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Fight Between Erskine College and Its Denomination Will Head to Court

Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church fired board members, alleging mission drift.

Like many church-based institutions of higher education, Erskine College and Seminary in Due West, South Carolina, has had many battles over the relationship between faith and learning at its campus. But the drama that unfolded at the college March 3 was unlike the online debates and denominational meeting grumblings that had come before.

In a special meeting that day, the General Synod of the denomination that sponsors Erskine—the Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) Church—heard a commission's report which concluded: "the oversight exercised by the Board of Trustees and the Administration of Erskine College and Seminary is not in faithful accordance with the standards of the ARP Church and the synod's previously issued directives."

More simply put, the commission found evidence of mission drift—as well as "a number of financial irregularities and administrative failures"—in the college and seminary and blamed the board for letting it ...

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