SWBTS trustees add Chicago and Danvers statements to policy manual
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS)—Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees approved the addition of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood to the seminary’s policy manual during their fall meeting, Oct. 21.
In addition to including the statements to Southwestern’s policy manual under “Guiding Documents and Statements,” trustees approved the following resolution:
We, the Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary resolve to support our current President in his position with regard to The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It is our understanding that these statements are used as a model with reference to biblical ecclesiology. It is also our understanding that modern culture has migrated away from these ideals, therefore, the training of future churchmen and women is well served by including these statements in the development and implementation of processes that lead to this end. This resolution is an affirmation of our support.
Southwestern president Paige Patterson was involved in the formulation of both statements. In 1978, Patterson served on the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, which was a collection of highly respected conservative theologians who formulated the Chicago Statement. In 1987, he and his wife, Dorothy, were part of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood when they produced the Danvers Statement, outlining the complementarian position on the roles of men and women in the church.
“The reason we added it is because the statement of faith which everyone signs is, by definition, reasonably brief and doesn’t have a great deal of explanation,” Patterson said. “These two items continue to come up, with people asking what you mean by the Bible being literally true. Indeed, we do not require the signing of these documents; they are merely documents to give perspective.”
The statements will be used as guides in the hiring and evaluation processes at the seminary, Patterson said, noting, “More than anything else, it establishes the general posture of the school.”