Southwestern Seminary is grateful for David Allen’s years of service to the institution and our students and was disappointed that Dr. Allen refused continued service when offered the opportunity to serve as a Senior Professor. Since beginning my service as Provost on February 15th of this year, I have been closely involved in the conversations regarding Dr. Allen’s relationship to the Seminary. I am grieved that Dr. Allen has chosen to publish a statement that so brazenly misrepresents these conversations and the Seminary’s action.
Contrary to Dr. Allen’s portrayal, the role of Senior Professor is a position of honor for faculty members who have served a significant period of time in their roles. At Southwestern Seminary, this position is held by individuals like Craig Blaising, Jack Terry, Ken Hemphill, Dan Crawford, and more. It is unfortunate that Dr. Allen suggests that the service these men continue to render to Southwestern Seminary is second-class service.
In recent months, it has become clear that Dr. Allen desires to devote his best time and energy to ministry endeavors outside of Southwestern Seminary, including his new Preaching Coach ministry. While we are grateful for Dr. Allen’s ministry through Preaching Coach, in order to best steward the resources of Southwestern Seminary, it was determined that it was best that this new endeavor be pursued in a role that relieved him of full-time faculty and administrative obligations. As all of our full-time faculty know, the expectations placed on them are significant and would be impossible to fulfill if they were devoting significant time and energy to building outside platforms and ministries. We rejoice when the Lord places new callings upon the hearts of his servants, but these new callings, and the time commitments involved, often require adjustments to our previous commitments. The offer of a Senior Professor role provided a way for the Seminary to honor Dr. Allen while he was also provided the time to pursue new professional opportunities. While it was necessary to change the nature of his faculty service, to be clear, it was Dr. Allen who chose to separate himself completely from faculty service at Southwestern Seminary.
In a special called meeting of the Board of Trustees held via Zoom on June 3, 2022, the administration’s handling of all personnel matters regarding Dr. Allen were reviewed by the seminary’s governing board. The Board affirmed the administration’s determination that Dr. Allen had written to President Greenway a de facto letter of resignation from Southwestern Seminary and affirmed the administration’s decision to accept Dr. Allen’s resignation from Southwestern Seminary, effective July 31, 2022. The Board further affirmed the administration’s decision to deem Dr. Allen’s full salary and benefits received during the 2021-22 academic/fiscal year as severance, thereby releasing him from his institutionally-owed post-sabbatical service obligations.
While we would have preferred that Dr. Allen continue his service as Senior Professor, I fully support the way in which Dr. Greenway has handled this situation and stand behind the decision to accept Dr. Allen’s resignation from the faculty of Southwestern Seminary, effective July 31, 2022. We wish Dr. Allen the best in his future endeavors, including his ongoing supervision of doctoral students at Southwestern Seminary.
Benjamin M. Skaug, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Administration
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary