words, everyone getting in an uproar over this should understand that this happens to a lot of would be prof.' was not unique to dr. klouda. right?

also, this issue is not about whether we value women, or not. its not about whether we feel that women are just as valuable as men. we, people who hold to no women teaching men in a public the authority, believe that women are equal with men. so, please dont try to throw moot arguement at us.

we just believe the bible about men and women having different roles...ordained by God. just as equal....just as valuable...but different...not the same. a woman should be a woman and a man ought to be a man. and, viva la differance!


Anonymous said...

David/Volfan, you completely missed my point and the point of this post. That's okay. I know I struggle with communicating sometimes.

I'll give it one more shot. First, the point of the post is that SWBTS cannot claim the religious beliefs of its own denomination as a basis for the termination because the statement on women includes how women play an important rule in its "faculties" and only distinguishes the roles with regard to "pastoral leadership."

My point was that your talking (and whomever you've been listening to) about how this can all be explained by PP's practice of not granting tenure doesn't help explain anything. If that were the legitimate reason for the adverse employment actions against Dr. Klouda, then SWTBS would have been saying that publically from the very beginning.

Finally, you are making the point that this is about gender by continuing to argue that there is some biblical basis for not letting a professor teach Hebrew. There isn't a biblical basis for it, but you are still trying to say there is. And, even if one were to believe that there were such a basis, which might be their religious prerogative, the Southern Baptists, as a denomination, by their public statement, as quoted in this very post, do not.

Anonymous said...

Your last comment demonstrates the difference between a seminary and a divinity school (which you seemed to miss). A seminary, by nature trains pastors for the churches. A divinity school focuses more on training professional scholars. If someone is interested in being considered to teach in universities, they make a poor choice by pursuing a Ph.D. in a seminary (this is true of ALL seminaries). If they feel called to teach in a seminary and train pastors, they should pursue a Ph.D. from a seminary and spend time in full time ministry to be the most effective teacher possible.

SBC seminaries are not and will never be divinity schools. They exits for the churches.

C in IND

Denise said...

Like Brother Bob, I'm just a "GAL" in the pew. A mother of two girls, one who at 7 is sure God is calling her into full time service, and the way this little adopted african american daughter, adopted by white parents, being brought up in Houston, in a predominately white church can pray, says that i'm believing she's been called!!!

I say this not to boast but to say that I want my daughter to be able to go to a school and be taught by GODLY women like Dr. Klouda no matter what her vocation might be or what the professors gender may be.

I know Wade, Marty, Ben, etc. don't need little ole me to toot their horns but I started reading their blogs during "greenville" and I haven't stopped since. I appreciate their love for our LORD and our DENOMINATION and the fact they want things "DONE RIGHT".

Since then I've emailed Bro. Wade about a personal question and he PROMPTLY answered me with what I would hope my pastor would do if asked the same question, with LOVE in CHRIST!! I applaud the behavior of this man and am glad that he represents me as a Southern Baptist.

Oh yeah, as i've shared before I grew up in Enid in the Wesleyan church there. I have since married (27 years ago) a baylor baptist boy. (I remind him he met me in OKC so he had to come to Oklahoma to find his wife) He then says he rescued me and brought me to Texas and introduced me to the Baptist church that I now declare as my DENOMINATION.

Boy oh boy would some of his former baptist ancestors of LONG LONG ago not turn over in their grave when they saw that the branches in the tree have taken on a "darker" color. After all read the post Wade has about baptists and slavery. They probably would but I'm thankful to see that the baptists came around and are now diverse and loving and accept us and our children no matter their color.

NOW lets work on this GENDER ISSUE!!
I'm proud of you Wade and though I've not met you in person, you can bet next time I'm in Enid, visiting the folks. I'm going to stop by and say HOWDY :)

Sorry I get started typing and chase rabbits :)

Love in HIM,

Denise said...

C in IND,

I know the difference between a divinity school and a seminary.

I am simply saying that any place where 'masters of divinity' or a 'doctorates in philosophy' are awarded -- INCLUDING TO FEMALES -- is a place that can, and ought to have females on faculty.

For heaven's sake, the finest Hebrew scholar, awarded a Ph.D. from Southwestern, affirms the BFM 2000, and is a conservative among conservatives, cannot use her degree, which she invested thousands of dollars in SWBTS to obtain, for a position on faculty simply because she is a woman?

That is ridiculous, and if we let this kind of thinking continue without confronting it we are in big trouble.

