Saturday, August 11, 2007

Southwestern Seminary Becomes Homemaking School

There was a time when Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth was busting at the seams trying to accommodate all the men and women who wanted to earn a degree in theology. The school had more than 5,000 students a year in the 1980's.

That was before Fundamentalists consolidated their power at the school and replaced Russell Dilday as president. Now Southwestern Seminary is a mere shadow of what it was when moderates ran the institution.

As enrollments slipped and funding was tied to the number of students enrolled, the school devised a number of "creative" schemes to keep dollars flowing to the school from denominational headquarters. For more than a decade the school has been reporting "Full Time Equivalents" (FTE's) for enrollment figures. FTE's have been described to me as "anything that walks across the campus in the course of a year."

Now,as the Dallas Morning News reports, the school is resorting to teaching homemaking, cooking, and sewing classes for their idea of model minister's wives.

If I still considered myself a Southern Baptist, I would be embarrassed.

Judging from the continued decline in interest in theological study at their seminaries, it looks like a lot of people within their fold are less than enthusiastic about swallowing the pablum they are now serving.

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