Asbury Flap

Seminary in crisis after board ousts president.

Asbury Theological Seminary officials say the school is in crisis after the board forced president Jeffrey Greenway to resign.

The Wilmore, Kentucky, school has formed a "peacemaking task force" and brought in a consultant and "crisis teams" to help heal divisions caused by Greenway's ouster.

"We're moving forward with a process of healing, renewal, and reconciliation," said Asbury spokeswoman Tina Pugel, labeling the uproar "an internal crisis."

"Conflict is healthy, and good can come from it," she added.

Thus far, trustees aren't saying precisely why they dumped their leader after barely two years on the job. Pugel said Greenway did nothing immoral or illegal, but that he and the trustees differed over the school's direction. Greenway has said little publicly on the dispute, which has shaken one of the nation's largest evangelical seminaries.

After the president and the board clashed last fall, more than 80 percent of the school's faculty gave Greenway a vote of confidence. Hundreds of students and alumni also signed petitions supporting him. But the board voted overwhelmingly to seek Greenway's resignation. He stepped down October 17.

Critics say the board of trustees didn't give Greenway a fair hearing and circumvented its own bylaws to improperly oust him. A complaint has been filed with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the agency that accredits Asbury. ATS gave Asbury until mid-January to respond.

Greenway's removal has triggered outrage among some students, alumni, and faculty. Officials shut down an internal online forum after critics used it to lambaste the board.

Trustees have appointed professor of preaching J. Ellsworth Kalas as interim president. A new presidential search team may be put in place after ...

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Christianity Today
Asbury Flap
hide thisFebruary February

In the Magazine

February 2007

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