Kevin Bussey said...

The Nameless one,

Here is just one that constantly attacks Wade the person, not the issues.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Denise: I think you have more than adequately spoken for many SB women today. I am one who read your post and said, "yes, that's exactly what I want."

Bob Cleveland said...


Looks like you got the point.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

How was Dr. K treated any differently than others who were not granted tenure?

And what about two years to look for a job?

I am just asking folks. The argument being made that Dr. K was treated different does not add up - and it took two years to find a position (paid) but only in undergrad - I guess SWBTS is not the only one that works this way.


Anonymous said...


Dr. Klouda is not the only female professor denied tenure. Dr. Karen Bullock was also denied tenure. She is one of the best teachers I have ever had and certainly the best professor at SWBTS. At the same time established and respected female professors in the school of Theology were being dismissed a new female professor whose last name is Patterson was hired. I am trouble that professors and deans are being replaced with new faculty members with no experinece and many with no doctorates.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Volfan said "also, this issue is not about whether we value women, or not. its not about whether we feel that women are just as valuable as men. we, people who hold to no women teaching men in a public the authority, believe that women are equal with men."

For me, actions speak louder than words David. said...

Dr. Bullock's story will one day also come out.

I have just learned the details.

It's probably as sad, but I had no knowledge of it, and was not in a position at the time to do anything about it.


Alycelee said...

When a pastor gets in the pulpit and calls women who pastor (if you agree or not) preacherettes, and women deacons, deaconettes (if you agree with women being deacons or not, it is NOT, I repeat NOT showing equal value or respect for women.
Yes Debbie, actions do speak louder than words.

volfan007 said...


God bless you. i pray that the Lord will do wonderful things in your heart today and everyday.


Alycelee said...

It will be a wonderful day David when you stop referring to women this way and stop pretending you don't.
A 'blessing' afterward does little toward reconciliation, to me, to Catherine, to any women.
It reminds me of one passing someone who is hungry, laying one hand on their head and proclaiming "be filled" but offering nothing in the way of meat. The someone comes by and feeds this person on the Sabbath, but the person refusing to feed the hungry one shouts NO NO, not on the Sabbath. Wade, others are feeding.
Others are shouting NO NO, not on the Sabbath. For this act of mercy they proclaim him liberal. Sound familar?

Alycelee said...

I thought he was taking the comment string down?
I just read it too, obviously it is still up.
I'm very sorry Wade

Denise said...

This is off topic but I was starting to get HUMAN over here and get angry at the stuff being written about Wade etc....and had to "chill some" It helped so much when I went over to brother wes's site and watched the Ellen and gladys video. Being in texas it cracked me up even more...but if you are feeling like me and need some levity PLEASE go watch this...

volfan007 said...


wow, that is funny. thanks.


Anonymous said...

Volfan, understand that what I am about to say is me preaching to myself as well: Perhaps if you listened more and spoke less in your approach to the blogosphere you would get more out of it.

James 1:19-- My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

Proverbs 17:28-- Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

My intent in saying this is to encourage you to continue to participate, but, as I need to do, read more and write less often. Pray about what I'm going to say and stew over it a bit before I just respond to a single comment.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Volfan: Going from blog to blog and spreading the very thing you have posted here is called gossip. If that is what you are about then I don't have a reason for you to stay.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday the following post was written:

"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."

It really surpises me that not one SWBTS professor can speak up in support of Klouda. Is the environment at Southwestern Seminary that oppressive?

Anonymous said...

As it has been said, "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those, who in times of great moral crisis, remain silent."

CB Scott said...

"Hottest places in Hell"????

It is funny that someone that signs as anonymous uses that quote:-)


RKSOKC66 said...

I don't think it is legitimate to reference "the hottest places in hell". There is nothing in the BF&M that describes thermal gradients in that domain. Yet another attempt to "narrow the parameters" by reference to doctrines that are extra-BF&M. :-)

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Anonymous said...

