Trustees Issue Statement of Support for Pattersons
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS)-The Board of Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary issued the following statement of affirmation for President and Mrs. Paige Patterson, Oct. 17:
Statement of Support
Jesus calls Southern Baptists, and indeed, all Christians, to reach a lost world with His Gospel. Additionally, we are to model Christ in the way we live our lives and in the way we treat one another. As Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, we believe that the incessant public attacks on Dr. and Mrs. Paige Patterson and other Baptist leaders of late are harmful to our mission of reaching the world with the Gospel. What the world, both Christians and non-Christians, sees is not Christ-like. Indeed, some of the actions are contrary to what the Bible teaches. Therefore, the Trustees at SWBTS would like to make the following statement of support for Dr. and Mrs. Patterson.
The Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) take seriously the responsibility given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ and the Southern Baptist Convention to provide oversight and guidance to SWBTS. Therefore, we want Southern Baptists to know the following:
- The financial records of the seminary are examined (audited) annually by an independent auditor. To date, no audit has indicated any financial mismanagement or impropriety. Indeed, the administration of the seminary works diligently to assure that financial integrity is always maintained, and that is what the audits reveal. Southern Baptists can have assurance that contributions given to the seminary are spent wisely according to the leadership of the Lord and according to the donors’ requests. A contribution given to SWBTS is a wise investment in God’s kingdom work!
- The work of the administration, faculty, and staff is evaluated at least annually according to policies that are designed and/or approved by the trustees. The president is included in the evaluation process, and all trustees have the opportunity to contribute to the evaluation process of the president. The president has welcomed these opportunities of evaluation, and he hears and respects the counsel of the trustees.
- The president has always been open with the trustees and answers their questions fully. We cannot conceive how anyone can be any more open and honest than is Dr. Patterson! Dr. Patterson understands the trustee process and recognizes that he provides leadership to the seminary under the Lordship of Christ by the authority granted to the trustees by the convention. The trustees likewise recognize that they serve the Southern Baptist Convention under the Lordship of Christ. Just as Dr. Patterson is accountable to the Lord and to the trustees, so the trustees are accountable to the Lord and the Southern Baptist Convention.
- Our Baptist forbearers were wise to set up the trustee system that Southern Baptists have in place. It works extremely well! The relentless attacks on Dr. Patterson are also a subtle attack on the trustee system of oversight that the convention employs.
- We join with other Southern Baptists in urging that public attacks against Dr. Patterson and other leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention that hurt the spread of the gospel to an unbelieving world cease for the sake of those who are headed to utter destruction. There is a place for constructive criticism of the leadership of our agencies, and Southern Baptists have set up a trustee system to primarily allow for that need. Scripture does tell us to speak the truth, but it also says it is to be done in love and gentleness, with the goal of redeeming a brother in Christ. Above all, there is a watching world that needs to see Christ’s love in all of our words and deeds.
- The trustees of SWBTS have found no reason to question the integrity of Dr. Patterson. Indeed, we find him to be a man of exemplary integrity. We are thankful for the leadership of Dr. Patterson and heartily commend him for the work that he has done as president of SWBTS. We also look forward to many years of his continued leadership.