Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Light of a New Day at Southwestern Seminary

Last week, a graduating college senior from our church asked me which seminary he should attend.

Without hesitation, I said, "Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Its campus is near where you live. It's heading in the right direction. You'll be a part of a new legacy." 

The college graduate enrolled yesterday. 

Difficult news will be coming out of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary later today. 

When you first hear of the faculty reductions, you may unwittingly assume the wrong things. 

You may assume Southwestern is now in trouble. Nope. Southwestern was in trouble. The present leadership is doing what is necessary to get the seminary stable again financially, academically, and numerically.

Today's dismissals are a recalibration. It's necessary. It's about time. 

When you hear the news, know that those now responsible for leadership at the Seminary (new administration and trustees) are finally making decisions for the good of the institution, the SBC, and the Kingdom at large. 

The situation at Southwestern prior to June 2018 was far worse than anyone could have ever imagined. 

The sinking ship is now being given ballast.

Whatever else may be said about The Baptist Blogger, the one thing that must be said is that he courageously said what others cowardly refused to say during the years stained glass windows blocked the light of day from shining inside the walls of Southwestern.

Give credit where credit is due. 

Indeed, the light of a new day has dawned at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


Tom said...


It seems that you have erred in your blog with this line as it gives the impression of being prophetical.

The situation at Southwestern prior to June 2019 was far worse than anyone could have ever imagined.

After reading you are welcome to delete this comment



Wade Burleson said...

Thank you Tom!

It indeed, was a typo - should have put 2018 (and I have corrected it).

Your comment and my response to you will stand so folks can see the correction.

Appreciate the correction.

Rex Ray said...


YIPPEE! As Nebuchadnezzar statue is gone, so are their pictures!

Wade, you showed where Pressler’s picture was removed. Do you have a picture showing the same for Patterson?

I’m sure the ‘old conventions’ of Texas and Virginia that adhere to the BF&M 1963, would like to see the last of Patterson’s ‘tail feathers’ plucked by a revision of HIS BF&M 2000.

Bob Cleveland said...

This SO resonates with my theory concerning the Conservative Resurgence. It's a shame we did not realize it sooner.

Anonymous said...

Praying for those directly impacted by today's news.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I am so thrilled with the changes at SWBTS. Gone too is the dictatorship atmosphere, replaced with freedom among the staff which I am sure is like a breath of fresh air. I am so glad I was around to witness this as so many of us knew what was going on at SWBTS which was beyond wrong, it was unconscionable.

Stephanie F said...

Can someone explain to me why there is a college at SWBTS when there are many excellent Christian colleges and universities? I understand it increases enrollment and brings in money, but certainly the college is not needed. Is it just me that has a problem with this?

Rex Ray said...


I believe it’s like the saying: “You can fool all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the all of the time.”


Would you explain more in detail what you mean, because it sounds like you’re sorry Pressler and Patterson got caught.

Troy Long said...


Thank you to BB for his courageous stand.


Anonymous said...

Wade, You made this comment at TWW: "The problem is a skewed view of male spiritual authority, and it has infected evangelicals."

My concern is that SWBTS has positioned itself to perpetuate this problem by making someone as connected to CBMW as the new Provost - Academic Vice President is. I had hoped that they would take a more measured approach to Complementarianism vs. Egalatarianism. We'll see just how big the tent is.

Wade Burleson said...


I can assure you I’ll be watching closely.

Anonymous said...


You mentioned faculty reduction. I am hopeful that you could say something else about this. I have heard the faculty in the music program has been halved from about 10 to 5, and that the Houston extension campus has been/will be closed. I certainly don't want to prompt gossip, but it would cure my concerns to know if some faculty in the theology department have been cut. No names, just any information about the status of the department as a whole would go a long way for me.

Anonymous said...

Well, just more evidence that most Baptists could care less about the arts. It's always the first place to attack when "recalibrating" (budget cuts), and this is especially true. If it weren't for my Theological convictions, I would have left the SBC a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous@9:48: If you will pardon the snark (pointed at the excesses of the past): The Steinway to Music Faculty ratio just went way up.

Seriously, this article at SBCVoices provides some perspective:

Still praying for those impacted by these events including faculty, support staff, and students.

Ron West said...

Among other things, what we witnessed at Southwestern was a complete breakdown of the trustee system in the SBC. Just as trustees were appointed during Russell Dilday's presidency to oppose and get rid of him, trustees in the Patterson reign were appointed to be yes men to his ego driven regime. The blame for this belongs to SBC presidents who controlled the appointment process and Southern Baptists who elected these presidents and ignored those such as yourself who were speaking truth to power.

Jay said...


I am sorry that you see the faculty reductions as such a positive. These are real families with real bills to pay who now find themselves out of work when the academic hiring season has long past. For most of them, they need to plan on being jobless for at least a year, since hiring decisions won't begin again in earnest for another six months at least and new contracts won't begin until July 2020. Most of these folks did nothing wrong other than come to SWBTS in good faith and try to do a good job. As for the seminary finances, I agree that they were abysmal prior to June 2018 and the Board should be held to account for letting a madman drive the seminary into the ground. However, Dr. Bingham had stabilized things and the seminary was not in danger of closing. The administration could have given these folks more time if they wanted to but, in the vein of Rahm Emmanuel, they did not let the emergency go by without ramming through something they otherwise could not have. This is not how Jesus would have wanted these families treated. Greenway is doing the exact same thing that Patterson did when he fired a bunch of faculty in the month of April. Nothing has changed.

To Debbie Kaufman, you're wrong. The people I know at SWBTS say it is just like under Patterson. Everyone is scared they will be next and walking on eggshells because SWBTS just has a different dictator now. It's not a breath of fresh air, it's the same air of fear and intimidation. It's a just a different president blowing it.


Anonymous said...


I share your concerns. I'm surprised there's no interests here in determining why they dismissed the most qualified OT professor they've ever had. Also no one has asked how the firings affect the ratio of male to female students. I'll circle back around next April after the board elects some new faculty with doctorates from SBTS.

Anonymous said...

*male and female faculty

Anonymous said...

SWBTS: "We are making some difficult faculty cuts because we don't have the funds to support them. Also, we are hiring a new professor and beginning a new academic center" Good on those who saw past the rhetoric of fiscal responsibility and to the heart of the issue: making SWBTS more like SBTS in terms of faculty affiliations and eventually doctrine.