I would not quit blogging. I would just read and think before I blog. Different opinions are fine! Some of your post are very meaningful but others are just more of the same.
As someone has said, "W.A. Criswell, the father of the modern day conservative moment, let his wife teach men in an auditorium class. But not only did W.A. do this, but 1,000's of churches all over our convention have women teaching men in a Sunday School class as we blog. They do it under the authority of the pastor. No one that I personally know, want women to be pastors in a church - most everyone feels that is unbibilical. It seems that you are calling everyone a liberal who disagrees with you. That dog does not hunt. You must not just look at the I Tim. passage, but interpret I Tim. in light of all of the scripture as a whole.
W. A Criswell was a smart man - few in the convention are as smart as he was - including myself. Reading between the lines, it seems that you are calling W.A. Criswell a liberal for holding those views. Also, volfan, to be consistent, you must never let a woman stand behind the pulpit and testify or sing especially some of the songs of today that are directly from scripture. Some doctrine might be shared/sung in a congregation setting where men are present.
As you often say, God bless you Volfan, we do love you and you do have a right to express your views - but just think and pray before you write.
God bless you Brother - we love you!

Charlie Mac said...

One of the anonymous writers said they did not personally know anyone who wanted women to be pastors. Well, guess what? It should not make any difference what I, you or anyone else, whether you know them personally or not, want. It should only matter whether God calls a certain person to be a pastor.
Now regarding women all across the denomination teaching men in Sunday School under the authority of the pastor. I really would appreciate it if someone would attempt to answer this perplexing question: If the scriptures used to specifically prohibit women from teaching men are to be applied to today's church, where is the specific scripture that grants authority to pastors to bypass those same scriptures in their church?
Actually it seems to this "guy in the pew" that some try to tell everyone else what to do, but do what ever is expedient for themselves.
Another thing. Be careful in your use of the initials 'PP'. There are more than one prominant 'PP' in Texas Baptist politics.
Mac McFatter

Anonymous said...

Volfan is correct about Paige Patterson seldom granting tenure. They are paranoid that they will grant tenure to a "John Paul Stevens." When someone has tenure, it is extremely difficult to remove them when they differ on nonessential matters.
It is this same paranoia that fuels their misguided belief that women teaching men in our seminaries will inevitably lead to support for women pastors. We all know that's what people like Dr. Sheri Klouda's real agenda is, don't we? (please note the sarcasm)

John Jax said...

Dear Lord - I lift up my brother, and your child, Wade Burleson. I thank you for Wade and men like him who are willing to stand up and be counted in the face of great criticism. I know he is not perfect, nor is he infallible, however Lord, I pray that you are guiding him and giving him wisdom when he seeks to expose things in our convention that are not pleasing to you. Please give him strength, peace and your joy while he continues to be the pastor, spouse and father you have called him to be. May YOUR will be done in his life and in your church. Please protect his family, his health, and his ministry and guard his testimony. May he stay close to you and keep his heart and mind pure. Please use him to help bring greater transparency, accountability, and Christ-like leadership to our convention and our seminaries and churches. Keep him humble, and Lord I pray that he too, will not be led astray by any attention or influence he is able to gain through your using him. I ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Writer said...


Since you addressed me, I guess I'll reply. I understand your position. I think I'm going to refrain from drawing a conclusion on the issue of Dr. Klouda until more information is made available. It would be very interesting to me to hear more of what SWBTS has to say. The silence is somewhat understandable on their part as they may face litigation. Maybe that's what it will take for all of the facts to come to light.

I am not unsympathetic to the issue being discussed. I had two semesters of Christian History with Dr. Bullock as well as worked in the association with some of the youth in her church when I was a Music Minister/Youth Pastor while I attended SWBTS. Dr. Bullock inspired and challenged me in the classroom. It was her influence that lit a flame of interest in church history that still burns today. I do not know the circumstances of her departure from SWBTS but when I heard she had left, I wasn't surprised. It is the students at SWBTS who are the poorer for her absence.



Anonymous said...

Les, as someone who has represented many companies in litigation, most understand that silence is not wise. Perhaps it is just fear and ignorance of how to respond that has guided SWBTS to remain silent, but silence under such circumstances is not the best policy. You can't speak freely, but you must speak the truth and speak it consistently unless the truth is something that cannot be spoken.

Anonymous said...

What I really don’t understand is why Dr. Patterson wasn’t upfront from the beginning. He could easily have called Dr. Klouda into the office when he first arrived at SWBTS and said something like this:

“Sheri, I respect your scholasticism and the hard work you have put in here at Southwestern. However, you need to know that it is my conviction that a woman should not teach in our theology school because we are principally a training ground for pastors. As long as I am president I will neither pursue a female faculty member for the theology school or recommend a woman for tenure in the theology school. Therefore, I think it is in your best interests and the best interests of our institution if you were to seek employment elsewhere. I don’t want to cause undue hardship for you and your family, so take the time you need to find the best fit for you. I will use the resources and connections I have at my disposal to assist you in this process.”

Now you still have big problems here in that he is a)ignoring the due process of tenure based on gender, b) acting unilaterally to push out a faculty member that the trustees had approved and c) narrowing the parameters beyond that of BFM 2000. And let’s be clear—I still don’t think his actions would have been justified, but at least in this scenario everyone knows where they stand from the beginning. It still would have taken a while for her to find another position—not because of her gender but because positions for OT linguists don’t grow on trees. But Dr. Klouda and her family would have been spared some anguish as well as the economic hardship caused by purchasing a home based on the assurances of future employment Dr. Patterson himself had given her. Unfortunately, Dr. Patterson chose a different course of action.

I think Dr. Klouda said it best herself:
“I expected the best of Dr. Patterson and that he wouldn’t do something like this. I believed him when I talked to him when he said I didn’t have anything to worry about and that he was okay with what I was teaching. I was very disappointed later … when he contradicted what he had said.” (

Bryan Laramore said...

hey wade,

what are ya preaching in the morning? God's strength be with you!

b.l. said...

Genesis 19. It is an exposition of the words of the angels as they sought to convince Lot to leave Sodom.

Thanks for the prayers. said...

Today is my wife's 44th Birthday!!

Happy Birthday to the most beautiful woman on the face of this planet!


Anonymous said...

I have a question. If tommorrow Dr. Patterson admitted that he handled the Klouda situation poorly, offered to restore her to the faculty and compensated her for her losses would that be enough? Or must Patterson resign? What if the situation was addressed in this manner and then the Seminary officially said they would hire no women to the faculty of theology?

I tend to think that the most prudent thing we can do is avoid women teaching theology over men. I am a committed complementarian, However, I have noticed that several other conservative evangelical schools, such as Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Gordon-Conwell, Beeson, and Wheaton, have not made the complementarian/egalitarian debate become a litmus test for serving on their faculties. Also, it is noteable that many very conservative even Reformed minded men have been egalitarians such as Dr. Roger Nicole. I just wonder if this was not an issue we could have agreed to disagree on. Many things cannot be tolerated in our seminaries like: Arianism, Modalism, Open-Theism, and Arminianism (sorry cheap shot) but I wonder if we could have had real disagreement about the complementarian/egalitarian debate and been alright.

OC Hands said...

As I have read the comments on this blog and others like it, I have felt alternately angry, frustrated, upset, at times even wanting to attack some who have posted. Then, I had a revelation: some are posting for the sole purpose of "provoking" the saints. Now, I know that the Bible says to "provoke one another to love and good works," but there are some who seem to take great delight in "provoking" the saints to "stir them up."
Then, I began to laugh as I re-read these postings. Boy, they certainly did accomplish their purpose.
Fortunately, most have responded in love and genuine concern, and have welcomed those who have different views--asking only that they keep their remarks within the bounds of Christian conversation (my interpretation.)
My concern in all of this is that if we aren't careful, we will become obsessed with making sure that our views prevail, Of course there are areas where we will have to "agree to disagree" because no two people see the same thing the same way all the time.
If you will review comments from those who have posted, you will see a pattern in many posts--repeating the same thing over and over ad infinitum. It seems that we want to stamp out evil by our much speaking and writing. I was reminded of Captain Ahab in Moby Dick. He was obsessed with destroying the great white whale. Then I recalled that in Systematics class, Dr. Hendricks pointed out that the white whale was symbolic of evil in the world. And Ahab's obsession with trying to put an end to it led to his demise.

I support those who are genuinely concerned with righting the wrongs and injustices done to others. Let me say that I do share your anger, outrage and frustration at the actions of some Christian leaaders. That has been one of my problems throughout my life and ministry. Only fairly recently, have I realized that these people and their actions or attitudes were controlling my joy and sense of fulfillment in life. That does not mean that I bury my head in the sand. But it does mean that I depend more on prayer--doing what Father leads me to do, and leaving the results to Him.
"Vengeance is mine--I will repay" says the Lord.
Let me encourage you to spend as much time praying for those involved in these events as you do ruminating about them and blogging about them. I am confident we will see the hand of God in bringing resolutions to these unfortunate, sad, and un-Christian (to say nothing of un-Baptistic) actions by some of our leaders.
Just my opinion.

Charlie Mac said...

Oh that some how we could "provoke" all the "guys [and gals] in the pews" into thinking and studying what the scriptures said to the first readers, what they have said to those since then, and perhaps most importantly, what they say to us today.
Then maybe some would attempt to answer "Where does the scripture give pastors specific authority to circumvent scriptures that specifically prevent women from teaching men?". If indeed they do.
Mac McFatter said...


If the steps described by you were taken by Dr. Patterson, I would stand up and shout:

Thank you Dr. Patterson, for your leadesrhip in this matter. I support you 100 percent as President of SWBTS, and your humility in admitting error is refreshing.

Absolutely we can work together, and should -- but we will not back down when an injustice has been committed.


Chris Walls said...


Forget about State Baptist Newspapers. In the back page of the main section of our Saturday "Cumberland Times News" had the story of what happened. I tried to link it online but it is not showing up. I will have to go back and look at the paper and see where they got the article from. The Cumberland Times News is located in Cumberland, Maryland.

lifelongSBC'r said...

An enterprising investigator should check with the former director of the Ph.D. program at SEBTS.

He quitely objected to the "de facto" abolition of the tenure process, because it would diminish the quality of faculty able to be attracted.

He watched very questionable moves by the administration, how faculty were treated and undue influence for the benefit of relatives and sycophants.

Sadly, he left quietly and SEBTS was the poorer, as was the SBC. The trustees, when told that various faculty resigned, did not bother--or dare--to check further. said...


Too many people have been concerned about their future ministries, careers and positions in the SBC to say anything.

That may be changing for the good of our convention.


lifelongSBC'r said...

At the close of his Nov. 28 Chapel, Dr. P had all the faculty (presumably, including women), and administrators to stand. Pointing students toward those standing, he said these are your pastors... and I'm the pastor of a "big 'ol church." (The seminary, not the SBC, one would hope.)
If any women were standing, what does that say regarding liberalism at the seminary?
Check it out.

Anonymous said...

1.the state or quality of being equal; correspondence in quantity, degree, value, rank, or ability.
2.uniform character, as of motion or surface.
3.Mathematics. a statement that two quantities are equal; equation.

I thought this might help in our discussions of gender equality. It usually helps to define our terms.

Anonymous said...


As an active member of a Southern Baptist Church I have been so agrieved over the unchristian treatment of Dr. Klouda -- in our name and with funds we have faithfully tithed over the years-- I concluded that it might be necessary to leave for a nondenominational church free of despotic Pharisaic overseers.

My feelings were confirmed as I read the blogs of the "frozen chosen" - the self-righteous who attack you - and seem more interested in identifying "false" Baptists and driving them away than inviting unbelievers or non-practicing Christians to join their exclusive club.

Thankfully, I also discovered vitriolic attacks against the very church of which I am a member as well as its Senior Pastor, his father (another well-known Baptist Minister and former President of the Convention) -- as well as the current President of the SBC.

Now I see these self-appointed members of The Great Baptist Sanhedrin for who and what they are. - And I see that it would be wrong to flee; I will stay and fight for the cause of Christ lest any more of my Sisters are treated like Dr. Klouda.

Kelly Reed said...

Leigh Ann,
I think you are absolutely right. It is a matter of integrity.
Vicky Reed
P.S. Is your husband's name the same as that of a candy bar?

Anonymous said...

As a Baptist pastor, I have been uninvolved and apathetic about the SBC for 20 years because of stuff like the Klouda situation. I quit going to convention. I am going to become engaged again in the SBC now that people are standing up against this kind of evil.

Anonymous said...

Vicky (and Kelly) yup! Kelly has Heath's email. See you in SA?

Ruth A. Tucker said...

The issue of women in ministry and due process is one that reaches far beyond the Southern Baptists. I encountered sex discrimination as the first full-time woman professor (in 125 years) at a seminary that outwardly argues for equal opportunity for women. I tell about my very humiliating and painful 3+ year ordeal on my blog "My Calvin Seminary Story" at I'm a highly qualified woman, and now after many years of seminary teaching I am unemployed.

Ruth A. Tucker, Ph.D.

Ruth A. Tucker said...

The issue of women in ministry and due process is one that reaches far beyond the Southern Baptists. I encountered sex discrimination as the first full-time woman professor (in 125 years) at a seminary that outwardly argues for equal opportunity for women. I tell about my very humiliating and painful 3+ year ordeal on my blog "My Calvin Seminary Story" at I'm a highly qualified woman, and now after many years of seminary teaching I am unemployed.

Ruth A. Tucker, Ph.D.